Welcome to 2011! The New Year always brings promises of new ideas, new resolutions, and new goals-- personal and creative. What do you want to see happen in 2011? At Jed Central we 've asked 11 exemplary members of our community that very question… and here’s what they said!
Freddy Freeman: “I want 2011 to bring more inclusion and brotherhood back to our community. These days I hear even some Bear media outlets telling us who is ’too fat’ or ‘too thin’ or not the ‘right’ look or ‘right’ color or whatever, to be a Bear. It is the antithesis of what the movement is all about-- and I want to see a return to the original ideal of creating space for all types of men of all shapes and sizes to celebrate themselves! In 2011, I will be helping to make that happen, as Bearapalooza begins its ninth year of showcasing the talents of a wide variety of Bear musicians and performers of many colors, shapes, sizes, and genres! I want Bearapalooza to be an example of the change I want to see in the community! Of course, I also want to see more live music at Bear events!”
(Freddy is a self-identified Chubby Bear, a Musician, a Music Producer, Director of Events at Roy's Hideaway Campground in Georgia, and Founder/Organizer of Bearapalooza, the original Bear music festival.)
George Hains: “I want to see more progress in equal rights for the LGBT community. Learn to slow down and take time to enjoy life from time to time.”
(George is a prolific activist and philanthropist, Mr. International Grizzly Bear 2010, and Mr. Metrobear NY 2009.)
Doug Langway: “My hopes for 2011 for the Bear Community is health and happiness, a strong sense of self-worth and a push towards unity and acceptance. I know that 2010 has been a large awareness year for us and I hope that we can remember our roots and not forget the purpose of the community as a place for an alternative idea of beauty to bloom and flourish.“
(Doug Langway is the Director of “Bear City”, new on DVD. Visit www.BearCitytheMovie.com for more info.)
JD Leggett: “I’d like to tell the heterosexual community that I am a Bear without having to explain what a Bear is. More Bear Pride!”
(JD is an Actor, Member of the Metrobears NY, Mr. International Bear 2010, and the Founder/Director/Choreographer of The Boys of BEARlesque.)
Lovari: “In 2011, I want to work at keeping optimal health bodywise with daily small workouts, and will begin working on my new album-- with it being the core of my dedication for the year.”
(Lovari is an Award-winning SAG Actor, Journalist, Director, and multi-faceted Performer. His latest album is "The Statement". Visit www.LovariWorld.com for more info.)
Sunshine Richard McLean: "What I would like to see in 2011 is everyone being tolerant and open minded to everyone else-- gay, straight, and everything in between. My Title is Metrobear 2011 and I identify with the Bear community by giving voice to the shy!"
(Sunshine is Mr. Metrobear NY 2011 and a Member of The Boys of BEAR-lesque.)
Sandy “Mama” Reinhardt: “I would like to see a lot of things, but what comes to mind is to see more people involved in their Community. After all, we are Family. One does not need a Title to get involved!”
(Sandy Reinhardt has been known as “Mama” for about 20 years. She is a leader in the LGBT, Leather, and BDSM communities and the Founder Of Mama's Family (www.MamasFamily.org). Mama's Family has over 1000 members in 42 U.S.states and internationally in four countries. Together they raise over $2,000,000 a year for a wide variety of Leather/LGBT and charitable organizations.
Jonny Mack: “I'd like to see more events that don't particularly label themselves as Bear events, but that Bears and every other kind of guy feel comfortable attending. Not that I'm opposed to a "Bear Week" in Manhattan. Anything that invites us in is welcome! But I want everyone to be able to come together and have a great time. On a political front, I'd like to see Gay Marriage on a federal level. There are so many benefits of marriage that selfish straight people keep to themselves. For instance, I can't marry the man I love and give him the benefits of U.S. citizenship. Now, that's just wrong. Nobody talks about this aspect, but I know so many guys in this situation. Gay marriage in Massachusetts is all well and good, but until it's recognized across the land and honored by the government at large, it's not worth very much. I also want new music from Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Britney and most of all Madonna. If any of you are reading this right now, please, get crackin'!”
(A Mack of all trades, Jonny is the “HX“- and “Next” Magazine-dubbed "go-go bear," and was a regular fixture at WOOF!, The Fur Ball, and Robert Valin's Truckstop parties. He is now an up-and-coming DJ with regular gigs in and around New York City, most notably at G Lounge's DiLF: Daddy I'd Like to Fuck parties. He can also be seen in the recent TLA Release "BearCity", in which he plays the role of Ted.)
Justin B Terry-Smith: “For 2011 I want to see a loving & thriving LGBTQ/Leather community and less stigma for people living with HIV/AIDS.”
(Justin is Mr. Maryland Leather 2010, Producer of Mr. PW's Leather Contest, Co-Producer of Mr. Old Dominion Leather, and Author of Justin's HIV Journal, www.JustinsHIVJournal.blogspot.com. Photo of Justin by Don Harris.)
Robert Valin: “I'd love to see more Bear parties & events in NYC, and my personal mission is to put New York on the map as a premiere travel destination for the international Bear & Leather Communities. Oh! And peace on earth J . In January I'm starting a new monthly party called 'Stache Bash at Julius's Bar & Grill, the oldest gay bar in NYC in the West Village, on the last Thursday of the month.“
(Leather Bear, Daddy, Actor, Voice Over Artist & EntréBEARneur, Robert is the Founder of Urban Bear Weekend in NYC on May 12-15 [Visit http://www.urbanbearweekend.com/] and Creative Director of Great Blue Ox [www.GreatBlueOx.com, launching in late January], Graphic Design & Creative
Consultants for the Leather & Bear Communities. He begins filming “BULK”, the Bear webisode series, being shot on location in NYC later this month, by writer J. Julian Christopher [“Man Boobs“].)
LeNair Xavier: “I would like to see the American LGBT community in all forms of media and entertainment (movies, magazines, porn, nightlife, television, websites, etc…) show the beauty that's to be seen in the diversity of all ethnicities AND colors....light AND dark complexions alike. That way, the American LGBT community as a whole won't be perpetrating a fraud claiming pride in the RAINBOW flag that represents the LGBT community, and we will be more justified in our demands for equality.”
(LeNair Xavier, formerly known as Tre Xavier, is a Blogger, Model, and Actor. He will be appearing live in the five-part poetry series “The Industry” at NYC’s LGBT Center on January 7th. See www.tresx-rayvision.com for more. Photo of LeNair by PhotoFreedom.)