Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer: Bear and Leather Subcultures
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community often has been reduced to a homogenous group. However, multiple LGBTQ subcultures have developed across time. The leathermen and bears are two subcultures that arose out of a critique of the mainstream gay men's masculinity. The leathermen movement of the 1960s developed an aesthetic based upon the masculinity portrayed in media representations of bikers of that period, with a focus upon leather attire along with dominant and submissive sexual scripts. In contrast, the bears of the 1980s formed a masculinity that idealized naturalism, with a heavy set and hirsute appearance along with nurturing sexual practices. Both groups began by hosting invitation-only parties but became visible parts of the LGBTQ community through grassroots organization and using the community organization techniques of the civil rights movement.
Surace, F. I., & Levitt, H. M. (2015). Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer: Bear and Leather Subcultures. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Ed (pp. 887-892). Elsevier, Oxford, London.
International Encyclepdia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Elsevier