It was Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo, Eastern Orthodox Easter, and the day of the New York City Five Boro Bike Tour, but this crisp sunny May 5 was also the day of the Urban Bear’s Fifth Annual Bear Fair, on Little West 12th Street, always a festive outdoor spring event, attracting much of metropolitan area’s Bear Community. The culmination of Urban Bear Weekend, hosted by the Urban Bear CEO Robert Valin, the Bear Fair benefited Marriage Equality USA.
Lady Bunny was the DJ. Robbyne Kaamil stopped by on her way to the Duplex, where she’s been performing “Robbyne Kaamil—Raw & Real: Life from One Woman’s Perspective,” and saying, “You Bears inspire me. Big bitches got to stick together” and “You are the definition of Gay Pride,” delivered a monologue from her show. Over-the-top horror storyteller and poet Dandy Darkly, identifying himself as “the ghost of Liberace,” told us of the dastardly deeds of “Captain Chad, the Bitchy Pirate of Fire Island Bay,” who “shaved Bears on a whim,” and of “The Bear Skinner,” Portly Patten, who haunted Camp Hug-a-Chub.
During the afternoon, we stopped at many organization, business, and website tables, including those of Marriage Equality USA, Joe Fiore’s Cubhouse Sundays at Stonewall, the New York Bear Den, “Bulk: the Series” starting its second season on the web in the fall, Lady Sabrina’s My Lady’s Toys, Bear Tshirts and Bear Gear USA, Out Cycling, Chasabl “for big men and the men who love them,” Arcadia Spa and Home, Kate Perry Dog Training, and Old Traditional Polish Cuisine for pierogies.
We visited with the northeast Ursamen, Mr. Fire Island Leather 2002 Peter B and Andy, Clover Honey, Jed Ryan, the Leatherman’s CirrTone working the door, designer Marcello Geary and photographer Rob Ordoñez, photographer Gustavo Monroy, Cherry Grove’s Dr. Walter Bukowski, newly bearded, and many others.