No! Really. It is!
Of course this happened to honor our furry stuffed animal friends that got us through many a rough or tough or sad situation growing up…our teddy bears (or their equivalent).
Through scary nights or hospital stays or life tragedies we had trouble understanding, our teddies always lent an ear and were there to hug no matter what.
And during this time of year where we reflect on all we have to be thankful for, and on this day, National Hg a Bear Day, I am thankful for bears.
The kind l cuddled when l was a child, so soft and furry and cuddly.
The bears in nature that for some reason I’ve always loved, I don’t know why. How cute they can be, and how scary. To see one in nature was my dream, but I never saw one at Yellowstone. Only in zoos. But can you imagine how thrilled I was, as a kid, when a series came on TV called Gentle Ben? A show about a bear! Named Ben!
And I’m thankful for the gay bear community who helped to to learn to love myself and my body. And if bear groups sometimes tend to “seem” a little click-ish? I think it’s because bears have been left out so much in their lives, that when they find their bearish brethren, they tend to become little tribes, defending each other from that outside world. They’ll let you in, close in, when they know you’re a brother bear.
So l say, on this National Hug a Bear Day, don’t forget us gay bears!
We can identify with so much you’ve been through, if for no other reason than our size often sets us on the side, the outside, the fringe. We don’t fit society’s view of what’s beautiful or sexy. That great outfit that looks hot on a slim athletic guy makes us look like ten pounds of potatoes in an eight pound bag. And if we dare wear it, there are always stares and snickers. Or we became too ashamed to try.
We become the trusted sidekick or gay best friend. But our hot male gay friend wants a guy that society considers hot. Or often enough. And that pesky straight male friend (and pretty much every gay man I knew fell for his best friend) wants a girl. *sigh* But that’s another story.
And to our female friends? We’re the best friend she’s ever had until she wants a night with just the girls. And while we aren’t like any guy she’s ever known…we’re not a girl.
Yet we’re almost always there to lend an ear or help someone through a through a rough night.
So today? HUG a bear today! The stuffed animal kind, or your big bearded fuzzy friend.
Cuz in the end, It’s all about love.
And we all need hugs!
BG “Ben” Thomas
PS: Special thanks to Beth Belsito for letting me know what today is!
PPS: Read below for a wonderful little article all about National Bear Day!
DAYS OF THE YEAR: HUG A BEAR DAY
Hug a Bear day isn’t about the big fuzzy beasts that roam the forests munching on nuts and berries, and once a year or so busting out the fishing skills to scoop up salmon from the teeming rivers. Hugging one of those could in fact lead to a very bad day. They are instead about our favorite fuzzy knights of Yore.
They’re big and fuzzy and warm, they watch over us at night and keep the monsters in the closet and under the bed at bay. They’re often the first gift we’re ever given, and many of us carry them forward into our adult lives as ‘memoirs’ of our past. But we all know the real reason we still have them is our lives seem a little better, and a little saner, with our childhood protectors still working for us.
History of Hug a Bear Day
The history of stuffed animals goes back a long ways, some archaeological evidence suggests as far as Ancient Egypt. What is known for certain is that plush toys as we know them first started hitting the scene in the 1830’s, but the most iconic of all of them, the Teddy Bear, came about in 1902. Story goes that American President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt was hunting, and refused to shoot a baby bear they came across.
Since that day the Teddy Bear has stood as the childhood toy that is given to almost every child. The term “Teddy” was even derived from the name of this self-same president. There are now millions of Teddy Bears produced every year, in a rainbow of styles and colors. No matter what your imagination may produce, there is sure to be a Teddy Bear that meets your idea of the perfect fuzzy protector.
How to Celebrate Hug a Bear Day
Hug your bear! If you don’t have a bear, get a bear and hug it! If absolutely necessary, bearnap a friends bear and cuddle it! If you’re in the market for a brand new bear, an internet search will bring you a world of options. But the best possible option is to head out to a Build-A-Bear workshop and create your very own fuzzy defender. They have clothes and accessories that will let you bring out the very best friend your imagination can create.
You can also get together with your friends and bring out all your favorite old Teddy Bears. Admit what your favorite plush animal is and share it with those who still love theirs. Whatever you do, use Hug A Bear Day to remember your youth and the friends who accompanied you.
(to read the orginal essay, : https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/hug-a-bear-day/)