Bearspace project comes to Manchester this November
Manchester’s bears, cubs, chubs and chasers are invited to take part in a first-of-its-kind study this November, when the Bearspace project comes to the Manbears PrehiBEARnation weekend. The project is exploring the experiences of men of different body types/sizes in Bear bars, pubs, clubs, and events. PrehiBEARnation attendees can share their thoughts and experiences in two ways:
• A relaxed afternoon focus group on Saturday Nov 10th (12.30pm @ Rem Bar)
• A private, one-on-one interview from Friday Nov 9th to Sunday Nov 11th (a time of your convenience @ a private location)
Anyone wanting to secure a seat at the focus group or book an interview slot should email email@example.com, or sign up to the Facebook event on the Manbears page
Bearspace is the brainchild of University of Brighton researcher Dr Nick McGlynn. From May 2018 the project has been compiling a database of every Bear space in the UK. This database is being used to identify locations for a series of on-site focus groups and interviews, forming one of the world’s largest empirical studies of Bear communities.
Nick has an extensive track record of LGBTQ-related research, including working on Brighton’s award-winning Count Me In Too project, but this is the first time he has studied Bear communities specifically. As a proud self-identified Bear, he was surprised to find so little empirical research on the Bear community despite its global reach. Although Bears exhibit a wide variety of body types, Nick said that the idea of Bear spaces as ‘safe spaces’ for bigger gay/bi/queer men jumped out from this limited research: “Bear bars and events are some of the only spaces I feel really comfortable as a fat gay man, and writing by other Bears suggests many others feel the same. Body shame and stigmatisation is increasingly experienced by men, and we all know how heightened this is in gay bars and clubs! So I’m eager to find out if there’s something positive and empowering we can learn from Bear spaces.”
In addition to the PrehiBEARnation event, Bearspace will visit 5 other sites around the UK in coming months. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to stay informed or register your interest, or follow the project on Twitter (@bearspacestudy) or Facebook (/bearspacestudy).