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“Brotherhood of Bears” | Photographers NSFW Peek at Gay Bears (The Human Kind)

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Featured on the Huffington Post today is Photographer Alan Charlesworth‘s series “Brotherhood of Bears,” and our attention has been caught.

Huff Post reports:

“Photographer Alan Charlesworth began questioning his sexuality growing up as a teenager in Philadelphia during the 1990s. Yet he had trouble identifying with (or lusting after) the stereotyped portrayals of gay men in mainstream pop culture, on television shows like “Will & Grace.” In his series “Brotherhood of Bears,” Charlesworth provides visibility to a community of gay men who diverge from the prevailing image.”

It’s not perfect body, gym-toned, and no facial hair,” Charlesworth told The New York Times last year. “That’s what society deems as being a normal, stereotypical gay male. That’s not what I identify with.”

“The ‘Brotherhood of Bears’ series had an unintentional beginning,” Charlesworth explained to The Huffington Post. “While studying photography at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), I presented my class with some photographs taken at a bar event in Upstate New York called ‘Bear Albany.’ The event was a bi-monthly gathering for large, hirsute, masculine gay men and took place in a local bar called the Phoenix. My partner at the time was one of the hosts and it was my job to document the event for their website. On a fluke, I decided to print the images and bring them into a photography critique. My classmates were taken aback by the subculture and had no idea that bears existed. I knew then that I had something that needed to be documented with a fine art approach.”

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