Wednesday, April 9, 2014


One of the great memories I have from the Big Gay Cruise is getting to know all the Denver Bears I met by way of StevieB, who obviously has impeccable taste in friends.

Someone once told me his impression of Denver is that all the straight guys are primpy, exfoliated metrosexuals while all the gay guys are beary, butchy men's men. That may well be true; I don't think I met any straight guys in Denver. To be fair, I've only been there once, with Stevie as my tour guide.

The whole week at sea in the company of so many follicularly gifted men, I never once felt self-conscious about my naked face. Not until my former boss commented on a Facebook photo I was tagged in. "You should grow a beard."

I knew he was making a witty allusion to Sesame Street's "One of These Things..." game. But instead of shapes and numbers, the objects in this game were stereotypical gay sub-types.

As I was still in post-cruise vacation mode and had five days' worth of nearly-visible stubble, I decided to take his unserious suggestion seriously. I'd grow a beard. I've attempted this before but always aborted the first time someone told me I have spiders making love on my lip.

Those who have read my Twitter profile know I describe myself as a "bear wannabe". Not only because I'm attracted to bears, also because I so admire bear culture that I wish I could belong to it.

All the way back to my preadolescence, long before I would even dare to admit to myself the possibility I was gay, I dreamed of the bear-like qualities I'd attain once my pituitary began spurting androgens like a summer lawn sprinkler.

It wasn't to be. In his infinite wisdom, God saw fit to grant me only enough secondary sex characteristics to pass as male while keeping open the option to transition without depilatories, should I ever so desire.

I find this highly unfair and hypocritical. Everyone who's seen Michelangelo's work knows that God is the Beariest. There are cherubim and seraphim riding his back fur, for heaven's sake.

Now Jesus on the other hand... From the neck down I can totally relate to the body of Christ (minus the abs) in that I too appear fully Nair-anointed. But that beard is perfection. Depending on the artist of course.

To me this begs the question: Is facial hair supposed to be a symbol of manliness, or of godliness? Or is the beard supposed to represent man's connection to God?

Any answer to that will depress me. As a man born without sideburn follicles, I find myself alienated from the divine. Along with all women. So I'm in good company anyway.


  1. well not to add insult to injury, but not "all" women.

  2. I've always tried to live by the tenet "dress for what you want". Meaning, look like what you want to attract.

    I love guys with beards. So I have a beard. But man, I am really tired of my beard at the moment and want to shave it off!!!

    Well, it's not like bearded men are beating a path to my door....

  3. I can't even grow facial hair. It doesn't grow in densely enough to cover my skin so all I can manage is a long scraggly look that is more likely to resemble something you might see on an old Asian man than anything akin to a beard, goatee or mustache. :-/