Bear World Magazine, the leading online magazine for bears, cubs, chubs and their admirers. Bear Word Magazine is the leading online magazine targeted 100% at the worldwide gay bear community. Written by bears, for bears!
The Mr PGH (Pittsburgh) Bear Contest is one of the newest titles in the US, it’s only two years old! With the third Contest coming up soon, I spoke to the incumbent Mr PGH Bear, Maxx, to find out all about him and the title.
Richard Jones: Good to Meet You Maxx! Mr. PGH (Pittsburgh) Bear is a relatively new title, tell me about where it’s from and what it’s about.
Maxx: An honor to meet you, Richard. Mr. PGH Bear is the brainchild of a highly respected local drag queen named Cindy Crotchford. She recognized that there was a noticeable lack of representation of the Bear Community in the local Gay Scene. She set out to correct this and working with the Blue Moon Bar, a popular local LGBTQ+ bar and the main drag bar in the city, along with the Burgh Bears, the oldest Bear Club in Western PA, she organized the first Mr. PGH Bear Pageant in 2017.
It was a great success and I was quite happy to hear they were putting it on again. My friend Clint, a popular painter in the local Gay Community and was gracious enough to let me be a model for him, thought my look would be perfect for it an encouraged me to compete. I won the title back in August 2018 so the next competition is coming up soon.
M: I didn’t necessarily have a platform, I found out later that that’s the general standard at such events, but contestants don’t take a platform at Mr. PGH Bear. The pageant was organized into 3 parts:
1) Presentation & Bear Pride Wear
2) Jock Strap or Underwear & Question and Answer
Contestants really don’t get a chance to make a platform. What I did do was create a central theme for all the parts. I chose a rather weird theme, Russia/Soviet Union. My family is of Slavic descent and I also loved the history of the Slavic nations. As a result, I had access to some props I could use, and my younger brother oddly enough collects foreign military uniforms so I was able to borrow some his stuff.
For the stuff, I couldn’t get or find, my friend Clint was a great help. He was able to make workable suggestions, find what I couldn’t, and helped me rehearse my act.
For the first part, I dressed in late Soviet Era Red Army pants, an officer’s cap, and an officers dress jacket over my shoulders. Under that a red leather harness. I treated the second part as swimsuit-esque and dressed in a Soviet Navy Cap (think Donald Duck’s hat), a sailor’s blue and white striped tang-top, and a red jockstrap with a hammer and sickle patch glued to the front. For the talent portion, I re-enacted a viral video from a few years back about the history of Russia set to song and dressed in old corduroy pants, no shirt, red suspenders, and a shepherd’s cap.
Eric G. Brown www.ericgbrown.com @egbphoto @male_expressions
RJ: What do you think titles bring to the bear community?
M: I think it shows that no matter your body type you can still take pride in who you are. I for one love that I don’t need the cliché model body to be confident in who I am. Now, I don’t mean this as an excuse to not be healthy. I still go to the gym at least 3 days a week. However, I no longer feel pressured to look a certain way in order to be found attractive and I don’t beat myself up about having a bit of a belly anymore. Hell, if anything my belly gets complimented the most, haha. If this title can help people feel as good about themselves as I do, then its a truly great thing and I’m happy to be a part of it and that I get to represent my city in such a way.
Eric G. Brown www.ericgbrown.com @egbphoto @male_expressions
RJ: What have you learned from being a titleholder that you can take into your “regular” life?
M: For one, I’ve experienced a major boost in my self-confidence and I have found myself to be more open and social than I have ever been before. I’ve met a lot of amazing people because of the title and it also helped me to get a few dancing gigs at Blue Moon and at Vice Versa in Morgantown WV. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but through performing, I’ve found an amazing outlet for a more wild form of creative expression.
Maxx by Maxx
RJ: Tell us a little bit more about you?
M: I work as a janitor here, so I guess you could say I’m blue-collar. When I’m not buffing floors, I absolutely love exploring abandoned buildings and photographing them.
I’ve been able to visit locations in Detroit, NYC, Cleveland, and of course around my neck of the woods. Also, my pics were considered good enough that I was able to be the event photographer for the Mr. Pittsburgh Leather Fetish Contest this past year. As I implied before,
I am a huge history nerd. I think half the television I watch are history documentaries of some sort or other and I always have a history book I’m reading. I’ve been told I have the worst taste in music ever. You can find me listening to Finnish and Russian Hip-Hop, Chinese Folk Metal, and History oriented Power Metal from Sweden. I actually have found some ways to incorporate my awful taste into my acts. For a show at Vice Versa I was able to utilize a Finnish song about Pokemon Go! to make a very funny and entertaining act no one was
Taylor Seitz. @astrowolf525
RJ: Will you go on to compete for other titles in the USA, such as World Bear?
M: Oh, definitely. For one everyone is encouraging me to, from Cindy Crotchford and the staff at the Blue Moon I’ve worked with to Emërson Anicëto, the current Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather and reigning Mr. Pittsburgh Leather Fetish. I think I’m gonna start local. The next Mr. Pittsburgh Leather is coming up and I have my eyes on it. At the very least I aim to be a memorable contestant and I’m excited to tackle the challenge.
From August 29th to September 2nd, MTTA, Inc. will host the 2019 Master/slave Conference (MsC) at The Westin – Tysons Corner in Falls Church, Virginia.
Since its inception in 2004, MTTA, Inc., an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization providing education and support to consensual Master/slave relationships in the BDSM and leather communities, has produced MsC. The conference, which takes place every year over Labor Day weekend, is the largest, longest and most comprehensive educational event dedicated solely to Master/slave relationships.
Now its 16th year, the event has grown to over 500 attendees, and will include five days and four nights of educational and networking opportunities. The keynote speaker for Friday evening’s opening ceremony will be Richard “slave Rick” Levine, author of Jolted Awake: An Unconventional Memoir, which details his personal journey through Master/slave relationships as a valid path toward self discovery, enlightenment and spiritual awakening.
Other speakers for the event will include Blue Frost – winner of both the 2017 Northeast slave and 2018 International slave competitions, and Guy Baldwin – therapist, author and winner of the 1989 International Mr. Leather contest.
In addition to educational opportunities, MsC will also host the Northeast Master/slave Contest, which takes place on Sunday, September 1st. The winner of the contest will represent the Northeast region next year in the International Master/slave Contest in Dallas, Texas.
Six years happily married (this week!) after accidentally meeting while stranded during Hurricane Sandy. IT professionals, dads to an amazing 12 year old son, two schnauzers, ten hens and a rooster named Anastasia. Flirtatious but devoted.
About W | Bear:
We enjoy the app as our canvas to the world where we get to paint our profiles our way and connect with other open-minded people. We’ve met some great guys and have made built new friendships with the connections on W | Bear. There’s something here for everyone’s sensibilities. Plus cocks.
For the money, the 2019 GMC Acadia has some of the best gas mileage in its class, coming in at 20 city / 17 highway. That’s not bad for a vehicle with an average curb weight of two tons US. (A few years back, GMC reduced the weight of the Acadia and that has improved efficiency quite a bit.)
This is indeed a solid vehicle all the way around with a strong four-cylinder or V6 engine, depending upon which trim you select. It’s considered a midsized vehicle, to be sure, and you can get into it starting at $29K US.
I had a lot of fun driving it around town. It’s a big vehicle IMHO, although anymore I’m not sure what constitutes big in the car world. There was plenty of room in the front seats and back seats for good friends, new friends and those men who just somehow happened to wander into my life that weekend.
The ride was smooth and ‘refined’, a word that pops up in several online reviews of the 2019 Acadia. Yeah, well, I dunno, but it was a lot classier than I am used to having. Ya know, with a mini-truck like this, you aren’t really supposed to be looking for ‘refined’, so when you do get that extra touch of class, you tend to be a bit suspicious of it at first, but no need to worry with this year’s Acadia. It’s all legit, even if you do spill your Thai takeout on the dash.
This year’s Acadia is also considered a Crossover vehicle as well, and to be honest, I still struggle with what that means. Given all the trauma that we as LGBTQs have had to endure of the years, the term ‘crossover’ can sometimes have religious connotations. (Didn’t Jesus crossover the Thames to see a show at the Moulin Rouge and then eat falafels in Cairo?)
But seriously folks, in the automotive world, especially for those who truly spend too much time researching minutia, a crossover is basically a sport utility vehicle that has the body platform of a passenger car; thus it is sort of a cross-pollenated car and SUV kinda sorta. Wow, right?
Thus, the Acadia is indeed both a midsized SUV and a crossover vehicle. And it does have a third row of seats but, yes, be careful. In an effort to reduce the weight of the Acadia, GMC had to literally cut corners somewhere, and that meant reducing interior space. The third row is there, so, yeah, well…. Good luck. To be honest, I bear-ly noticed it.
One big thumbs-up goes out to GM and all its cars when it comes to the user-friendly technology they install on the dash. This is some of the most simple tech I have ever encountered. No need to park and sit and try to figure out what the lady with the high-falutin’ accent in the control box is trying to tell you. You can pop in the driver’s seat (not that we bears ‘pop’), press a few simple buttons and boom! your phone is connected and your Garth Brooks is ready to play.
If you are indeed in the market for a midsized crossover SUV and you really want something from Detroit, Michigan – and you want that Chevrolet badge (take note, Americans, the name Chevrolet is French) you should also check out its brothers-in-steel: the equally powerful Chevy Traverse or the Buick Enclave.
Actually, come to think of it, wasn’t Jesus crossing someone named River Jordan. Or was it Jordan Rivers?
During any Provincetown vacation, restaurants are always busy and offer an amazing selection. We have chosen eight places that we love and you need to try!
In no particular order they are:
Fanizzi’s is a favorite with both tourists and locals. Fanizzi’s bayside dining room boasts 180 degree views through three walls of windows that look upon Cape Cod Bay, Provincetown Harbor, North Truro, and Truro. “The Short List” says Fanizzi’s is the best place for Burgers! (amazing deserts!!!)
539 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657, Reservations: (508) 487-1964
Strangers and Saints is the new kid on the block this year and is a modern interpretation of a portside tavern – blending the history of sea captain salt, swank and swagger with the deep sense of hospitality, food and drink. The featured image of this article is Strangers and Saints interior and you can see how amazingly styled it is. The lively tavern atmosphere offers Mediterranean-inspired cooking comprised of small and large shareable plates, handcrafted cocktails, wine and local beer. The focus is on pure, simple ingredients brought together in imaginative and unexpected ways. Happy hour from 4 – 6pm. Dinner from 5pm.
404 Commercial St. Provincetown, MA 02657 – (508) 487-1449
The Lobster Pot is not only one of the best places for lobsters, its an iconic landmark slap bang in the middle of Provincetown. So many people meet outside it, opposite it and near it; many go in and eat there too. Of course lobster is a big part of the menu, but there is a great bar upstairs and if you are not that into seafood, but all your friends are, don’t worry there is a plenty of meat on the menu too. It gets packed all through the season so book ahead and make sure you are on time!
Twisted Pizza is the slightly less busy pizza parlour open late during Bear Week and the season. They also do great subs, salads and ice cream. With a ice cold selection of beer on tap, outdoor and indoor seating, Twisted is a great place to sit and unwind all afternoon or grab that bite after the party. Take out and delivery services include everything on the menu, even ice cream, with delivery staff who are friendly and efficient (delivery to 11pm)
293 Commercial St. Provincetown, MA Seasonal Hours OPEN 7 days 11am to 2am (508) 487-6973
We first featured Tin Pan Alley four years ago in our guide. They have gone from strength to strength, and not only serve great food, but wonderful cabaret too! They have been named one the 11 Hottest Restaurants on the Cape and Islands! They serve a mean Tuna Nicoise at lunchtime and great Tin Pan Alley Martini’s!
269 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657 (508) 487-1648
Victor’s is PTown’s culinary hot-spot according to the Boston Herald, and many agree, including diners who voted Victor’s a winner at last years opentable awards. Victor’s is one of the few places that stays open all year round! Get along and sample an array of seafood to die for!
Ross’ Grill is one of Provincetown’s most talked about dining experiences overlooking Provincetown Harbor at Whalers Wharf. The view is one of the best in town. Enjoy signature cocktails and fine wines.
Napi’s is a unique restaurant located on a winding street full of colorful sunflowers and roses, a block away from the hustle and bustle of town. Surrounded by the works of local artists, antique stained glass and carousel horses, you will enjoy the varied menu of Napi and Helen’s favorite dishes from around the world.
If you’re like me, part of a great vacation is all the awesome things you find in stores that are totally new to you! I always buy something and, at the very least, it’s a Christmas ornament that’s unique to that location! So if you’re coming to Provincetown for Bear Week, there are a whole host of cool shops and galleries to choose from.
For the ultimate shopping experience, start at one end of Commercial Street and work your way down and back without missing a shop! If you don’t have that much time, however, we have picked some favorites that we think you will enjoy.
Mate – 349 Commercial St
Hyper-local iconic swag that embraces everything that is Provincetown. Great fitting, soft and comfortable Shirts, Tanks, Sweat shirts, Thermals and Hats. Some perfect bear themed tee’s always available during bear week!
East End Books is a full-service bookstore on the East End of Provincetown. It’s a lovingly curated collection of books in print, ebooks, audiobooks, vinyl albums, great coffee & really cool magazines! Open daily by 12 pm.
Pürl is the OuterCape’s answer to year-round knitting and fiber enthusiasts. From knitting, crocheting, spinning and weaving, we have something for everyone. It’s always a lovely day in Provincetown to knit, whether it be cotton and silk in the summer or the bulkiest of wools in the dead of winter.
Cool, fun and unique housewares. Located in the East End this store is a Provincetown favorite and ‘Best Shop for the Home’ award winner. It carries thousands of items for the kitchen, bath, and home. Check out utilitieshome.com
Monty’s is the place for exquisite Christmas Ornaments all year round. Their range includes Christopher Radko, Jim Shore, December Diamonds Mermen, and a great new range of Bear Centred Ornaments, Old World ornaments, unique old fashion music boxes and much much more! Check out montysprovincetown.com
“Sorry, Not Sorry” The awkward experiences and tribulations of a gay-millennial living in the heart of Los Angeles as he tries to cope with life after a not so recent heart-break is a new comedy web series (launching next week) from the amazing filmmaker Jorge Xolalpa Jr produced with is Mighty Aphrodite production company.
Jorge started out wanting to be an actor. Given the lack of opportunity in the industry, Jorge decided to write a short-film for himself. When the time came to perform the lead role in Brian’s Birthday (2014), Jorge found an enormous amount of interest in the development process that it led him to step down and instead concentrate in directing the short film. Now with “Sorry, Not Sorry” he is back as the lead ‘Jacob’ a struggling writer, and is the filmmaker!
This snappy, sometimes silly, sometimes pithy peek into a struggling gay Hollywood writers life, shows us that Xolalpa can create a new world, and play the lead in that world expertly. His Hollywood credentials play well into perfect editing, and music choices, wipes and camera angles, Jorge knows what he wants whether he is in the scene or not!
There will be six episodes all shot in and around LA, and with a superb supporting cast. We think this is a little gem and will find its way beyond a web series!
The show is available from July 19th 2019. Head to the facebook page here and follow on Instagram here to stay up to date.
All you showtune bears remember the song Big, Blonde and Beautiful from the Broadway rendition of Hairspray, sung boldly by Queen Latifah in the movie, then even more boldly by Jennifer Hudson for the live TV musical, but originally sung by Mary Bond Davis in the original Broadway show. I couldn’t help but hear this song in my head as I was driving this year’s Chevy Traverse: it’s big, bold and beautiful, even though it is technically a midsized SUV. (And you really can’t get the Traverse as a blonde; the closest you can get is something called Pepperdust Metallic on the higher-end trims. Sorry.)
For its size, you can get a whole lotta bears into the Traverse. Indeed, there are three rows of seats in this beast, and while I would advise using the third row with caution, it can be done (hey, someone’s gotta get all that beef from Point Gay to Point Gee, What’s Our Next Stop). For all your baggage, with that third row of seats up, you have 23 cubic feet of space with which to stash all your schwag and more. But if you need to haul a bunch of equipment and just a buddy to help, put all the seat down and you can get a whopping 98 cubic feet of cargo room to carry the entire drag show / bear den / holiday fiesta extravaganza wherever you need to take it. Look at all that room! It’s bear hug time!
The ride is incredible smooth, and while we don’t necessarily like all things smooth, this is one you are going to like. I found driving it to be a breeze. Often, with big hulkers like this, you really need to pay attention and get ready for a nice workout of your biceps and triceps, but not with this gentle giant. This is one of those cars where you really can get in, drive and feel comfortable no matter how much of a man you are, literally.
The technology is pretty simple to use too. Often, you really do need to get in, strap in, let the whiz-bang cartoons finish and then begin to figure out how all this technology works before the snooze factor kicks in. With Chevy systems, however, you can pretty much get in, pair your phone and you are good to go. At least that’s what I have found. No need for a college degree in technology, or to even be smart. Well, you do need a bit of a brain. Kinda.
Prices start at $29, 930. Mileage is 18 city / 29 highway. You can tow anywhere between 1,500 and 5,000 pounds US depending on the trim you buy and how you equip it, so once again, caution is advised before you say I Do and agree to be on this year’s Bear Float committee.
I like to think of the Traverse as the big SUV that really isn’t all that big. I wouldn’t say parking is a breeze but with a little bit of effort, this baby daddy bear can fit into just about any reasonable street space. And in many ways, it is unassuming, which is good when you are just trying to blend in. And yet in so many other ways, it really is a stand out. For starters, it sure is pretty.
Think of this year’s Chevy Traverse as the perfect boyfriend. Yeah, not everything is perfect, but it has the power and room to grow and go where you want it. And it is pretty where and when you want it too.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city set amongst a maze of canals, much like Venice Italy. It’s easy to spend your days wondering the streets and discovering quaint shops and cafes or renting a bike and weaving your way through the canals. Amsterdam has a history of being a very liberal society, where gay marriage is legal, Marijuana is legal and so is prostitution.
The weather in Amsterdam is moderate. It never gets freezing or too hot normally. That being said the most popular times to visit are spring, when the tulips are blooming, and summer when all the cafes are bustling.
Fall and Winter are still nice times to visit, however you lose the experience of enjoying the outside cafes and canals that thrive in warmer temperatures.
Arriving into Amsterdam is pretty much easy from anywhere as it’s a major capitol and airport in Europe. A taxi into the city is not expensive.
Amsterdam is filled with a array of unique and wonderful hotels.
On the top of the list is the Conseratorium Hotel www.conservatoriumhotel.com. Located in an old music Conservatory and architecturally beautiful. It’s located next to the Van Gogh museum.
The Conservatorium Brasserie (source: Conservatorium Hotel website)
The W has a wonderful Michelin starred restaurant called The Duchess which I highly recommend.
The Duchess at W Hotel (source: W Hotel website)
See & Do
There is so much to do in Amsterdam. The city is full of amazing museums such as Stedelijk Museum, The Van Gogh, Concertgebouw, Rijksmuseum, And the Anne Frank House. There are beautiful parks, amazing shopping districts, and day trips on boats through the canals.
In the evening you must wander the red-light district and see a part of Amsterdam that makes it famous.
For Gay nightlife, a major gay street in Amsterdam. Reguliersdwarsstraat, is home to many gay bars, restaurants and shops. More authentic Dutch gay venues and cafés can be found around the nearby Amstel area.
Equally close is Kerkstraat, a historic street that runs through the city centre and a newer gay neighbourhood with some late-night cruise bars.
Amsterdam has something to offer everyone weather your looking to take in the culture or enjoy the night life and decadence. It’s a city that is hard to not fall in love with and next to impossible to be bored in.
Remember that a travel curator can help craft the perfect vacation for you using a wealth of knowledge and experience, plus being able to leverage a range of exclusive discounts. Contact 127 Travel to talk about your next vacation and how we can help.