Bears like to have fun! But, while having fun, we also need to make time for the other important issues we need to continue to discuss. These issues include body image, racism and transphobia, just to name a few. This is what podcasts like The Bear Share Show are here to do.
Recently, I sat down with Andre Metoyer of the Bear Share Show, a podcast dedicated to tackling important and interesting conversations in the Bear Community, to discuss his journey as a Bear in the community, what topics he finds interesting and what’s next for The Bear Share Show!
Kyle Jackson: Can you give us a bit of background about your involvement in the Bear Community and when you began identifying as a bear?
Andre Metoyer: Well, I am from Phoenix, Arizona. I came out later in life, and did not really know a lot about the Bear community nor did I get involved with it until 2011 when I was about 24. Finding the community instantly changed my life, as I was for the first time able to be surrounded by people who understood me in a way that I had not experienced before.
Through the community, I have been fortunate and able to find the most caring and fantastic people I have ever met. I have always been an extravert, so meeting people comes easy for me. However, through the Bear Community, I have been able to connect with Bears from all different parts of the world which has led to phenomenal long-lasting friendships.
KJ: What made you decide to launch The Bear Share Show?
AM: Over the past several years I have been fortunate to hangout with many different Bears and Bear friend groups. Everyone is different and every Bear group is different, but I noticed I kept having a lot of the same conversations around the same topics with all kinds of Bears. This led me to remember we Bears have a lot more similarities than differences, as we Bears all deal with similar issues regularly in life.
Topics such as dating, body image issues, social media, video games, depression, and the list goes on. These aren’t unfamiliar topics to most people, but I feel Bears have a unique perspective, from a new lens, in which to view the world. This is especially true considering Bears are a subgroup of other Gay men which is a subgroup of the general world population.
There have been so many talks that would often end with either myself or the other person thanking the other for taking a moment to simply listen. To be able to talk through things with someone who is more like them and understands where they are coming from, in a way only another Bear could understand, is a great way for us to connect and find support with each other.
Upon reflecting on all this, I decided that it would be a great idea to bring these conversations to the forefront in a way that can promote awareness bring positive messages to a larger audience on a broader scale. The goal of the podcast is to remind other Bears of their similarities, to remind them they are not alone in their thinking, and finally to inspire them to live their best lives. The name The Bear Share Show comes from this idea of Bears being able to share their experiences with one another.
KJ: What are some of your favorite things about the Bear community?
AM: Besides knowing how to party and eat (laughs), Bears can be the sweetest and kindest people I know. There is a huge sense of community that makes the Bear community feel like a second extended family. That is a rare thing to find in the world today, and especially after Covid-19 quarantine, so I do not take it for granted.
KJ: Are there any issues you would like to challenge within the bear community?
AM: There are several issues that need to be challenged, and I hope to be able to elaborate more on them through my show. The largest issue I hope to really break down and tackle is body image.
We Bears are put in a unique situation where we are generally larger/stockier men who may find other Bears with a similar body type attractive, all while going against the mainstream world of needing to be “thinner”. It is this struggle and conflict of interest, that has mentally tortured many Bears, and I hope through future episodes to create a better conversation and better ways of thinking about Bear body image issues.
KJ: What are some of the topics you touch on in The Bear Share Show?
AM: My goal is to be real and create meaningful dialogue about topics that I hope could be a benefit for Bears to hear or even other queer people. There are so many topics I hope to cover and expand upon, such as mental health, racism, body image issues, upcoming social events, sports, social media, and even more personal stories of Bear struggles that can hopefully resonate with and help someone.
When talking about these topics, I typically like to bring in another Bear as a special guest host speaker, who may have more knowledge and insight into the given topic. None of us are experts, but as previously said, I noticed that we Bears have a lot more in common than not. So, oftentimes, hearing similar experiences from other Bears can lead to more positive awareness and support for each other.
KJ: What is next on the Bear Share Show?
AM: Running a Podcast is not easy, but I am determined to make this show a beacon of positivity and support for the bear community.
The Bear Share show is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Anchor, and YouTube. Additional information can be found on Facebook and Instagram. If you would like to contact me directly, I am email@example.com, where you can request to be a special guest host as well as send ideas for future content!
If you are interested in supporting the Podcast more directly, visit my Anchor Page for Support: https://anchor.fm/andre-metoyer/support
Take a listen and please follow and subscribe! Thanks!