Meet Giancarlo Briceño, Mr. Fire Island Bear 2024

With another successful Fire Island Bear Weekend in the books, we now also have a brand-new Fire Island Bear titleholder. Get to know him below.

BWM: Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Giancarlo Briceño (GB): My name is Giancarlo Briceño, but I Gogo dance under the name Breezy, it is the phonetic first part of my last name. I am a first generation American, my heritage is Ecuadorian and Italian. I was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey for most of my life. There was a point in my life where I lived in Atlanta Georgia for a few years, but I have since moved back and reside again in Jersey City.

BWM: What drew you to the bear community?

GB: I am glad to say I was drawn to the bear community because of the fondness and acceptance from the local drag queens and dancers. I started going to bars in Hell’s Kitchen where I did not feel entirely welcomed but the Bear community has and is open to everyone no matter the shape or size.

BWM: What made you want to compete for the title of Fire Island Bear?

GB: Funny enough, I heard about the competition and was inspired to run for Fire Island Bear by Mx. Kink 2023, Red Panda Matt. I went to support one of my friends who was Gogo dancing at Ty’s for Fursday and he started a conversation with me. We talked about the competition and what the title represented to him. He passionately told me how it felt being the face of representation for the community and about the platform that allowed him to speak his mind. It motivated me to push forward and run, because I want to give back to the community that accepted me wholeheartedly.

BWM: How was your experience competing? What was the process like?

GB: I had a fantastic time competing, despite some initial nerves. As someone who travels frequently for work, I have learned to adapt to new environments and situations. Lately, I have been based on Long Island, which has been a wonderful experience. I do struggle with anxiety, which can be challenging when facing new situations like competing. However, the organizers provided a clear itinerary, which helped me plan my approach and feel more prepared. The meet and greet with the judges on Thursday was a missed opportunity, but I was able to make up for it with my personal interviews on Friday. Despite my nerves, I focused on being genuine and authentic, and I am proud to say that I was able to make the judges laugh. That helped me feel more confident going into the main event on Saturday. With only 30 minutes to spare before the competition started, I had to make a mad dash from work to Fire Island. Once I was there, my nerves settled, the exhaustion from my 9-5 dissipated and it was showtime. As a Gogo dancer/ burlesque performer, my emotions subsided, and I was ready for whatever questions I would be asked on stage and I was ready to perform. I have learned to channel my emotions into my performances. When the time came, I gave it my all and left everything on the stage. Putting my best foot forward, I managedto do a front-split. It is all about confidence and giving your best effort!

BWM: Tell us about being a gogo bear – what made you start? Where do you perform? 

GB: I love being a Gogo-bear, I have a deep passion for dancing, which has been a lifelong outlet for me. It is an incredible way to unwind and release stress from my day-to-day life. I started because one night at Rockbar back in January, a sweet bartender named Rowan and the Bouncer named Angel suggested that it was enjoyable to watch me dance and that they liked the energy I carried. They sent me the names of those I should reach out to for dancing, who ended up being Mr. Fire Island Bear 2017, Danny Jimenez. He gave me my first dancing opportunity and my first official gig was February 22nd. I have danced at: Rockbar, Ty’s, The Monster, Club Lambda and The Deep End. I now consistently do Bearlesque every second and fourth Sunday of the month at Rockbar.

BWM: What are the responsibilities associated with your title? And what are your goals for your title year?

GB: As Mr. Fire Island Bear, I recognize the importance of being a role model and attending events to show support for our community. I have a lot of friends in the community and want to represent and attend events as much as I can. I recently attended Mx. Kink to represent the Fire Island Bear name and promote unity among our community. I am committed to being an active member of the bear community and proudly wearing the sash and title. I want to be able to bring awareness of so many issues I believe in and organize fundraisers for things I see in the community. I suffer from mental health issues, so I am a big advocate of helping people get support. I used to be in the Foster Care system, so I would love to help support homelessness and gay youth in the community as well.

BWM: What are some important issues you feel that need to be addressed in the bear/ leather communities?

GB: The bear and leather communities are not perfect, but I would love to push forward the envelope that it is very accepting and for it to stay welcoming. I want to help people overcome their shyness and show them that you do not necessarily need to be a tall white muscular guy to be sexy and confident. We are here to love our bodies of all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Be sure to follow Giancarlo Briceño, Mr. Fire Island Bear 2024 on Instagram @Breezyno_

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