Meet Osvaldo Madrid, Mr. Bear Austria 2024

We sit down with Osvaldo Madrid, Mr. Bear Austria 2024, for an illuminating discussion about the bear scene (or lack thereof) in Austria and how he hopes to bring his message of self-love and empowerment to bears all over the world.

Osvaldo Madrid (center) being named Mr. Bear Austria 2024

BWM: Tell us a bit about your background?

Osvaldo Madrid (OM): I was born in Chile, Latin America and one day I decided to come live in Austria.  I arrived first in Salzburg, which is a city known for the movie The Sound of Music because it was filmed there. I love going to Salzburg and visiting all those beautiful places. Since last year I have been living in Vienna, the capital of Austria.

BWM: What drew you to the bear community?

OM: First of all, I always felt very attracted to the bear community and the leather community, it is love, it is respect, there are many things that come to my mind and heart.  For me it is not a game, and it is not a way of attracting attention; it is my way of life. I’d like to spread it amongst people so that we can form a true community of bears here.  For me and perhaps only for me, the bear community is accompanied by the leather community.

BWM: What is the bear scene like in Austria?

OM: Here in Austria, there is no bear community, I am in charge of the Mr. Bear Austria Facebook and there I try to talk to the followers. I have done live conversations, but most of the people that participate are from outside Austria.

BWM: Who then organized the Mr. Bear Austria event?

OM: The party that organized the election is called Bear and Butch at Pitbull in Vienna, and once a month they have a party. There is also another club in Vienna called Hard On that is more leather, they organize a party once a month called Bear On.

BWM: And what was the competition like?

OM: The competition to be Mr. Bear in Austria required only going to Pitbull and participating in the election. You only need to live in Austria. They don’t demand anything from you. They let the people choose who they want to be Mr. Bear Austria.

I think that gay life in Austria needs a refresh and for us to be more of a community.

BWM: What are your goals for your title year? Where will you be appearing?

OM: In this year that I am Mr. Bear Austria I have decided to do everything possible to organize a group, a community of bears which will be made up of people from Austria and if people from other places want to join, they are also welcome.

Also, here in Austria l participate in a community called Fetish Meeting and they meet once a month.  Last month and this month I will be the host with a nice guy from Vienna named Markus. I really like helping the community and meeting all the people.

In April I will go to Mister Bear International in Bangkok Thailand, to represent Austria in this international competition.  I am going to give my all to obtain this precious title and leave Austria in first place.

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

OM: I think people really need to be kinder and more supportive of each other. The experiences I have had in my life have helped me to put myself in other people’s shoes; to think about how other people feel and consider what I can do to help other people when they are suffering.

I am a person who has had nine operations on his body and in eight of those instances the doctor said that I should be dead, but I survived. I learned to walk again. I know what it is to lose everything and have nothing. That’s why I think that in our community we must support each other, we must be there. 

Osvaldo post surgery

Honestly, I would love to be part of a group that is in charge of supporting people who are suffering from HIV-related illnesses, or perhaps an organization that helps people who need someone to listen to them and to just be there. I think things like this are more necessary than having money, having a big house or traveling all over the world. Having someone that comforts you, gives you a hug and makes you feel that things can get better is worth more than anything in the world.

I have many scars on my stomach from the operations I had and there were people who made me feel disgusting, like no one could touch me. That experience helped me to look at myself and search inside for who I was. I discovered beauty that is not the physical. And now when people see me and say that I am “beautiful”, it is not the physical beauty they are seeing, it is simply the act of loving myself.  I love myself because I have nothing to prove to anyone and I want other people to feel that for themselves too….This is just a little of my experience, but I have much more to tell.

This is my way of saying this is me naked.  Here I am, I want to show what I learned, what I have fought for and this is the person I am today, respecting others, giving what I want to receive and simply trying to be happy in this life.

Keep up with Osvaldo Madrid, Mr. Bear Austria 2024 on Facebook and Instagram.

BWM Staff

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