Meet Rasta, Mr. Bear Milan 2024

BWM contributor Beltran Horisberger recently shared their experience at Bear Festival Milano with us. Besides the beauty of Milan itself and the bears who inhabit it, one of the highlights of the event was the election of Mr. Bear Milano – Giuseppe Turco AKA Rasta, who we had a chance to interview below.

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

Rasta: Hello everyone, I’m Giuseppe but everyone knows me as Rasta which is also my middle name on social media. I’m 41 years old, I’m Casertano but I’ve been living in Torre del Lago Puccini for about ten years.

BWM: What drew you to the bear community?

Rasta: I have always been a fan and admirer of the Ursina community both Italian and foreign, and from the very beginning I was struck by the feeling of inclusiveness that I found at every meeting, party or event.

BWM: What made you want to compete for the title? Was the competition held during a bear week or event?

Rasta: Last April, during Milan’s Bear Week, I participated in the “Mr Bear” contest organized by the Company Club. I chose to participate in the contest with the support of my son to give courage to all those who, as I found myself, are eager but doubtful about whether to come out to their family or their own children.

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

Rasta: During the race, we candidates were followed step by step by the organizers of the event who helped us in choosing the outfits we exhibited during the final evening. Apart from getting involved and overcoming our fears, this experience has left me with a deep sense of belonging. The other participants and I have developed  beautiful friendships that we are cultivating every day.

BWM: Can you tell us some details about the bear community in Milan? Where do bears go out? What are some favorite bear bars and club nights?

Rasta: To all the Bears, admirers and anyone who simply wants the pleasure of spending a few hours dancing with friends I highly recommend the Company Club in Milan which is open every week from Thursday to Sunday.

BWM: How is the Milano bear scene different to other bear communities in Italy or Europe?

Milan is a very popular city so there are a lot of foreign people coming here for tourism or work. It is a city that hosts a varied population from all over Italy and this has certainly grown our bear community which today is frequented by many young people who perhaps do not think of themselves themselves as bears but who have found a very welcoming, inclusive environment in which there is definitely no lack of fun to be had!

BWM: What are your goals for your title year? Will you be going to other bear events?

Rasta: This year I would like to continue to convey a message of inclusiveness and encourage those who are afraid to come out. If the opportunity arises, I would like to  participate in Mr Bear Italia contest, with the hope that it lead to more moments of involvement for the Italian Bear world.

BWM: What are some important issues you feel passionate about as it relates to bears?

Rasta: It would be nice to help unite the various Italian Bear communities that are many but still scattered, and then also to open up to the rest of the bear world to create a big, loving family.

Keep up with the latest from Rasta, Mr. Bear Milan 2024, by following him on Instagram.

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