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Meet the new World Bear titleholder, Buddha Onyx 

In our final of our series of interviews with the new World Bear Title Holder family, I caught up with the amazing Buddha Onyx, the new Mr. World Bear 2022. We got talking about his passions and when he realized he was a bear and much more!

Read on and find all about BuddhaOnyx!

Richard Jones: Hi, Buddha! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Buddha Onyx: Hey!  I am a New York native LeatherBear and Kinkster living in Atlanta, GA.  I am the owner of the small business “Mask Daddy“, event Creator of both Plump ATL for Big Boys of Color & Admirers and Other ATL, Atlanta’s first weekly TQIA+ focused event. I am a full brother of Onyx South East who has experience educating others in the world of BDSM, volunteering and advocating against adult bullying in POC LGBTQIA+ spaces.

RJ: When did you begin identifying as a Bear ? Can you tell us a little bit about your journey? 

BO: I began identifying as a Bear around 2015 when I was introduced to the New York City Bear Circuit. I started to attend Urban Bear events and felt most at home there because of how undesirable other gay spaces made me feel. 

RJ: What made you enter the World Bear competition? 
World Bear, Buddha Onyx
Photo: By Entendre Photography

BO: I entered the World Bear competition because I wanted a bigger platform to create the changes, we need in the Bear Community. 

RJ: How has winning the World Bear title changed your life/social life? 

BO: I first returned home to Atlanta after the competition I had so many people come up to congratulate me and ask for photos. It was really shocking to have people recognize me as I walked down the street and in sat in restaurants having dinner. The only real change that I’ve seen since then is that if people don’t know who I am, they want to know because I am Mr. World Bear. It’s been really great meeting everyone. 

RJ: Do you have a particular platform? 

BO: My platform is to represent the forgotten, overlooked and disadvantaged Bears in the community.  I want to change the physical image that we see when we think about what a “Bear” is. Some, myself included do not fit the stereotypical description of what Bear has meant in the past and we should be celebrated as well. In what ways do you think you can help to promote growth or change in the leather and/or bear/cub communities? I have started to reach out to leaders and producers in the Bear community to attempt change in the way we advertise physical body image and race in relation to Bear events. I strongly feel that the work starts there. If people, see an image they can relate to in promotion they are more likely to feel welcome and wanted to be a part of it. 

RJ: What is the most important thing about the bear community for you? 

BO: The most important part of the Bear community for me is space and opportunity to exist in my larger body unapologetically.  The Bear community set me free of social programming I’ve experienced in other LGBTQIA+ spaces where fat shaming and bullying is the culture. 

RJ: What are your plans for your title year? 

BO: My plans after my title year are to continue with my platform because my mission is a lifelong commitment. The work to truly create change will take much longer then a title year and I am determined for that to happen.

Daddie Danger, Buddha Onyx and Alika Alika Keawekane the new World Bear Family. Photo: By Entendre Photography
RJ: What are your plans with your title family?

BO: My title family and I are working on a special series of body positive photo shoots coordinated by Ms. World Bear and plan to attend North American Bear Weekend together. 

RJ: Finally, where will the bear community be able to see, meet and connect with you?

BO: You meet and connect with me at North American Bear Weekend, Leather Leadership Conference, South Plains Leatherfest, International Mr. Leather, Black Gay Pride in London and Folsom Street East.  Any additional appearances will be announced on my social media.

Thanks so Much Buddha, we are excited for your work and your year ahead. Follow Buddha at:

Facebook: Buddhä Onyx  Instagram: @HeMadShort  @PlumpAT FetLife: SirWrapsAlot 
Check out all the new World Bear Family here.

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Richard Jones

Richard is the Co-Founder of Gray Jones Media, the parent company of Bear World Magazine, and was the magazine's creator and editor for its first three and half years. He is busy developing the business in many other directions, but loves coming back to contribute when he can.