BWM Awards

Meet the Nominees: Best Bear Personality

Voting is now open for the second annual Bear World Magazine Awards presented by Bike Athletic in association with Growlr App and the Crown & Anchor.

Take a minute to get to know the nominees for Best Bear Personality. Then be sure cast your vote by April 30th!

Nigel Battle

Best attribute: My best attribute is my confidence. I’ve worked really hard to get to this level of it and it’s something I wear and teach very proudly.

Fave thing about being a bear: Warmer winters and cuddlier cuddles!

Describe your personality: Loving, resilient, inspiring, & iconically sexy

Why you’re a good choice to represent the community: I wanna show people that confidence comes in so many forms and to own every bit of who they are no matter what. By representing the community, I will inspire the community and we will go on that journey together.

Learn more at: @nigelbattleofficial on Instagram and Nigel Battle on YouTube

Marquis the Honey Bear

Best attribute: My extremely sensitive nippl— I mean my fashion! I grew up pretty religious; and fashion felt like it was my main outlet to rebel and express my queerness, flamboyance, and femininity. I love how it introduces me as confidently curvy before I can verbally introduce myself. Fashion is joy, that’s why I love yellow so much, it radiates joy. Also yellow grabs attention, and my sensitive nipples and I, love attention!

Fave thing about being a bear: I love being a bear because my weight helps me to stand my ground against the Santa Ana winds. Besides that, I love being big with other people who love being big! The solidarity of being fat and comfortable with that among others that feel the same is a multifaceted connection that I never tire of. Mutual belly rubs are the eighth wonder of the world.

Describe your personality: Quirky, but not in the Zooey Deschanel way, more in the: I communicate in mostly bits and there’s usually something on my face that I don’t notice until I get home. Maybe that is in the Zooey Deschanel way? I’m very self-assured, excitable, and extremely sensitive (not the nipples this time, I mean my heart).

Why you’re a good choice to represent the community: My bearhood has been discredited on the grounds of my blackness many times, so being in a position to represent the bear community is always a nuanced experience for me. As someone who held the title of Mr. Bear LA 2023 last year, I know the power of visibility. I represent the community by loving myself unapologetically, by believing my sexiness more than anyone else. That act reflects outwards, and I’d love to encourage others to feel the same as I do, especially black bears.

Learn more at: @marquishoneybear on Instagram; @marquishoney on X (formerly Twitter) and TikTok. And I’m about to begin a crowdfunding campaign for a short film that I’m the writer, producer, and lead actor for. So please donate and support cinema!

Joe Martone

Best attribute: My belly! I’ve had it for a long time. I haven’t always loved it, but embracing it was a game changer. My belly has helped me find friends, filter out shallow people, kept me grounded and helped me find my own strength. I’m the man I am today because of my belly.

Fave thing about being a bear: The liberation! Being queer is the ultimate realization that society is all made up, the points don’t matter. Being a bear? Even more so. We don’t conform to the aesthetic standard demanded of idealized gay or straight men. We are our own creation—owning that allows us to move through life freely and with more joy than most others know.

Describe your personality: I’m a goddamn delight!I’m a big bear in a big world trying to help as many friends as I can. I’m pretty and witty, but I try to lead with empathy and compassion. You need a joke? I got a joke. You need someone who can sit down and listen? You have my ears, both of them. I got you.

Why you’re a good choice to represent the community: I love my people. Being a bear is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. My life is a celebration. Getting that extra cherry on top would be incredibly humbling, and more validating than I care to admit.

Learn more at: @laviejoem on all major platforms

Tony Randel

Best attribute: I think my best attribute is my sense of humor. I can honestly say if someone hangs out with me the one thing we gonna do is laugh!

Fave thing about being a bear: The body-positive atmosphere. I always gravitated to the bear community because of how comfortable it made me feel about my body, even when I was thinner.

Describe your personality: I call myself the coolest gay dude you will ever meet. I think just being cool is something gay men have gotten away from. They think it’s better to be caddy or flamboyant to garner attention. I prefer the cool factor. 😎  

Why you’re a good choice to represent the community: I think it’s a DEI situation (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion). I represent a lot of different demographics. That shows other older men we’re still relevant. Also being a bear of color shows other POC the bear community welcomes everyone. Lastly, the things I have accomplished. Being the first Black person to be Mr. Fire Island Bear. Being the first on For the Love of DILFs to represent bears and plus size men and of course my event I hold every month in NYC that caters to bears of color but is inclusive to all.

Learn more at: @randeltoney on Instagram

The Real Housebears – Hunter Harden and Papa the Bear

Best attribute: Our best attribute would probably be our relationship. During Quarantine we realized that we could spend 24/7 together for months on end and actually fall deeper in love. We learned how to communicate with each other, and even our arguments now turn out healthy. This translates through our podcast when we talk about the Housewives as well as our own experiences. Anyone who knows us or listens to us appreciates our relationship and our chemistry more than anything else that we do or say. 

Fave thing about being a bear: I know it sounds cheesy, but the bear community saved our lives. We grew up hating ourselves for our body hair and size. We felt completely unlovable. Now that we found a community where we feel like we belong, we are able to let our bellies hang out along with the copious amount of fur that covers our bodies and feel celebrated for it. We get petted everywhere we go, which is a nice feeling.

Describe your personality: Hunter: “creative, anxious, day dreamer”; Papa the Bear: “protector, lover, thoughtful”

Why you’re a good choice to represent the community: We both have been representing the bear community over the years as models, gogo dancers, podcasters, and through charity events. We both have modeled with big photographers in the bear community which made us well known. We host many bear events in the States as well as Mexico and Canada. At these events we get to meet and learn about how diverse and talented our community is. 

We also see how some don’t feel included or have insecurities that hinder them from enjoying the experience. The one thing we hear the most from new friends we meet is, “Thank you for talking with me. People that look like you don’t talk to me.” It’s disheartening to hear this so often. We are fascinated by what makes people unique. We love to especially meet people who seem the opposite of us. You never know how much it could change that person’s day, or your own to talk to a stranger and make a new friend. 

Learn more at: You can find us anywhere you listen to your podcasts as “The Real HouseBears.” You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube & Instagram @ TheRealHouseBears; X (formerly Twitter) @ RealHouseBears

Joseph Schles

Best attribute: Depends on who you ask. I think some guys might say my belly, some guys might say “that ass,” most guys would probably say “who the hell is Joseph Schles?” But I’d probably say my sense of humor.

Fave thing about being a bear: I love being in a part of the gay community that doesn’t make me feel ashamed for wanting a snack and hanging with guys that would be down to split dessert with me after dinner. I also like getting belly rubs and scratching hairy chests.

Describe your personality: I would describe my personality as a Cam from Modern Family sun, a Samwise Gamgee rising, and a Sadness from Inside Out moon. (And my Venus is in Samantha from Sex and the City.)

Why you’re a good choice to represent the community: I’m not, but since when have the gays been known to make good choices? But in all seriousness, I’d be a good choice because… that ass.

Learn more at: @josephschles on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook & X. My comedy album, Soliciting D*ck Pics, is streaming everywhere. Keep an eye on my Instagram to see when and where my upcoming shows are.

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One thought on “Meet the Nominees: Best Bear Personality

  • Joseph Schles is my bear.rr

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