You may have seen or heard of YardieKub on Tik Tok if you are on the bear community side of the app, and if you haven’t, today is the day.
Tik Tok: YardieKub
Follower Count: 9224 – but I don’t care about the amount
Current Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Yardie is known for speaking on the tough issues many people do not speak on, but that everyone must hear.
The content he creates resonates with many, and to be honest, if you find yourself offended by what he speaks on, it’s probably time for you to do some self reflection and look in the mirror. The bear community itself has many issues with racism, xenophobia, transphobia, and more, but YardieKub always creates learning opportunities with his videos out of the issues others and even himself face as a person of color.
Take a look at some of his content below:
Inspiration for content:
Build a bear definition:
Build a bear commentary:
Sexualizing a police officer:
Check out the interview with him below!
Bryce Quartz: How are you doing today?
YardieKub: Honestly, as good as I can be in these wild times lol.Tax season is here and the gworls are making my pockets hurt.
BQ: When did you first join Tik Tok?
YK: I joined TikTok in 2020, right when the world completely shut down. I was working through the beginning of the pandemic, and figured it was a good way to entertain myself.
BQ: Did you start creating videos right away, or did you wait a little while before posting your own videos?
YK: I think everyone was learning about what tik tok was, and how it could be used at the time. The only types of content I kept seeing on my for you page in 2020 were dances and influencer based content. So it was a learning curve as to how there might be other avenues for people to create content.
BQ: What would you say the focus of your content is?
YK: My content focuses on a couple things, but mainly the topic of diversity in the Bear Community. The goal is to provide a unique perspective and commentary addressing prejudices that people from marginalized identities face in Bear spaces (IRL and Online) . I hope to provide a space where folx can share their ideas, experiences, and feelings without being confronted with waves of skepticism, aggression and defiance.
I tend to either share stories of my own or stitch pieces of content that I can examine and dissect to bring to life real examples of problematic things people of color face or want eradicated from the scene.
BQ: What has the reception been like to the content that you create?
YK: Either I met with respect, love, and admiration – or I met with hatred and defensiveness. I’ve met wonderful people that have shared similar perspectives and sentiments, while challenging my ideas and philosophies on systemic change. My page may be small, but I would like to think the community we’ve created on Tik Tok is organic and is growing with melanated minds and willing allies working on building meaningful conversations, hopefully leading to a better tomorrow.
On the other hand, I’ve been met with large waves of skepticism on whether my stances have any merit. When you try to have the uncomfy conversations about race, class, and gender to people that can’t see the flaws in the community – it becomes an uphill battle. I’ve had massive false community guidelines reporting of my content, anonymous hate messages on “the apps” and even encountered angry people at bars.
BQ: Have you experienced any downsides to the content you’ve posted before, such as hate comments, and how do you deal with that?
YK: I’ve been called all kinds of racial slurs – which doesn’t necessarily stop me from posting the kind of content I want to. At the same time, I can’t really understand why that has to be the route we want to take in a discussion where there “isn’t”racism in the community apparently. At the same time, that is just the name of the game of being of Color, and putting yourself out there in these internet streets.
BQ: You are a bit well-known for calling out the toxicity around bear culture and in our community. What do you want people to take away from your videos when you call someone out or speak on something that’s important to you?
YK: I want people to understand that there is a difference between calling out and canceling. Calling out is presenting aspects of a behavior that is problematic, speaking to those actions and providing an open dialogue about how we can learn from them. Some might call this a teaching moment, rather than sending someone to detention. Being able to present an example of what we’re trying to overcome as a community, to me, is the best way to get people’s attention and hopefully get them thinking. People throw the term critical thinking a lot, but to actually practice it you have to be challenged – to avoid the comfortable and “default no”, and engage. Race is not a fun thing to talk about, but it governs a lot of things – beauty standards, social hierarchy, and even safety at events. Let’s keep talking.
BQ: People of color and queer people are constantly silenced on Tik Tok for various reasons. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with this, whether it be from the platform itself or from your viewers?
YK: Absolutely, that is the name of the game. When you are facing members of the community that have not taken the time to look outside of their experience, and actively listen to people of difference, you are met with aggressive silencing. People go out of their way to tell me, a Black man, how my Black experience is invalid based on their perceived understanding of their “black friend’s” happiness in the community. The defense mechanism of responding loudly about the house not being on fire, while it’s on fire, seems asinine when you are suffering from 3rd degree burns, Bradley Bear69.
BQ: How can non-POC promote change and growth in this community, whether it’s through Tik Tok, their daily actions, or how they treat those around them in community and interpersonal spaces?
YK: Listen, the best way to help promote change is to not just like Creators of Color, but follow and repost their messages. Algorithms spit back at you what you engage with the most, so if you want to shake up your timeline or FYP, you have to make the effort to diversify what you follow.
This sounds goofy, but actually having conversations with people from different walks of life is the starting point most people don’t take. Think about the 4th Black Lives Matter wave in 2020, how many people felt inspired but didn’t know how to help the Black community? Same goes for the Stop Asian Hate movement, people are left frozen with indecisiveness and have no idea what the communities are facing. Talk to some new faces, make the effort to genuinely get to know some folx.
In addition, go support events that center voices of color. Stay vigilant about the event posters and club promoters politics – are they truly doing enough? Is your favorite bear bar including multiple genres of music in its touch tunes? Is there only white Meg on the walls? Is it trans friendly? Ask yourself these questions and engage with your surroundings.
I do want to say that there should be an important distinction on who should be doing the work. Everyone should be doing the work to dismantle racism – and what I mean is that POC is a blanket term that doesnt leave room for nuance. People of color can participate in white supremacy, because it is fully entrenched in most social dynamics. It takes a village of radical thinkers to strengthen the bear community.
BQ: Do you have any advice for others who might want to start making their own content but might not feel as confident yet?
YK: Take your time, and listen to your intuition. Make content that reflects who you truly are, because that is what cuts through the noise. Social media is meant to be social – share something that you are comfortable with, and lean into that. We stare into these little black mirrors that tend to warp our sense of reality. If you can’t recognize the self that you are putting out to the world, then it becomes risky.
If you want to dance because that brings you joy, then twerk baby twerk. If you want to make people laugh, then make the people holler. If you want to share your music, then let us hear it. Be you.
BQ: What do you like to do outside of Tik Tok?
YK: I make music under the artist name JesseParadice, you can find me on all streaming services. Other than that, I dabble into some nerdy stuff like yugioh, magic the gathering, and taking photos with my polaroid camera. Ok, I also like to hang out at Target because i’m a what….homoseshhhual. HI GAY.
BQ: Who are some of your other favorite content creators?
YK: Here are some Tik Tokers that I fully endorse (in no particular order): @mister.larrie @Majinb33f @thequinlamar @tripleminor @novaluxurious @philoceraptor @itsnachooooo @xandernews @_brodeurtok_ @albear_official @benxiii13 @mayfieldreally @morefunwithbears @gayantiracist @codydoesntknow @ohheydj @imj0shingu @acedadadvice @teofurgeson @swag_4_life @ronene9
BQ: Where else can we find you on social media besides Tik Tok?
YK: Instagram: @YardieKub and Twitter: KubYardie
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us, YardieKub!