If big boys with bounce get your attention then Brussels is a destination that should probably be on your travel wish-list.
Belgium Bear Pride is a major event for the city’s queer community. The dates that you need in your diary for 2023 are 27 September – 1 October.
Do you want to get involved? Do you want to greet the meat? Let’s take a look at what’s being served at this buffet of beef.
What happens at Bear Pride in Brussels?
This will be the 13th edition of Bear Pride in Belgium – each year the event continues to grow, bringing together men from across Europe.
“We’re expecting around 2,000 people to participate in our events…” explains Dmitri De Vreeze – one of the organisers of Bear Pride. “We have a solid group here in Brussels, we take care of each other. but our network is also very strong with other Bear communities across Europe. Bear Pride will attract a lot of guys from Amsterdam, Paris, Cologne, and Luxembourg.”
“Ever since I was very young, I’ve felt most comfortable being around guys that are bears…” adds Dmitri “Bears don’t judge how you look, and no one expects you to have a ‘perfect’ body. Plus, it’s often the social side of things that attracts people to the bear community. Bears are social guys, we’re interested in culture, and we’re very welcoming.”
Mister Bear Belgium
After a big programme of events and parties, the climax of Bear Pride in Brussels will be the election of Mister Bear Belgium.
Five men have thrown their hat into the ring for this year’s contest. They’re vying to take the crown from current titleholder, Johnny Verburg.
“One of the main reasons I decided to enter Mister Bear Belgium is because I was at a point where I felt insecure about my body…” explains Johnny, when we talked to him about the event. “I wanted to convince myself that I really can be myself, that you don’t have to be ashamed about your body – that’s a beautiful thing to feel. It seems that everyone is always ready with an opinion about your body. The secret is not to listen to them but to just follow your heart. Everyone is handsome in their own way, and everyone is unique in the world.”
Is Brussels a good place to be a bear?
“If we were ever going to have a place in Europe where a Bear can be the Bear he dreams, it definitely should be the capital of Europe…” explains Damien – a former titleholder of Mister Bear Belgium. “Brussels is a multi-city – cultural, gender, gastronomy, cruising, lingual. This is a great place to meet a lot of different bears – as well as guys that aren’t bears. Brussels is a city where everyone can be themselves, discover and experience the life that they want. The Bear community is well-known for being open-minded and welcoming. Any new Bear in town will easily find new friends.”
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