Berets, bears and braids!
Whilst the avalanche of social and political online conversations last year certainly came with their flaws and hypocrises, they also opened up the way for exciting and innovative new ideas to take shape.
Riot Bear is one of those ideas. An online media platform, it melds fashion with art and photography to give a thoughtful, introspective and aesthetically stunning voice to gay and queer men with unconventional bodies. The shoot with this week’s QX cover star Eliot Glazer was overseen by them.
We spoke to Editor-In-Chief James Anthony about Riot Bear’s ethos, and what he aims to achieve.
Hey James! So what made you want to start Riot Bear?
As queer people, we need to create space for a spectrum of identity and self-expression: to be bold and brave examples of personal liberation and public solidarity. Now, we know everyone has the right to their own thing, but if you think your way is the only way just means you’re part of the problem. It means you’re just like the Trumpers.
We’ve heard Riot Bear aims to be an antidote to anxiety and depression…it’s a huge problem for young people at the moment. Why do you think that is?
We all love fun and games, but we also need to get serious when necessary, for ourselves and for others. We cannot be afraid to get the fuck real. There are dark places we end up if we do not tend to mental, emotional and physical health. Self-destruction can seem sexy and glamorous until it isn’t.
Because we need to be the solution for the world at large. A shining beacon of community. inclusiveness and love. The LGBTQ community are fucking unicorns. Young, old, short, tall, skinny and fat… All magical. We must continue to change the world. Period.
Were you inspired by anyone/anything when you were putting together Riot Bear?
All the Brooklyn children. All the boys and men who have great style and love their bodies. All the talent. All the self-expression. All the irony. All the boys who aren’t afraid to be femme. All the tattoos. All the beards.
We find them mostly through our Instagram. It’s the perfect tool for connecting with like-minded people.
What are your goals for it in terms of fashion?
Inspiration. Aspiration. To hopefully impart new ideas and concepts in style for our readers, especially big boys (our favorite).
And what are your plans for the future?
To continue to tell peoples stories and create strong images. We’re also planning video series…. Conversations and style tips. Stay tuned.
Follow Riot Bear on Instagram @riotbear or head to their website, riotbear.com