In this interview with Daniel Lima, he explains his journey as a powerlifter, his first experiences in the bear community and navigating the community as a bear of color. Daniel Lima is more than meets the eye when it comes to muscle and personality his journey to the person he is today is inspiring and a must-read.
Actually I just wanted to be strong, since I was like 5, and realized I was gay, I decided that I should become strong so the world wouldn’t be able to hurt me, so at the time I started powerlifting I really wanted to do strongman, but the only thing available in my area was powerlifting, so I went for it. Later on I started strongman as well at a gym in a nearby city.
No, just a way to reach my goal of getting bigger and stronger, I’ve thought about competing, but there’s an incredible amount of drama in the powerlifting and strongman communities, lots of ego fights fights and many people wanting to claim any title just for the sake of pride. Not to mention the lingering homophobia, so I decided I don’t need this type of thing in my life, so I just do it for myself and to be able to protect myself.
Not yet, I’ve been fond of the strongman competitions more than powerlifting, but in general I don’t really feel compelled to compete due to the mentioned reasons... But I will compete in a local strongman event in march as a newcomer, nothing serious for now, just a friendly event.
There are many guys I admire for their strength (and consequently their looks lol), but apart from the usual Eddie Hall, Brian Shaw, Chris McNaghten and such, I can’t really recall names... I suck at names lol. I usually like their feats of strength when I see it, but I don’t really tend to swoon over people in general
It depends, I usually do 3 powerlifting trainings and a strongman training every week, the powerlifting workouts normally focus in the main exercise followed by a general workout for that muscle group, like bench press followed by several chest and triceps exercises. For the strongman, it really depends. Usually it’s some core exercises followed by a medley of them just like in a competition.
B.O.N.C (Bear Of Neon Color) Gallery
Disclaimer: (All rights to these photos belongs to Daniel Lima im using these photos for promotional purposes only)
Well, long story short, I knew I was gay since I was very young, but once I understood that I was different and how that would be seen by the world, I pretty much felt like I had no hopes of having a future in love, so I dug into books and ignored my affectionate/romantic side... It worked for a while, until I was 20 and fell in love with a college friend, then I had to face myself. After many sleepless nights, lots of crying, overwhelming depression and two suicide attempts... I understood that what I was feeling was not coming from inside me... the guilt that I had was being imposed upon me by the exterior, by the society... at that moment I said “fuck them” and decided to live by my own truth.
It was OK, less because gay and more because color... Brazil has it’s population mainly made of mixed people, so the race divide is not as strong as in US... but that doesn’t mean we are racism free... while I did had some racist slurs and acts made toward me in the past, they were not really linked with my gay side, since I ignored it and put it away in my mind, so I was able to conceal it for the most part.
I think I was around 14 years old when I saw a guy going to a talk show and talking about the bear community, at that moment me and my teenage mind discovered that this was what I felt attracted to, it finally had a name for me to look for, I remember that right after the interview I entered the Brazilian bear site mentioned, but I didn’t really made an account, despite being underage at the time, for me it was like looking at a gate and fearing crossing it, all I had the courage to do was to look at it and wonder what was in the other side. A couple years later I finally decided to give it a try, and here we are now lol
Brazilian bear community in a way is still too rooted on some values that we are trying to get rid of, mainly toxic masculinity, I feel the sense of what a bear is, arrived here in the mid 90’s embracing the masculine gay and forgetting the inclusive gay part, to the point that some of the first bears here divided because some would defend bears as being exclusively the masculine guys... you know, the same “no fems” bullshit, but in the 90’s... but there were some good people and I had the honor of knowing some of them later in when I joined the community for real. Today it is better but certainly there is still much to fight for. There are still many far right bears that go with those “anti fem” crap, I have no idea how those guys can be gay and defend homophobic politicians and people that want us dead by any means... it’s an everyday fight, but we’re trying... apart from that, bear community here express itself in a smaller scale than European or north American communities, we don’t really have bear runs, or big bear events that could be compared to an TBRU or bear week, even though we do have some bear bars, and even an official Eagle São Paulo, bear entertainment is restricted mainly to bear parties at clubs and occasionally pool parties, which by the way are very shy compared to US ones, I remember when I went to a bear pool party in Long Beach once, and I saw people naked or hooking up freely and that was shocking and amusing at the same time, I never saw that before here, but I did enjoy the view... you don’t see that here, people are mostly shy to do those stuff... they should learn a bit with the American bears haha...
A big, burly, bearded guy... there was a time I’d say masculine as well, but luckly life teach us lessons... after being in bed with one of the most effeminate and hot bears in here once, it definetly showed me that a bear can be fem, hot and rock my world... it taught me things about myself I didn’t even know... one of the best hook ups ever in my list. From that day on, being masculine lost all the meaning to me and I fully embraced fem guys as being attractive to me as well
January 23rd 2010, it was the day that I decided to step out of the online and try to go to a bear party here in São Paulo, it was magical, liberating and by the end of the night I couldn’t believe I had my first kiss with a guy that was so hot to me it gave me blue balls that day, I remember looking at a sea of men being themselves, kissing and being free, it was exciting, like a jolt of life I had never felt before. To this day Erasure’s A Little Respect still sounds to me like a hymn of that magical day in my life.
I was not actually, lol... I mean, I have been through many different stages of thin/fat in my life, by the time I decided to step into the community, I was on the thinner side since I had just lost weight from entering the gym during my self acceptance phase, so many guys would not be into me, and I did have lots of rejection from that time, I did have some bad experiences to the extent of people saying I couldn’t do this or that because “I was not bear enough”... i wouldn’t be welcome in the clique and such... due to the powerlifting and strongman, I started gaining weight, not intentionally, it just happened, and I’m happy with it... today guys that weren’t into me before, give me a second look, and that is still baffling to me. It does make me enjoy who I am today with a grain of salt maybe... sometimes I do have doubts if I’m even a bear, not only because of this past experiences, but also because many guys look as being a bear as being the white european lumberjack standard that we see in the media... so... the “am I a bear?” question lingers every now and then for me... for the most part I think I am... or at least I hope so...
In the books yes, in reality no... I mean, socially yes many people would defend bears of color and befriend them, but when it comes to the attraction part, you basically have three groups of people, those that in fact are also attracted to black bears, those that have “no blacks” in their profiles and those that are attracted to you because of the big black dick stereotype hoping you have a 15 inch cock ready to drill them to bits... I mean, I understand fetishes and even the bear thing itself is a way of fetish, and that’s ok, but there are some people that will look at you as an object to fulfill their fantasy... For those “not into blacks” they not always are visible, and the racism gets expressed in many other forms, I’ve lost count on the times I suffered racism in the bear community, the last one being a guy with no profile pic randomly calling me stinky monkey out of the blue just last week. Sometimes racism is in the lack of diversity, I recently called out online a chilean brand of bear apparel because they had a photoshoot of their debut clothing line, and while the clothes were nice, the photoshoot had white guys only... it wasn’t just that, they were exactly like clones of each other to the point it was cringy, when confronted about it they said the guys just happened to be friends that were available to do the shooting, and I don’t buy that for two reasons, one, there were people brought from overseas for that shoot, people from US, and two, you don’t just happen to have over 20 bears for a photoshoot all together and they all just happen to be clones... it wasn’t one, or two guys... it was over 20... this was a deliberate decision to put white guys only. Not even asian guys too... so, this sort of standard in the bear media is damaging to those that aren’t in this stereotype being sold as the attractive standard... do the test yourself, pick any random 10 bear media pictures like party flyers, fan art, magazine cover or anything like that... any random 10 and check how many of those guys are white, how many are black, how many are asian, or whatever looks you can think of... you’ll find out that in most cases we are left out. We are never sold as a sexual attraction standard... just go and check your super hot/most viewed/most woofed list on growlr and tell me how many of those guys are people of color..
Once you find a reliable group of friends, there is a sense of brotherhood that you can go by, I have friends from all over that we visit every time, so that’s a good aspect of it for sure.
The lingering toxic masculinity and people trying to segregate and exclude others for not falling on what they consider to be a bear, which is the exact opposite of what the bear community was all about in the beginning.
That we are just a bunch of fat slobs maybe? Lol... To be honest I can’t really say for sure, I talk about the bear community to my non bear friends, but usually they cringe more from the fetishes that I expose them than from the bears themselves... I think they are ok with the bears haha
It is becoming mainstream, in a bad way, while it’s ok to be seen and known, at the same time some people blur the lines in a negative way... you often see people that are regular, 100 pounds skinny thin gay guys with half a dozen hair in their chest calling themselves bears, and even though being inclusive is the essence of the bear community, you see said guys turning to real bears and saying things like: “you’re not a bear, you’re just fat”... that’s when it is not ok, and starts to undermine all that we have fought for.
Daniel Lima Gallery
Disclaimer: (All rights to these photos belongs to Daniel Lima, im using these photos for promotional purposes only)
Anything outside your local community, or even country. It’s good to have different references of communities so we don’t fall in a bubble
I love my arms and pecs, I definitely work hard for them.
Belly and beard for sure, they drive me crazy, the eyes too... but I’m a sucker for a big beard and a round belly lol
Hopefully in another country, married and with some job stability, lol
I hope we overcome the hardships we face today, specially regarding the racism in the community, it will be 2030 people, act like it...
Disclaimer: (All rights to these videos belongs to Daniel Lima, im using these videos for promotional purposes only)
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