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Bear Necessities: An insider’s look at an atypical gay culture and community

Atlanta's Bear community

It’s 7 p.m. on Friday at a strip mall Starbucks in Tucker, Ga.

There are eight men gathered around a table wearing an eclectic mix of standard wardrobe choices. Several look like they could be on their way to a golf course, others are more casual in jeans. One looks like he might be headed to a cruise ship after finishing his iced coffee.

The youngest is in his 20s, the oldest in his 50s, and though they’re all what you might call “stout,” their builds vary from husky to just plain big. They gather three or four times a month, and tonight happens to be coffee talk and dinner. You can tell they’re close, quickly playing off each other’s jokes and poking fun in ways only friends can.

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Mixx it up

Bear cocktails at Mixx and trivia at Joe's on Juniper highlight tonight's nightlife options