In the beginning there was a call
The BERGBÄREN history

It must have been circa 17.30 h on November 11th, 1995 in San Francisco, when the phone were ringing at the Brush Creek Media Corporation and the editor was informed about a new bear group. After he noticed the word "Wuppertal", a new bear group was born: The BERGBÄREN...


In this city with 380,000 inhabitants and the suspension railway from where was called, the first 2½ hours of November 12th, 1995 passed when the "starting shot" was going around the world. Marcel Laaser and his lover this time, Wolfgang, turned another night into day and made a firm plan to realize the project "BERGBÄREN". The first step was done: the BERGBÄREN were registrated by the greatest and this time's only Bear magazine.

In the next step they should become regularly meetings. There was no better date then like the great cut up to January 1st,1996.
Unfortunately there came another way: Wolfgang left Marcel and went back to his ex. Marcel fell down into a heavily psychical crisis. The first three meetings in January and February 1996 were poor frequented and the last for the next 1½ years.

Put on ice...

1996 and the first half of 1997 the "project BERGBÄREN" got down into a long somnolence. They were getting letters from other Bear groups - mostly american - , but about the BÄREN themselves became quiet.
After a short intermezzo with Achim Marcel found in Michael a new and lasting lover, but them both really got other problems. Michael shortly after being nearly dead had to clear his old company's modalities for moving from Berlin to Wuppertal without problems. Marcel did his civilian service and had stress enough with, because the hospital station he worked for didn't like him. Then they moved from Hindenburgstraße 74, where both only had 20 m², to Hellerstraße 13. But they still took time for the CSD on July 6th, 1997 in Cologne, where the BERGBÄREN woke up to new life.


Now there came one to another. Until a few days Marcel called many people together wo were interested in a Bear group in the Bergisch Land. The original termination (every 1st and 3rd Friday a month) were taken over and added by a sauna date after the Cologne model. On August 1st, 1997 at 21 h it has been finished: the first meeting after more than 17 months could begin in the same bar like in 1996 - "Bei Achim"!
More and more problems with their landlord forced Marcel & Micha to move (and so the BERGBÄREN did) to Ostersbaum 18. And - like that wasn't enough - "Achim" closed down in December 1997. The look for a new meeting point brought the BERGBÄREN to "Marlene", where many Bears couldn't take place however. So the BÄREN moved to "Rick's", defining itself as "mixed", but came out as an hetero bar by the months. It wasn't on the owners anyway; they did all what they could for arranging the BERGBÄREN stay as pleasant as possible. After the group shrinked down to minimal frequence, Marcel "pulled the emergency brake": he moved the meeting point to this time's only acceptable Wuppertal gay bar - "Keller Club (KC)".
By changing from 1998 to 1999 a new activity was introduced: Who likes to walk could do that now even with the BERGBÄREN. The first quarter of 1999 has its fixed excursion dates. If there will come more depends on the interest.

Since March 2nd, 1999 the BERGBÄREN are on the web. That opened many new gates, new worlds. The BERGBÄREN and all other Bear groups world wide get the chance to connect, inform, contact and support each other. The world's getting smaller, and the "Bear community" just will - has to - save its place into the digital tomorrow's world...

Future prospects

The new milennium the BERGBÄREN surely will experience, but what will come else nobody knows. But it seems that the BERGBÄREN were well prepared for the unknown way. In each case the members of the BERGBÄREN decide if this group can survive or if it fail. It's up to you. Just like every group the BERGBÄREN live by join in. And we're looking forward to find out that the BERGBÄREN with this turbulent history many Bears have grown fond to continue development. May destiny be well-meaning to us...

Details of our previous activities