The list for 2019’s Bears You Should Know has officially arrived.
The notable things that these men do go beyond their physical attractiveness. That’s not the purpose of this list. My goal in doing this each year is to find charismatic and interesting individuals who are excelling not only in their professions but in life as well.
Each of these guys possesses something inspiring, something that hopefully our entire community can view as something positive. That was the case for the 2017 and 2018 group and is certainly the same for this year.
All the guys gave interesting tidbits on who they are and what they have done for the community. Here are, in no particular order, the list for 2019’s Bears You Should Know.
Kade Schmidt. Mount Vernon, Ohio
Small town gay + big time heart and a keen eye for something sweet. That's what you get with Kade, whose profession as an innkeeper at the Mount Vernon Inn in the town of the same name has helped him become a massive star on social media. Instead of posting the usual selfies many of us do, Kade fills his social media with delicious breakfast pastries that are readily available at his inn. His "underwhelming" baking videos (his words, not mine) have caught so much attention that he's actually been in a ton of local promotional videos. Oh, and he's cute! A guy who can cook and is adorable… sign me up.
Corey Craig. New York, New York
Corey and his DJ’ing skills have earned him worldwide recognition for several years now that go far and beyond our humble abode of Manhattan. 2019 alone will find him continuing to tour with Joe Whittaker’s legendary DILF PARTY as well as Daniel Nardicio’s infamous Underwear Parties in Fire Island, both of which are extremely body-positive. He’s also gotten his health in check recently, losing over 50 pounds so far thanks to the Orbera Balloon which has made him look more fabulous than ever. More on Corey here.
Randy Addison. Split between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia
Randy, just like Corey, excels at more than just one thing. He’s a well-known photographer and owner of Helmet Hairworx, the latter of which he’s been behind for 15 years. His mission in Helmet Hairworx is to serve his diverse community with “high intention.” This includes them donating services and products to many schools, causes, and organizations in Atlanta. His photography is simply stunning as well, as he’s able to masterfully capture each of his subjects behind the lens beautifully. More on Randy here.
Sean Mulligan. Orlando, Florida
If parties are your thing and Florida is a favorite vacation spot for you, then Sean is your guy. He was the co-founder and organizer of Orlando Bear Bash from 2010-2013, which helped raise funds for several local charities like The Center Orlando (provides services to the Central Florida LGBT community) and The Hope and Help Center of Center Florida (provides health and wellness through free HIV testing and referrals for STD screenings). He’s also an outspoken social media personality who calls out bigoted people within our community and helps ones who have been ostracized due to their race, being trans, and more. More on Sean here.
Leonardo Gutierrez. Santiago, Chile
Gay clothing lines tend to only market to skinnier dudes, with many men feeling left out in the process. Leonardo did a complete 180 on that and created his own amazing line called Oso Apparel, which is dedicated to the bear and bear-aficionado in mind. His creativity in each piece of clothing is simply awe-inspiring, especially with The Super Smash Brothers series that takes characters like Bowser, Luigi and more and gives them a fantastic gay appeal that resonates with our LGBTQ community. Oso Apparel has gotten so popular that they debuted a limited Pride collection last June… where 100 percent of the proceeds went to the LA LGBT Center. They will also be making their way to Folsom later this year. Sky seems to be the limit for Leonardo and his booming brand. More on Leonardo here.
Hunter Harden. Salt Lake City, Utah
Hunter is the name on everyone’s lips. RuPaul’s Drag Race legends Trixie Mattel and Ginger Minj both admitted to him being their man crush… and can anyone blame them? Hunter has risen in the ranks in the world of male modeling, shooting for legendary men like Michael Alago and working with companies like Marek+Richard. The 32-year-old, who is planning on starting his own podcast soon that will discuss all facets about the gay community, is also passionate about body positivity when it comes to men embracing their body hair. I can see this turning into a movement for men who are furry given just how damn good he looks with it. More on Hunter here.
Charlie Harding. Palm Springs, California
Charlie is a man of many swords. He’s a Proud SAG-Aftra actor, the star of UNDERGROUND for HERE! TV (gay travel series focusing on fun places to eat, kinks, where to cruise, etc), lead singer in the gay band Probe7 with fellow Bears You Should Know Brent Heinze (80’s synth influenced music with a primary message of inspiration and sex positivity), host and emcee for various events, painter of modern abstract art utilizing recycled canvases, general manager of Varsity Gay League Palm Springs and more. Does this dude ever sleep? Interesting thing is that he’s great at all that he does. Consider him the Harvard grad of being gay. More on Charlie here.
Jesse Miklos. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If they ever do an interior design series with a hot and hairy dude, then Jesse should be its star. Jesse remodels houses for several members of the gay community in Broward County with one of his friends, where his goal for each is to make each of their dreams come true when all is said and done. So real estate, happiness and a cute guy? Sold. More on Jesse here.
Landon Ang. San Francisco, California
Cute construction worker cub in San Fran? Yes please! Landon is one of the nicest and friendliest men you will ever meet, who also happens to be an incredibly hard worker professionally. He’s currently finishing up the last phase of a new subway project in SF, helping to develop a rich, culturally gay city even further. He’s also a major advocate for more visibility of Asian men in the gay community, especially the bear portion as he represented his race in a major photo shoot for Provincetown Bear Week and marched in the 2016 Taiwan Pride Parade to promote the marriage equality vote there. More on Landon here.
Terry Blas. Portland, Oregon
Terry is one of the most talented illustrators and artists out there. The Portland local is the brains behind the popular web series Briar Hollow, which has been going on for almost a decade at this point. Not only that, but he has also worked on the comics for iconic television series like Adventure Time and Rick and Morty. His first book, Dead Weight, a queer murder mystery at a fat camp, is out now and his second one, Hotel Dare, which is a Mexican themed, fantasy adventure, will be available in April. His hope is that by bringing visibility to the largest minority group in the country (Latinos) and by having queer characters in his work that it will help people who feel like they haven't been seen or represented feel otherwise. More on Terry here.
Adam Ross. San Francisco, California
If watching a handsome guy curate some incredible stories in a fun city, then Adam Ross is your guy. His fiction and non-fiction storytelling is something that has been in Adam’s life for several years, dating all the way back to 4th grade. The stories he tells are primarily gay-themed, however they are ones that straight people can enjoy and appreciate so they don’t feel like the kid that doesn’t belong. There’s a lot going on for Adam in his burgeoning career, like turning his real-life story into a dramatized short film. It’s about how he discovered that his biological father was a popular actor of the 1950’s and 60’s named Hugh O’Brian of Wyatt Earp fame. It’s something that his mother didn’t even know until she told him two years ago. Plot twist! More on Adam here.
Jason Radlinger. Washington D.C.
Like a business daddy? Jason is your guy. His 9-5 involves doing marketing strategy for several live events as well as online training, webinars and professional certifications for the banking industry. He’s also been a massive support in our community by volunteering with charities that focus on bettering our brethren. On top of all of that, Jason happens to be partnered with the super talented chef Jonathan Bardzik, who was featured in our 2017 list! He calls himself Jonathan’s “emotional support” and “professional dishwasher”. Hehe.
Ryan Acosta. Miami, FL
Ryan has made gay history at only 27 years old by being the first ever Mister Key West Bear. He is working hard at setting a standard for future titleholders after him while continuing to represent the bear community in Key West to the fullest. This includes hosting events that will celebrate guys who are “fuzzy, chunky and sexy” according to him. He also goes out there to fight the HIV stigma that plagues our community by trying to educate the public on what undetectable (untransmittable) really means. His hope is that the stigma related to the disease will soon be a thing of the past and people living with it can live in a world that doesn’t include any fear of ignorance. More on Ryan here.
Brent Heinze. Palm Springs, CA
Brent has been a psychotherapist for over 13 years now with an emphasis on working with gay men and non-traditional relationships. Outside of his fascinating career he’s owns two non-profit organizations: Lokusdor Productions, which creates creative fundraising opportunities through event productions like live music festivals and fetish balls to support LGBTQ and sex-positive charitable organizations, and Perspective Shift, which provides educational and community-focused workshops, groups and social activities designed to address issues impacting gay men. He’s also one half of the gay band Probe7 with Charlie Harding, which was mentioned earlier. More on Brent here.
Andrew Padilla. Fort Lee, NJ.
We need more LGBT rock musicians in this world, and Andrew could definitely be the next big thing in that arena. He’s currently working on an album with his group Close The Circle that is expected to take flight very soon. The album, according to Andrew, is a combination of his group’s lives and the life of what society is dealing with in its current timeline, but with some story driven compositions that people will want to hear. Music is something that is quite the passion for him, as he pours his heart out on stage each and every time he gets up there. It’s something he considers “therapeutic.” More on Andrew here.
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.