An attempt to revive South Florida’s fractured bear community is underway.
Bearsurrection Fort Lauderdale, per its website, is an organization seeking to promote cultural diversity in the LGBT community.
“We are a group of local young visionary entrepreneurs joining efforts and dedicated to bring a unique event for the local community and promote the City of Fort Lauderdale, an event that will place us at the level of International Bear events currently happening every year in countries such as Spain, Germany and Australia (among others), and other events throughout the United States, Central and South America,” reads part of the organization’s mission statement.
It’s no secret South Florida’s bear community has experienced problems in producing a large scale event. Beach Bear Weekend, under the direction of Bob Young, tangled with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau over funding and was eventually acquired by Craig Jungwirth, an Orlando man, with a checkered past.
Jungwirth was arrested by federal agents last year and accused of posting threatening messages against the LGBT community on social media. Those charges were dropped, however, when prosecutors could not link the threatening posts to Jungwirth.
Related: Feds Drop Charges Against Jungwirth
Stepping into the vacuum created by Jungwirth is Bearsurrection Fort Lauderdale which is partnering with several local bars to produce a weeklong event.
The Big Coconut, a newly renovated gay men’s guesthouse on Sunrise Blvd., is hosting Bearsurrection attendees.
“We’re providing rooms,” said David Medici, Big Coconut manager.
Medici said the Big Coconut is “new on the block” with 17 rooms and swimming pool. A former motel renovated into a private guesthouse for gay men, Big Coconut opened for business on Oct. 1 of last year, said Medici.
Bolstering Bearsurrection Fort Lauderdale’s stature is a sponsorship from SAVE, a South Florida LGBT rights organization. SAVE sent out an email on Tuesday announcing its sponsorship of the weeklong event and noting a portion of Bearsurrection proceeds would benefit SAVE.
For an events schedule or more information, visit Bearsurrection.com