The chubby community is a subculture in the gay community. Chubbies (or "chubs") are gay men who are overweight or obese. Although there is some overlap between the chubby community and the bear community, the chubby culture is its own distinct subculture and community. It is somewhat parallel to the fat admirer subculture which centers around Big Beautiful Women. The latter subculture is primarily heterosexual, and there is some overlap with the fat acceptance movement.
There are bars, organizations and social events specifically catering to this subculture. This allows for members of the community to socialize with each other and develop social networks.
In the last several years, large regional social events have developed. They often feature pageants (much like beauty pagents but more sexual in attitude) where titles are given to winners, like "Mr. Chubby International" and "Mr. Chaser International". In the United States, there is an annual national event, Convergence, as well as several annual regional gatherings. There is also an annual event in Europe called European Big Men's Convergence. These events are held in different cities each year and are usually hosted by that city's local big men's organization.
These definitions are general in nature; specific definitions may vary depending on the perspective of the individual.
- Chubby or chub - A chub is defined as a large, overweight, or obese man
- Superchub - A chub who is extremely large
- Bear - a man with a stocky or heavyset build; typically hairy body and facial hair; often older (or older looking) and displaying a masculine appearance and mannerisms
- Daddy - an older man, usually a bear
- Cub - a younger version of a bear
- Chubby chaser - A man who is of smaller body size and/or stature who is sexually or romantically attracted to chubs or bears. The term chaser is used in various communities to describe an outsider who has sexual attraction to people within the community
- Chub for chub (also referenced as chub4chub, Internet slang) - a chub who is sexually or emotionally attracted to other chubby men
- Girth & Mirth - A widespread name for clubs of big men and their admirers
- Big Men's Club - Another term used to define clubs and organizations for gay and bisexual men and their male admirers
(The terms "chubby chaser" and "daddy" can also be found in use among heterosexuals, but for the purposes of this gay subculture are listed and defined as above.)
Ron Suresha's anthology "Bears On Bears" indicates that, while casual social networks for chubby men and chasers had long existed, the first organized social group in the United States (Girth & Mirth) formed in 1976 in San Francisco. The following year, a chapter was organized in Boston, and in 1978 the New York chapter started. Conventions were held in cities such as San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City as early as 1977 or 1978 with large numbers of chubbies and chasers attending. The first meeting to use the name Convergence in the United States was held in Seattle in 1986. Several chapters are now active across the United States, mostly in large and diverse cities.
The website BiggerCity, which caters to the chubby community, indicates that its membership is made up of the following:
- 30% Chasers
- 26% Chubs
- 20% Bears
- 11% Chubs for chubs
- 13% (other)
- National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people.
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