COHIBERNATION is a documentation of long term gay male bear relationships, concentrating on 6 couples of varying age, ethnicity and length of relationship from 10 – 26 years. We’ve asked questions about what it’s like to live as a male couple, what are the challenges and rewards, as well as what is unique to each couple. Two of the couples have raised children. All of them are married. The couples are from varied backgrounds: one from Colombia and Mexico who speak of their own cultural differences while being seen as “Latino” in the US: a couple that lived as bi-national having to deal with visa issues for 16 years of their relationship; a couple dealing with depression; a couple in which one had a calling to ministry. The couples discuss monogamy, non-monogamy, their place and identity as gay men in the bear subculture, the larger gay culture, and what it’s like being in a long-term relationship.
Most gay films focus on “gay” as issue or the dramatic engine for the film. Concurrently, there is a wish fulfillment aspect to many films, of getting the guy at the end of the film, while few explore what it’s like to live as a gay couple. There’s a lot of “it gets better,” but not a great deal documenting when it is. The bear community and bear/normal body are also under-represented in the community at large.
Our goal with this short film is to celebrate gay couples and explore what happens in relationship while also documenting our own history. We have many, many stories to tell. Gay history isn’t always kept reliably, and certainly not taught as widely as it should be. Our lives as we live them are history in the making and our idea is to capture, explore and celebrate that.