identity

This Talented Artist Is Turning Video Game Characters Into Furry Osos

@leoleus / Instagram

Leonardo Gutierrez, an artist from Argentina who now lives in Santiago, Chile, has been creating art as far back as he can remember. He has dabbled in comics, web design, the booming video game industry in South America, and is now going into fashion via his company, Oso Apparel. As Gutierrez put it, “I’m all over the place [with art].” Gutierrez spoke with mitú about his clothing brand venture, which brings together classic video game and cartoon characters and the bear community.

Have you ever seen Luigi and Mario portrayed as bears? No, we’re not talking about the animal. We’re talking about the gay, human variety of bear.

In the gay community, the term “bear” refers to someone who can be in shape (but not totally ripped) or with a pot belly for days and has body and facial hair (because bears are furry). For some people in the LGBTQ community, bears are the unsung heroes of body positivity because the bear community embraces diversity in body shapes.

This is the visionary behind Oso Apparel and the transformation of video game characters into furry bears (not the animal).

Waiting for Ian at Daddy's ?

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“I guess the idea came from all those Disney princesses being turned into all sort of things, even cement mixers that one killed me,” Gutierrez says about his inspiration behind these reimagined characters. “But more than that I came up with the idea of making bear versions, or ‘bearsions’, of content that I like.”

“The first ones were actually my Sailor Bears,” says Gutierrez.

Though the Sailor Bears didn’t attract too much attention, Gutierrez continued to draw his favorite cartoon and video game characters into bears because that was just something he really enjoyed doing.

His second round of creating “bearsions” as he calls them came in the form of classic characters that are all in the Super Smash Bros. video game.

“I love and have been playing Smash Bros since the first game came out in 1999, so it was only natural to choose the game,” says Gutierrez. “Smash has a BIG collection of characters, so I decided to go for the original roster to keep it contained.”

Gutierrez identifies as someone in the bear community it definitely played a role in who he re-imagined these characters.

Gutierrez says that he has seen these characters depicted in fan art several times but one thing was missing, “bearsions” of these beloved characters.

His “bear art” consists of more than just re-imagining video game characters.

Made this sketchy love scene for @nibriceno ?

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“What gets me the most is when people tell me they made an emotional connection with my art,” Gutierrez says. “Like this one time I did a very loving piece of me and my now-ex hugging in bed, and a guy told me it got him tearing up as he realized he was worth being loved, like in the picture. That was one of the warmest comments I’ve ever received.”

When it comes to the haters, it’s safe to say that Gutierrez is unbothered.

Amazing Future-Finn makes Adventure Time so much better! xD

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“I love reading what people have to say, even in some of the dankest places,” Gutierrez admits. “I find most of the comments are hilarious, even the hateful ones.”

Gutierrez says that by creating these works of art, he is staying true to himself and giving representation to something that is not usually acknowledged.


Gutierrez says that the work he created in the past is not what he wanted to do. On the contrary, he found that work tedious, boring, and uninspiring. After some time struggling with drawing what other people wanted and liked, Gutierrez started to create bear art so that he could start representing his communities.

He also created Oso Apparel, a store with bear products.

Nothing like a bear hug! #osoapparel #enamelpin

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Despite the quick growth that Gutierrez says he’s experienced, he will be keeping the name in Spanish so the brand fully encompasses his Latino roots.

You can also get some of his drawings on T-shirts to wear your bear pride.


“I created my clothing brand OSO with this idea in mind, looking to give gays, geeks and bears a place in fashion and not just behind it,” Gutierrez says.

Gutierrez wants his fans and other bears to know that they are beautiful just the way they are.

“Society has its ideas and standards for the best body and so many people follow blindly. Don’t get caught by them,” Gutierrez says even though he admits that he also struggles with this issue. “You are beautiful and worth it and your mental and physical health is always the priority. It’s ok to not be happy with your body and it’s ok to like it just as it is. Whatever you do or think of it, just make sure it’s what you really want, and not just what others expect.”

Gutierrez has some plans to expand his clothing line as fast as possible but he knows that it is not possible without the support he has received from his fans.

“Last but not least, I want to thank every one of you who enjoy and support me and my art,” Gutierrez says. “I wouldn’t be here getting interviewed if it wasn’t for you.”


READ: This Queer Immigration Activist Is Pushing The Boundaries Of Brown LGBTQ Art

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Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin Killed A ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill In Puerto Rico Furthering LGBTQ+ Rights In The Caribbean

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Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin Killed A ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill In Puerto Rico Furthering LGBTQ+ Rights In The Caribbean

badbunnypr / ricardorossello / ricky_martin / Instagram

Governors in the U.S. have tried and failed multiple times to enshrine discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community by passing “religious freedom” bills. At the heart of these bills is the idea that someone’s religion is enough to discriminate against those of different faiths, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Puerto Rico tried to follow the same failed path as Indiana and the backlash was swift and victorious after Ricky Martin and Bad Bunny (Benito Martinez) spoke out against the bill forcing Governor Ricardo Rosselló to backtrack on his bill to discriminate.

In April, Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló presented the Puerto Rican House of Representatives a “religious freedom” bill.

Credit: @lgbtpr / Twitter

The bill was months in the making and Gov. Rosselló showed his full support for the bill, House Bill 2069. The bill would have allowed for government employees to openly discriminate against people who went against their religious beliefs.

Ricky Martin spoke up against the measure and called out the Puerto Rican government and their willingness to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

“While the world calls for equality, respect for diversity and the defense of human rights, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the Governor of Puerto Rico are pushing for a measure that goes against all of the above and it encourages division, prejudice, hatred and the lack of respect for individuality,” Martin wrote on his fan website. “It does so under a premise that undermines the constitutional protections against discrimination on the basis of race, sex or belief, and in its place, justifies an irrational protection of the religious convictions of government employees.”

“As a member of the LGBTT community, I join the constituency that affirms that there has never been a willingness among our LGBTT people to allow for the validation or legalization of discrimination against us.”

“House Bill 2069, filed at the request of Governor Ricardo Rosselló and promoted by Representative Charbonier, achieve nothing more than opening the doors to hatred towards anyone who doesn’t share the same ideology, who simply belong to the LGBTT community, or who don’t  have the same color skin, amidst many other discriminatory measures.”

“Authentic religious freedom calls for respecting everyone equally.”

Bad Bunny also used his platform to stand up for the LGBTQ+ community in Puerto Rico.

Credit: badbunnypr / Instagram

“While we ‘bad guys’ do out to unite people and try to send a message of respect and tolerance, the leaders of my country work to do the opposite,” he wrote on Instagram. “We cannot take steps backwards, NEVER! @ricardorossello you make excellent coffee, I know that you can also make an excellent decision.”

Calle 13’s Residente joined his Puerto Rican peers to call out the Puerto Rican government’s wishes to strip LGBTQ+ people of their humanity with the law.

These calls against the action came during Pride month when the U.S. is supposed to be celebrating and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community, which still faces discrimination and violence.

After the outcry, Gov. Rosselló reversed his support for the bill and ordered the Puerto Rican House of Representatives to shelf the bill.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“WE WON! The recent years, Western countries have made significant advances in guaranteeing equal right for the LGBTT community,” Martin tweeted.

Martin celebrated the decision by educating his followers about what the measure would mean for the LGBTQ+ community.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“These advances were threatened recently in Puerto Rico, where the House fo Representatives passed legislation that endangered the progress won in the last decade and risked feeding the division, prejudice, and tensions between the communities.”

He did not sugar coat the true meaning behind the legislation.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“By granting government employees the power to act in accordance with their religious convictions, personal values, and principles, this regressive legislation would have sanctioned the practice of institutional discrimination on the part of those who committed themselves to a life in public service.”

Congratulations, Ricky!

Credit: ricky_martin / Instagram

It just goes to show that enough public outcry can make politicians listen to the majority instead of the vocal minority.

READ: After Delay Caused By Border Wall And Trump’s Feud with Puerto Rico, Congress Finally Passes $19.1 Billion Disaster Aid Package

Zuri Moreno Made Sure The Trans Community In Montana Remained Safe

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Zuri Moreno Made Sure The Trans Community In Montana Remained Safe

aclu_montana / Instagram

There’s no question that in metropolitan cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami, that gay rights must be respected. With such huge LGBTQ+ communities in those cities, Pride is like 4th of July, but in smaller cities and states that is not the case. There are still places, like Montana, trying to attack LGBTQ+ rights and one nonbinary Latinx activist stood up and defeated an anti-trans bill.

In Montana, lawmakers introduced a measure that would strip rights away from the trans community and one person would not have it.

Facebook/FreeFairMT

The bill — I-183 — would be a change a Montana law that would allow the permission to discriminate against transgender people.

I-183 would force people to use public accommodations like restrooms and locker rooms that align with the gender on their original birth certificate instead of the gender by which they live and identify.”

That means that a trans woman could not use a female bathroom and a trans man could not use a male bathroom. Furthermore, “I-183 would 1) make work, school, and recreation unsafe for transgender Montanans; 2) put local government and state agencies at risk of expensive, unnecessary lawsuits; and 3) fail to further protect anyone from assault or rape, as these things are already illegal in Montana. I-183 would also jeopardize your privacy by forcing you to prove your gender to anyone who requests to see your paperwork before you enter a public facility.”

Essentially, the Montana government was ready to tell trans people that they have to adhere to the sex they were assigned at birth. This would strip away the most basic right for trans people, and one most Americans enjoy, of self-determination.

Thanks to Zuri Moreno that bill never saw the light of day.

Moreno, who describes themselves as queer, nonbinary, multiracial, and Latinx, made sure their community remained safe in Montana and fought hard to make sure that the bill was blocked.

“My life and my passion focus on racial equity and access in the community,” Moreno said to The Advocate.

The LGBTQ+ community is no stranger to state and the federal governments from attacking their basic rights. North Carolina tried and failed to limit trans people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. Indiana tried passing a “religious freedom” bill that would have allowed anyone to legally discriminate against anyone in the LGBTQ+ community.

It is because of their fight for trans rights in Montana that The Advocate named them among the 2019 Champions of Pride.

Twitter/@ACLUMT

“Montana still does not have an explicit sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination law,” the 32-year-old said to the magazine. “Although a handful of municipalities have passed local nondiscrimination ordinances, at the state level progress is hindered by transphobia, disinterest from non-LGBTQ people, and a lack of political will. There is still a lot of work to do around bringing awareness and dispelling misinformation about trans, nonbinary, and two-spirit identities.”

The federal government is also fighting over a similar measure. H.R. 5 and S. 788, also known as the Equality Act, is a simple piece of legislation that has been embroiled in legal battles for years. The Equality Act seeks to protect LGBTQ+ American from discrimination based on “sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” That’s right. The Equality Act would finally close loopholes in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and legally address discrimination against women based on sex. So, the LGBTQ+ community and women would benefit if the Equality Act were passed.

READ: Show Your Pride And Allyship With These Colorful And Fun Rainbow Outfits

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