Culture

This Talented Artist Is Turning Video Game Characters Into Furry Osos

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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Gender Is So Last Year And These Celebrities Know How To Expertly Play With Gender

Entertainment

Gender Is So Last Year And These Celebrities Know How To Expertly Play With Gender

badbunnypr / ajathekween / Instagram

Non-binary individuals, also known as genderqueer, encompasses a spectrum of gender identities that escape the traditional definitions of masculine and feminine. In short, their gender identity falls outside the man/woman gender binary, outside cisgender paradigms (cisgender refers to a person whose personal identity and gender both correspond to their birth sex). For years, genderqueer folks were forced to live in the shadows, either due to conservative social norms or due to lack of awareness of this identity.

Recently, a group of celebs have come out as non-binary and we think that’s fabulous. We can think, for example, of Australian model Ruby Rose (remember their steamy affair with Piper in “Orange is the New Black”? Just this month “Queer Eye”hairstylist extraordinaire Jonathan Van Ness came out as non-binary. He told OUT magazine: “The older I get, the more I think that I’m nonbinary — I’m gender nonconforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman. I don’t really — I think my energies are really all over the place. Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I’m here for it. I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide. It’s this social construct that I don’t really feel like I fit into the way I used to. I always used to think ‘Oh, I’m like a gay man,’ but I think any way I can let little boys and little girls know that they can express themselves and they can like be.” This pretty much sums up what genderqueer identity is all about.

Because we celebrate identities of all forms, here are some genderqueer POC stars that make us proud and happy! Some of them have identified as genderqueer while others have broken the paradigms of cisnormativity. Bien por ellos, muy bien!

Rico Dalasam, the Brazilian rap dynamo

This Brazilian rap artist and former hairdresser has taken his genderqueer identity to powerful lyrics of political resistance. He told Vice: “All the marginal communities I’m a part of—young, black, gay—all of these identities are forced to be ashamed by the oppressor. But I’m the potential of resistance.” With a career that started in 2014, Rico Dalasam has achieved success thanks to his high couture looks and remorseless combative attitude.

Bad Bunny, the boricua marvel

Bad Bunny wears long nails and jewelry that would commonly be associated with a feminine aesthetic. As we have reported, he is unbothered by those who criticize his non-binary moda. He identifies as a straight man but finds inspiration in the queer community. He has talked about his fashion choices in a GQ interview: “There’s people that appreciate what I do; there’s people that criticize it,. There’s people who say, ‘Thank you for sticking up [for us], thank you for defending [this].’ There’s others that say I’m an opportunist.” Be what it may, Bad Bunny is challenging the role of masculinity in urban culture and in a musical genre, reggaeton, that is often criticized for its often sexist lyrics.

Valentina, global drag phenomenon

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@lacasadelasflorestv on @netflix @netflixlat @netflixes

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“I identify as nonbinary,” Valentina told Out in an interview. “I don’t completely feel like a man, I don’t completely feel like a woman. I feel like a goddess. I feel like I’m my own gender.”

The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” superstar is one of the most recognizable faces in the drag world. We are so proud of the Latino representation Valentina has been able to bring to the drag world.

Aja, bruja extravaganza

Aja’s experience coming to terms with her gender identity was a long one.

“When I was 18, I actually lived as a trans woman for almost a year,” Aja told Them. “I thought I was trans, and then I learned through the education of the queer community about being non-binary, genderqueer, and all these different [identities]. I realized that I do feel like a woman, but I feel comfortable in my body. I don’t feel the need to change anything. I don’t feel the need to appear more feminine to society’s standards.”

Amandla Stenberg, from “The Hunger Games” to queer advocate

This amazing African-American young actress openly uses they/them as pronouns. She came out as non-binary on Tumblr (before she came out to her family!), by writing: “I honestly don’t know… I mean they/them makes me feel comfortable but I know that the media and the general populace that follows me will critique it/not understand which makes me feel sad and almost more uncomfortable. So I guess she/her for now”. Not in the cisgender closet anymore, dear Amandla! 

Liniker Barros, the Brazilian soul star

Samba and Latin rhythms find a nice home in the tender voice of this musical prodigy. Liniker is the lead singer if the band Liniker and the Caramelows, and many of their lyrics focus on the joy and tribulations of those who are not cisgender. They told the Spanish newspaper El Pais: “Why should I wear jeans and a T-shirt and present myself as just a voice? My body is political. I need to show my audience what I’m living.” Liniker is well aware of the fact that they represent a wider community. They told Now: “[My] visibility as a singer helps me occupy spaces that aren’t the usual ones for trans women. That representation is so important. Brazil remains a very transphobic, chauvinist, racist country, with a lot of hate speech. When a trans woman takes the stage, that alone is political.”

Angel Haze, rapping for freedom

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on my way to drop the album

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Born Raykeea Raeen-Roes Wilson, this rap artist identifies as pansexual and agender. Angel Haza has said: “I sound like four people when I get written about as ‘they.’ It drives me crazy. If you call me ‘him’ or ‘her’ it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t consider myself of any sex. I consider myself an experience.” Quite an interesting and revolutionary approach! Angel Haze used to date Ireland Baldwin, the daughter of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin. 

READ: Marvel Is Bringing More LGBTQ Characters To The Universe

Ritchie Torres Is Poised To Become The First Out Gay Afro-Latino In Congress After Primary Win

Things That Matter

Ritchie Torres Is Poised To Become The First Out Gay Afro-Latino In Congress After Primary Win

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Primary elections in New York this week ushered in new politicians poised to make history. One of those people is Ritchie Torres, an out Afro-Latino gay man who won his primary for New York’s 15th District.

Ritchie Torres won his primary challenge for the 15th congressional district of New York.

New York City Council Member Torres defeated Rúben Diaz Sr. last night. People are celebrating the victory because Torres, who is openly gay, was running against a very problematic reverend. Diaz, who is also a New York City council member, has billed himself as the opposite of AOC and holds a very conservative view on various social issues.

Diaz has voted against same-sex marriage and routinely speaks out against abortion. One time, according to CBS News, Diaz claimed that the city council was being run by the “homosexual community.”

The fight is not over for Torres.

The council member still has to make it through the November election. He will be running against Republican Orlando Molina in November. However, people are celebrating the historic vote that could put the first-ever openly gay Afro-Latino person into Congress.

New York’s 15th District is called the bluest district in America. That is why someone who supports Trump, opposes abortion, and has a homophobic past leading the field was so shocking to many. The Pentecostal minister made headlines when he refused to resign from the city council after his comments about the “homosexual community.”

Praise and support for Torres came flooding in on social media from fellow Democrats across the country.

Torres’s victory over Diaz is a welcomes outcome for many in the Democratic party. Some feared what Diaz would do to the party when in office considering the clear opposition to Democratic causes, especially considering the hyper-partisan nature of the current Congress.

It was a truly historic night in politics thanks to the people running and the voters.

There were several seats last night that have started to better reflect communities in the district. African-American and Latino candidates won decisively in various districts leading to what could be a more diverse and progressive Congress.

Congratulations to all of the winners during yesterday’s primaries.

READ: AOC Wins Primary Election In New York In Run For A Second Term In Congress