The Queer Toothache That Comes From Walking Past San Francisco’s Honey Bear Murals

Straight men invading LGBTQI+ spaces is as historied as it is harmful

Matt Charnock
6 min readApr 29, 2021
Photo: Flickr/Hero 1 Cropped

I remember the first time I came by one of fnnch’s honey bear pieces. It was in 2018, the painted ursid — a mesmeric mix of sun-yellow Pantone colores juxtaposed against an otherwise utilitarian gray backdrop — was an innocent visual delight.

Its recent presence was welcomed by a passerby; I was far from the only person who filled their iPhone with pictures of the Haight-Ashbury bears. I eventually left after a few minutes, ambivalent; I was not pulled nor pushed in any single way; the bag of cellular waste and protein enzymes that I call my own carried on existing, unaffected.

The same level of indecision when I would find myself eyeing one of fnnch’s human-sized murals lingered for some time. But by the very nature of my job — someone who makes a living by publishing timely syntax and diction and SEO-friendly articles — my equivocation and familiarity with his work began…

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Matt Charnock

SF transplant, coffee shop frequent; tiny living enthusiast. iPhone hasn’t been off silent mode in nine or so years. Former EIC of The Bold Italic.