Who will be organising ABP and the election, and why?
Bear-Necessity and DirQ, with support of several pub and club owners. We aim to improve the visibility of the Dutch Bear Scene, and offering other initiatives, pub and club-owners and charities a place within a weekend, in oder to present themselves at the Bear Community.
What does the process in the run-up to the elections look like?
Registration will close mid April 2024, after which all candidates will be photographed by our in-house photographer SuusFor this we ask an afternoon of your time to make it. This photo will be used to introduce the candidates through our social media.
We also ask you to participate in a number of promotional activities with all other candidates in the run-up to the elections. These activities will be mentioned here in due course.
We also expect you to be available for an hour to discuss the elections with the organisation; which rounds there are, how the judging will take place, what is expected on the evening itself, etc.
What if I change my mind and wish to withdraw?
If you no longer wish to participate in the election, we would of course like to hear this as soon as possible. This helps us to manage the case better. We do set a 'go-or-no-go' moment, after which your participation must be final; the moment we will be taking pictures with the in-house photographer. We do this because from that moment on costs will be incurred for the photo shoot.
On the day of the photo shoot, we ask you to sign an agreement in advance in which you definitively confirm your participation and in which the use of the photos is arranged. If you withdraw as a candidate AFTER the photo shoot, the costs of this photo shoot will be charged on you.
Which ways am I allowed to promote myself?
That is completely up to you, in a way that feels most comfortable to you without crossing your own boundaries. We see candidates who try to get their message across on social media and we also see people supporting local initiatives in the flesh, visiting parties, etc. Do what feels right, and above all stay yourself.
Can I join the election as a trans man?
Everyone who identifies himself as a man, and sees himself as part of the Bear Community is allowed to join the election.
What are the expectations if I win the election?
If you win, we expect you to put the Dutch Bear Scene on the map, nationally and internationally. It is the intention that you will use the 'budget' won for this. You can interpret this in your own way, and we therefore advise the winner to talk to previous winners and to hear their experiences, so that you can decide for yourself what you want and don't want. The organisation can also help with this in due course, perhaps to provide feedback on your idea, or to contribute with other advice and action.
When I'm at a bear party do I always have to wear the sash or can I also take it off after a while and then be myself again?
As the winner, you will be the face of the Dutch bear scene for a year, and we ask you to represent it as such. That doesn't mean you have to wear the sash day and night, that you have to be present at every party or always have to be in PR mode. From the organisation you get free access for a year to Bear-Necessity, where we are happy to see you with your sash on.
Note that you are also in the spotlight with a sash, so bear that in mind when alcohol, sex, smoking, drugs, or other things are involved. In the darkroom, the sash is taboo.
If you are at a bear party abroad, it is customary that you only take off the sash when the host-title holder indicates that it is time to do so.
Are there any other tips for preparation?
Ask yourself what you would like to achieve if you win the title. Also ask yourself what you absolutely would not want. This helps to form a picture of how you would like to interpret the title. And don't forget to ask former and current title holders, also from other communities, for their advice. They can guide you through the world of sash and titles.
Do I have to go on stage naked?
No. You can do (and not do) whatever you want during the election. So you can be naked, but of course you don't have to. Keep in mind that the election is taking place in a public space, so keep it civilised.
Is there an option to vote online?
No. We prefer to let the public vote in person during the election, by casting one vote for their favorite candidate.
Do I have to be able to speak and write the Dutch language?
Short and sweet: Yes. It might happen that a titleholder must address the press, both in writing and orally. A good level of the Dutch language is necessary (NT2). Because you ultimately also represent the Dutch Bear Scene abroad, a decent level of English is also important.
Do I have to live in Amsterdam to join the election?
Everyone who lives in the Netherlands and feels addressed can participate. It doesn't matter whether you are from Amsterdam or, for example, from Groningen. It is the intention that you feel connected to the Dutch Bear Community though.
Do you have more questions? Don't hesitate to ask! We will add them to this list.