Q: What is Kansas City Bear Mafia?
A: The Kansas City Bear Mafia started in 2009 as a social group for the gay bear community in Kansas City. Since then we have formed an official 501c3 non-profit to help build up and bring better resources to the bear community and our allies in the Kansas City metro area.
We seek to create a group that does not require dues from its members, and for which there is no physical requirement.
If you think you’re a bear, or you just like hanging out with bears, we are here for you! Everyone is welcome to join regardless of age, gender, body type, or sexual orientation. While some events may be age restricted, many that are not.
Q: What is a bear?
A: From Wikipedia: "In male gay culture, a bear is often a larger, hairier man who projects an image of rugged masculinity. Bears are one of many LGBT communities with events, codes, and a culture-specific identity. However, in San Francisco in the 70s any hairy man of whatever shape was referred to as a 'bear' until the term was appropriated by larger men and other words had to be found to describe hairy other-shaped men such as 'otter' (slim) or 'wolf' (medium-build)."
Q: What is Dragnarok?
A: Dragnarok is an annual amateur drag and variety show, presented by Kansas City Bear Mafia, that raises money for non-profit organizations the group sponsors for the year.
Q: What does "Dragnarok" mean?
A: The show's name is a combination of "drag," the art of gender impersonation, and "Ragnarök," the mythological Norse battle at the end of the world. The show is imagined as an epic battle of glamorous beings fighting for a crown. (Pronounced: DRAG-na-ROCK)
Q: Is the show a competition, or affiliated with any drag pageants?
A: While the purpose of Dragnarok is to be a fundraiser, we do crown a winner for fun and friendly competition. At most, Dragnarok is a lighthearted parody of a traditional drag pageant. The event is not affiliated with any pageant organization.
Q: Where does the money raised during the show go?
A: Tips collected by performers, and other money collected for the show, will go directly toward Kansas City Bear Mafia's fundraising efforts for the year. The money will ultimately be donated to the non-profit organizations the group sponsors for the year. All performers are expected to donate their collected tips to our fundraising.
Q: Who can perform in the show?
A: Dragnarok originally was intended to showcase "bear drag;" that is, celebrating the diversity of gay men (namely, bears) through the art of drag. We encourage individual members of Kansas City Bear Mafia to volunteer to perform in the show. Volunteering to perform is also open to those outside the group of any gender or orientation.
No prior experience is required to perform in the show, and amateurs are encouraged to participate. Past shows have featured both amateur and experienced performers.
Q: What is expected of a volunteer performer?
A: As a volunteer performer, you will be expected to donate your time and resources to the show. The show organizers can provide some resources, and may put you in touch with experienced individuals if help is needed. You will be expected to work with experienced individuals on your own time (and compensate them appropriately, depending on the nature of the relationship).
Q: Are there ways to volunteer that don't involve performing?
A: Yes! There are various ways to volunteer during the show, and the show planners will make a call for volunteers when needed.