Motor City Bears Host LGBTQ Charity Car Wash June 8

Eve Kucharski
By | 2019-06-05T15:20:16-04:00 June 5th, 2019|Ferndale, Guides, Neighborhoods, Pride Guide|

LGBTQ bear culture has long been about body positivity said Motor City Bear Rob Pearce — a member of the male-specific social club for bears and their admirers. That’s why, when the opportunity arose to combine that concept with a charitable event, the group jumped at the chance and start the Motor City Bears Speedo Car Wash, this year held on Saturday, June 8, at the Level One bank on Woodward Ave. in Ferndale.
“Well, I came up with the speedo idea. I didn’t put a crazy amount of thought into it,” Pearce said with a laugh. “But we were looking at fundraiser ideas at the time and the car wash idea [was suggested]. I don’t remember who came up with that, and I said, ‘Well, what if we did something like a reversal of the bikini car wash with women and we did something in the gay community with that?'”
The response was a good one, and eventually, the car wash became an annual fixture among the packed annual volunteer and donation schedule that the 180-strong Motor City Bears group participates in. Every year the event raises hundreds of dollars for a charity of the group’s choice, and for 2019, both the Ruth Ellis Center and Affirmations LGBTQ community center were selected as the recipients of all proceeds.
“Well, we’ve been with Ruth Ellis and Affirmations for many years,” said Scott Wood, another member of the Bears. “We have looked at other sources, but we really feel that those two can take our donations and put them to very good use and those are very high on our list of [organizations] that we want to support.”
Pearce added that he hopes the benefits of the car wash will be twofold: actively helping the LGBTQ centers, and promoting a body-positive image for everyone in the LGBTQ community and outside of it.
“The whole idea of our club, in general, is that people feel good about who they are and also feel good about the skin that they’re in, whoever and whatever size that may be. And this is kind of an attempt, at least on some level, to have people feel good and celebrate who they are and have fun doing it,” Pearce said. “That’s what this is, it’s reinforcing that and telling people that, ‘You can celebrate who you are without having to fit into a stereotype or someone else’s idea of what is acceptable.’”
And if one doesn’t have a car but would like to participate, Wood said not to worry, over the years of doing the event, the Bears have washed almost any mode of land transportation.
“Rollerblades or bike or speedos or whatever. We’ve had people just stop by to have their pictures taken, we’ve had people just walk up or drive up to say, ‘I don’t want a car wash, here’s a donation to your cause.’ We even had one year somebody that came out to protest it and they were protesting the whole fact of us being a gay group and that type of thing, but then when they talked to us, they found out that we were doing this for the charities,= and they changed their mind and everything. They grabbed their sign and walked away and said, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize you were doing this to help the community,’” Wood said with a laugh.
Level One Bank is located at 22635 Woodward Ave. in Ferndale. The Motor City Bears will be at the event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find out more on the event Facebook page.

About the Author:

Eve Kucharski
As news and feature editor at Between The Lines, Eve Kucharski's work has spanned the realms of current events and entertainment. She's chatted with stars like Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho and Tyler Oakley as well as political figures like Gloria Steinem, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel. Her coverage of the November 2018 elections was also featured in a NowThis News report.