As these things do, this scene began a bit underground and then started to gain momentum and then really EXPLODED. Suddenly the bears weren't a movement, they were a marketing niche. And the energy of the scene began to change. Big meetups became more, for lack of a better term, corporate. Suddenly you could buy "bear" merchandise easily rather than having to seek it out. Bear clubs were springing up all over the country, and then breaking up into smaller groups as the fights between the "we want to fuck" and the "we want to socialize" groups surfaced.
hippybear talks about the changes that have happened in a different sort of bear movement.