The Beard (the Other Kind) in Pop Culture

Brokeback Mountain

It's National Beard Month and that doesn't just mean facial hair. Not to us anyway! A whole other beard genre's been growing since the middle of the 20th century — the gay cover-up beard, which is slang for a person of the opposite sex used as a cover for a gay partner. At its best, the beard is mutually beneficial to both partners. At its worst? A life of lies. For a long time the term was as secretive as its roots, but I've been hearing it more and more to describe not only real-life marriages, but also TV and movie couplings.