Not long before we celebrated the turn of the 21st century in 2000, there was still a stigma in many circles against gay people…and not just in conservative areas of the country. With all the flamboyance, adultery, and excessive behavior associated with Hollywood celebrities, actors and musicians, many gay men felt compelled to hide their sexuality for fear of being blackballed and their careers ruined. Marrying women was an easy and common practice to “prove” heterosexuality. In fact, according to the Oxford Dictionary, the term “beard” was a North American term that referred to “a woman who accompanied a homosexual man as an escort to a social occasion in order to help conceal his homosexuality.” The term, which became popular in the 1950s and 1960s, was also used for men who married lesbians for the same type of deception. This practice also frequently led to gay men and women marrying their beards. In today’s progressive society, it may seem like much ado about nothing, but only 50 or 60 years ago, many gay men married, some multiple times, to keep up appearances they deemed vital to their careers moving forward. Some unions were more amicable than others, and some sadly included spouses that allegedly had no idea they were being bamboozled.