Will you be my beard?

Will you be my beard?

There are 18 comments on the www.guardian.co.tt story from Jan 15, 2013, titled Will you be my beard?. In it, www.guardian.co.tt reports that:

If you had a gay friend who asked you to marry him just to hide his true sexual identity, would you do it?

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.guardian.co.tt.

Since: Oct 12

Coolidge, AZ

#1 Jan 15, 2013
When I was in college I was a bartender at a gay bar. A gay man used to come in often with his lesbian friend. Later on, they married one another to please their families.

They rented a house and lived together to keep up appearances, but were still regulars at the bar where they maintained their lives previous to their marriage.
david traversa

Cordoba, Argentina

#2 Jan 16, 2013
Funny how honesty, which is supposed to be the best policy, terrorizes so many people..

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#3 Jan 16, 2013
It may still be going on today, but in the future I would expect, as equality grows, this will become a thing of the past. And if it doesn't, who really cares? Such couples have the right to do as they wish without the interference from others, gay or straight.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#4 Jan 16, 2013
Cal In AZ wrote:
When I was in college I was a bartender at a gay bar. A gay man used to come in often with his lesbian friend. Later on, they married one another to please their families.
They rented a house and lived together to keep up appearances, but were still regulars at the bar where they maintained their lives previous to their marriage.
Gays did not invent marriage of convenience.

Since: Jun 12

Dallas, TX

#5 Jan 16, 2013
RalphB wrote:
It may still be going on today, but in the future I would expect, as equality grows, this will become a thing of the past. And if it doesn't, who really cares? Such couples have the right to do as they wish without the interference from others, gay or straight.
You are excusing cowardice. At this point in history their is no excuse for this. I'm 41. There are gay men and lesbians older than me who also never did this. What a soft bunch of men and women these people must be to still be doing this in this day and age. They should be shamed and ridiculed.
rob

Guildford, UK

#6 Jan 16, 2013
Somewhat puzzled here ....WHY do people keep referring to these strange, misaligned, freaky people as "gays" ..when ...in reality they are QUEERS??

GAY means something GOOD, HAPPY, JOLLY etc, etc, etc.

QUEER means ..ODD, STRANGE, COUNTERFEIT. etc, etc, etc.

...Just look it up in the dictionary!!!

Just making a point here.

Off now, so replies,..if any,...will not be read for a couple of weeks ..I don't visit this site too often.

Take care out there people !!!

“ reality, what a concept”

Since: Nov 07

this one

#7 Jan 16, 2013
rob wrote:
Somewhat puzzled here ....WHY do people keep referring to these strange, misaligned, freaky people as "gays" ..when ...in reality they are QUEERS??
GAY means something GOOD, HAPPY, JOLLY etc, etc, etc.
QUEER means ..ODD, STRANGE, COUNTERFEIT. etc, etc, etc.
...Just look it up in the dictionary!!!
Just making a point here.
Off now, so replies,..if any,...will not be read for a couple of weeks ..I don't visit this site too often.
Take care out there people !!!
I imagine to someone such as yourself, we would indeed be queer, but people such as yourself are really quite queer to us as well. But you really didn't have much of a point to begin with.

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#8 Jan 16, 2013
ExLeftist wrote:
<quoted text>
You are excusing cowardice. At this point in history their is no excuse for this. I'm 41. There are gay men and lesbians older than me who also never did this. What a soft bunch of men and women these people must be to still be doing this in this day and age. They should be shamed and ridiculed.
I am one of those older gay men. I'm 68, nearer to 69, actually. At one time I would have agreed with you, for I was quite the activist. Today, however, I have more of a live and let live approach to life. There are plenty of us around who live our lives on our own terms. To the point where the few that marry for convenience have little effect on the over-all fight for equality. I prefer to let them live as they will, just as I wish for others to leave my spouse and I to live our lives. Spend your time fighting for equality for all, and maybe that will lead to the disappearance of this practice.
SLIF

Hamilton, Canada

#9 Jan 16, 2013
Cal In AZ wrote:
When I was in college I was a bartender at a gay bar. A gay man used to come in often with his lesbian friend. Later on, they married one another to please their families.
They rented a house and lived together to keep up appearances, but were still regulars at the bar where they maintained their lives previous to their marriage.
Jacques Fath (The Red Shoes,1948)and his wife,were both gay.Just wikipedia his name.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#10 Jan 16, 2013
ExLeftist wrote:
<quoted text>
You are excusing cowardice. At this point in history their is no excuse for this. I'm 41. There are gay men and lesbians older than me who also never did this. What a soft bunch of men and women these people must be to still be doing this in this day and age. They should be shamed and ridiculed.
There are also many younger than you who live in the closet. For the record, Jodie Foster is older than you by a good bit.

My own coming out was not nearly so brave as those who came before me. Nor was your own as brave as mine. We should merely praise the bravery of everyone who comes forth, not castigate them because they aren't as brave as Harvey Milk.

“ reality, what a concept”

Since: Nov 07

this one

#11 Jan 16, 2013
This article is written from the perspective of those who have grown up in the culture of Trinidad & Tobago where homosexuality essentially remains illegal and most in the country are still not opposed to that concept. Repression like that takes some working with.
Exleftist

Dallas, TX

#12 Jan 16, 2013
RalphB wrote:
<quoted text>
I am one of those older gay men. I'm 68, nearer to 69, actually. At one time I would have agreed with you, for I was quite the activist. Today, however, I have more of a live and let live approach to life. There are plenty of us around who live our lives on our own terms. To the point where the few that marry for convenience have little effect on the over-all fight for equality. I prefer to let them live as they will, just as I wish for others to leave my spouse and I to live our lives. Spend your time fighting for equality for all, and maybe that will lead to the disappearance of this practice.
From a personal standpoint "live and let live" is fine. Their are a countless number of gay men and lesbians doing who-knows-what out there. The rest of us still live our lives, pay our bills, take the pets to the vet, so on and so forth. From a cultural and political standpoint I see this as a necessary campaign within the gay world. "Beards" shouldn't be a term that we use when discussing the present tense. We already have equality for all. Young men/women who would take up this practice are actually spitting in the face of those who fought before them. Outing oneself can be slightly uncomfortable at first. Almost like the initial pinch of a needle going into your arm. Babies and children cry. As you get older you just accept it and lift up your sleeve to get it over with. These individuals are like babies. Letting them comfortably stay in the baby stage is detrimental to all of us and future generations. We've all heard and may have personally experienced how one bad apple spoils the barrel. Just like the safer sex campaigns, gay and lesbian groups should campaign against this practice and not hold these babies' hands and tell them it's ok because life is so hard.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#14 Jan 16, 2013
First, Rick was correct to point out that the audience for the article was Trinidad and Tobago, not the US. From everything I know about the Caribbean (not much, actually), it's not nearly as gay-friendly as the United States.

That said, not everywhere in the US is NYC or SF. It's not even Pittsburgh or Chattanooga. Many kids grow up in very rural communities where they're unlikely to meet well-adjusted, out gays and homophobia is still rampant. Fear of rejection by family and friends is real. The freedom experienced by many young gays in America is hardly universal.

We all need to realize that everyone's view of the world is different. It may take a long time for them to see the picture as you see it.

My own view, almost since coming out to myself, is that hiding gives others permission to denigrate you for who you are. Wearing yourself proudly--without necessarily putting it on your sleeve--takes away others ability to bully you. I wish everyone saw that. If asked, that would be my advice. But they have to get to that point on their own.

My real regret about coming out is that I took so long to acknowledge what I always knew.

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#15 Jan 17, 2013
Exleftist wrote:
<quoted text>
From a personal standpoint "live and let live" is fine. Their are a countless number of gay men and lesbians doing who-knows-what out there. The rest of us still live our lives, pay our bills, take the pets to the vet, so on and so forth. From a cultural and political standpoint I see this as a necessary campaign within the gay world. "Beards" shouldn't be a term that we use when discussing the present tense. We already have equality for all. Young men/women who would take up this practice are actually spitting in the face of those who fought before them. Outing oneself can be slightly uncomfortable at first. Almost like the initial pinch of a needle going into your arm. Babies and children cry. As you get older you just accept it and lift up your sleeve to get it over with. These individuals are like babies. Letting them comfortably stay in the baby stage is detrimental to all of us and future generations. We've all heard and may have personally experienced how one bad apple spoils the barrel. Just like the safer sex campaigns, gay and lesbian groups should campaign against this practice and not hold these babies' hands and tell them it's ok because life is so hard.
I suppose we will have to agree to disagree. I think we have bigger fish to fry, and I would rather concentrate on those than waste energy butting into the life of those who want to live without the confrontation. After all, who are we to say that how they live their lives is any better or worse than the way we live ours? So long as they don't campaign against our rights, I will not campaign against theirs.
Exleftist

Dallas, TX

#16 Jan 17, 2013
nhjeff wrote:
First, Rick was correct to point out that the audience for the article was Trinidad and Tobago, not the US. From everything I know about the Caribbean (not much, actually), it's not nearly as gay-friendly as the United States.
That said, not everywhere in the US is NYC or SF. It's not even Pittsburgh or Chattanooga. Many kids grow up in very rural communities where they're unlikely to meet well-adjusted, out gays and homophobia is still rampant. Fear of rejection by family and friends is real. The freedom experienced by many young gays in America is hardly universal.
We all need to realize that everyone's view of the world is different. It may take a long time for them to see the picture as you see it.
My own view, almost since coming out to myself, is that hiding gives others permission to denigrate you for who you are. Wearing yourself proudly--without necessarily putting it on your sleeve--takes away others ability to bully you. I wish everyone saw that. If asked, that would be my advice. But they have to get to that point on their own.
My real regret about coming out is that I took so long to acknowledge what I always knew.
Thanks for clarifying that this is about Trinidad & Tobago. I should also clarify that I didn't grow up in the U.S. I was born to an American serviceman and a Panamanian mother and grew up, until 1995, in the former Panama Canal Zone. I had a mix of native and American culture in my life. When I moved away in '95 some of my Panamanian gay friends were still using terms like "her" and "she" to refer to other gay men, not because it was cute but because it was necessary. Sort of like gay life in the 50s based off of what I read when I was younger. The American community wasn't great as far as gay issues. It was somewhat like a small town. The parts of the Caribbean that are notoriously homophobic (homo-hating more like it) are former English colonies (Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago). They are mostly black. Panama had a large population of them that came over for the building of the Panama Canal. The homophobia persisted generations later. Though I was living in Panama I was an American at heart and was well read on gay matters. I knew that once I got it together I'd move to a big city in the U.S. My harsh judgement of American gays who stay in the closet in situations like this article comes from the perspective of an outsider to the Continental U.S. I used the library to educate myself about life here before I came. It is a poor decision for a gay man to stay in rural communities. There is too much information available to young people today to believe they don't have options. My only conclusion, barring any extreme circumstances, is that they're afraid and lazy.
Exleftist

Dallas, TX

#17 Jan 17, 2013
RalphB wrote:
<quoted text>
I suppose we will have to agree to disagree. I think we have bigger fish to fry, and I would rather concentrate on those than waste energy butting into the life of those who want to live without the confrontation. After all, who are we to say that how they live their lives is any better or worse than the way we live ours? So long as they don't campaign against our rights, I will not campaign against theirs.
Speaking on this topic about American society (rather than Trinidad and Tobago)
"After all, who are we to say that how they live their lives is any better or worse than the way we live ours?" - Their lifestyle is actually a passive campaign against us (out gay men). We won't achieve a status of normalcy. When gay males in particular are accepted and not shunned for making decisions like these that is used against us. To say their decisions are no worse than our own is to denigrate the fight for acceptance in the larger society. The closet lifestyle shouldn't be accepted or rationalized. No matter what form that closet takes. Ok, have a nice one.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#18 Jan 17, 2013
For many people, life is not a simple as packing up and moving.

I agree with Ralph: Let's reserve our condemnation for those who actively conspire against their own community.

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#19 Jan 17, 2013
Exleftist wrote:
<quoted text>
Speaking on this topic about American society (rather than Trinidad and Tobago)
"After all, who are we to say that how they live their lives is any better or worse than the way we live ours?" - Their lifestyle is actually a passive campaign against us (out gay men). We won't achieve a status of normalcy. When gay males in particular are accepted and not shunned for making decisions like these that is used against us. To say their decisions are no worse than our own is to denigrate the fight for acceptance in the larger society. The closet lifestyle shouldn't be accepted or rationalized. No matter what form that closet takes. Ok, have a nice one.
Like I said, we simply disagree, and no amount of discussing will change either of us at this point. Come back when you are in your 60's and let me know if any of your fast-held beliefs have changed. You have a good one, too.

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