A Few Random Questions About the LGBTQ Community

Jack is a closeted gay man. He marries Jill. Jill is Jack’s Beard. Jack is Jill’s ________ ?

Jenny is a closeted gay woman. She marries Jeff. Jeff is Jenny’s _______? Jenny is Jeff’s _______ ?

When the pandemic is over, I’m thinking Mrs. Homie and I might like to take in a drag performance. I know that businesses that cater to the LGBTQ community are glad to have support, but at the same time, I assume that queer folks want safe spaces where they can be around their own community without “outsiders” (for lack of a better choice of words). So is it OK for straights to patronize drag shows just because? Or should we stay away and leave the seats for members of the community?

My limited experience suggests that everyone is welcome at drag shows.

Gay husband. I don’t think there’s a general term for that.

In the reverse (lesbian and straight male) the term beard also applies.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the term “beard” applied to the opposite-sex “partners” of both male and female gay people. So Jeff is Jenny’s beard, just as Jill is Jack’s beard. (ETA: and the ninja Telemark seems to agree.)

But I’ve never seen a corresponding term for the gay person who’s partnered with the beard. “Nominal husband” or “nominal wife” would be how I would describe such a person.

The one time I ever saw someone complain about straight people at a drag show, the complainer got kicked out of the bar.

I’ve not yet been to a drag show, but I’ve been to several gay bars over the years. My experience has been, so long as you’re not a jerk, and don’t act like a rubbernecking tourist, everyone is welcome.

I started attending Philly’s Henri David Ball around twenty years ago. It’s a very gay event. The first time I walked into that ballroom, I finally saw people who loved Halloween as much as I did and I felt at home. Anybody engaging in hate speech or disrespectful behavior (I’ve occasionally seen this) will be ejected. There is no sexual orientation test or anti heterosexual bias.

I’ve been to Phily’s Gay Film Festival once. I met Clive Barker. Same deal. BTW- Barker is really nice in person.

Also (and this should be obvious, but I’ve seen too many people IRL who couldn’t figure this out on their own) don’t freak out if a guy hits on you.

If they are actually married, I’d call them all husbands and wives. Qualifiers are neither necessary nor appropriate.

Drag performers are just that: performers. All respectful audiences are welcome.

He is her van – uh, never mind.

I thought the term was “merkin”.

I realize I live in a pretty liberal place, but the whole “beard” thing seems pretty outdated to me. Maybe it’s very different in other places, in which case, that’s very sad.

snerrrrrrrrk :smiley:

I was a fruitfly in San Francisco in the late 1970’s - early 1980’s and unless things have radically changed since then, the only people who care which way you swing are people who are interested in you as a sexual partner. If you’re there with your wife, that will be enough of a signifier. You will be ignored unless you decide to crawl up on stage or something.

My experience here in the US is the same, but I got a rude shock once in Japan when I took a couple of friends, a gay man and a straight woman, to a gay bar that I know, just a quiet place to drink and talk. The barman asked me if she was a “real woman” (i.e. not in drag) and when I said she was, he politely asked me to have her leave. I guess the welcoming spirit of gay bars depends on how secure the gay folks feel generally within their culture. Just a little different experience.

I don’t know if this is true in the States, but certainly in London, “gay bars” are increasingly not a ghetto and mixed clienteles are not at all uncommon (though bars that set out to cater for, or more generally attract, a subset, particularly bright young things or any of various fetishists, can be a bit unwelcoming to those not in that demographic).

As for drag shows, it may vary from performance to performance, and across countries. Drag shows here in the UK are much more influenced by the “pantomime dame” tradition, where the whole point of the show is banter with the audience - and the odd straight person or couple in the audience might well find themselves singled out for humorous attention. It’s not meant to be hostile, but may be embarrassing unless you play up to it (but not too much - never try to out-banter a drag act).

And he didn’t have the balls to ask her to her face (which would have been rude enough)? You should have asked him whether he was a “real man.”

He spoke to me because she didn’t understand Japanese. Anyway, it was their bar, their rules. I don’t expect American laws and rules to prevail in every foreign country I visit, and I didn’t see what would be accomplished by being an obnoxious asshole about it. We just left.

We tend to hear of “lavender marriages” where a gay person married a straight person of the opposite sex as cover. But there must have been marriages where a gay man and a gay woman married each other for mutual cover. In these cases, were they both beards or was neither a beard?

I have seen the phrase “mutual beards” used to describe such a situation.