is a presently an American verb which describes
the active use of the companionship on offer
to an individual to obscure an identity/activity
which society would see to be the cause of shame.
I am fine with the term-if we have depth
of character we will have several identities,
and prioritize-keep some of them private.
King George VI's philately comes to mind.
My problem is with other people being shamed,
though I know enough to know that this should be familiar.
I learned late but well about how to grow up
through a family who were like many,
they denied that their son and heir was 'gay'
to everyone-particularly themselves.
Their inheritance was my closet as they insisted
they were 'my beard', but still I would forgive them
if they sought my respect, which they unlikely to.
I never wet shaved when young,
and grew a physical beard at age 19.
It remains today-much improved with age.
Many a time I was with family they made jests
cheaper and more personal than their usual jokes
at my beard's expense, with lines like
'What are you hiding under that facial growth'.
I understand it now; it was jealousy.
As 'my beard' they want me never out-grow them,
never discover who I might be outside of them,
and most importantly never recognize who I was with them.
The more my natural/physical beard improved.
The more quietly family pressed their falseness
and the more consistently I was suicidal, angry
and depressed, the less I could live without
the companionship of my choice-where
if there were cause for shame I would choose it,
rather than have it chosen for me unawares.