I wear my beard as if it's an everyday essential just like underwears or a pair of glasses. I could not go out of the house without it. For me, my beard provides me with protection from the scrutinizing eyes of the people around me, specially those who were not given the chance to know me and those who refuse to understand my being ME. It's just like holding an umbrella to shield me from the harsh rays of the sun or from the cold wet droplets of rain.
Wearing a beard is a different way of saying that I am still living in a closet. I know the truth about me but I could not bring myself to be honest to everyone.
I am a closet case. Straight-acting whenever I'm home or when I'm with my mom and dad. Much lower voice when I talk to them or to anyone who doesn't know me completely. I'm careful with my actions and my moves. I do not want things to be awkward in the house. I hid my magazines in non-conspicuous places. I threw my porn CDs soon after I'd watched them. I surf porn sites only when the house is empty and I'm left to stay with the dog.
Mom and Dad doesn't know everything about me. But I know that they somehow had the gut feel about me being single or unmarried. I never brought a girl to the house and introduced her to my parents. I never had a girlfriend. I never had a serious beard.
My parents had not asked me about my plans to have a family of my own. I never allowed myself to be in a position where I could not give a definite answer to the question why am I still single. I just couldn't bear the thought of sharing my life with a woman, much more the responsibility of raising kids. It's not my inclination. I refuse to become a parent.
The closet is one of my dear friends in my entire life. It's been with me for a long time. Having it around, it gave me the assurance that I could always get in and hide from people and instances where it's not necessary to speak out the truth. It's my escape route.
In the confines of my closet, I had learned to choose the people I could trust. I only come out to people I think who could handle the truth about me. It may be a little presumptuous. I may be disregarding anybody's capacity to accept and to understand me, but I may be too wary about the impact it may have to those I really care.
If you ask me if being a closet case had given me too much of a burden, I can say that it had not. I know that I could not forever dwell in the closet, I need to step out and learn to trust people. For now, I am content of saying who I really am if anyone would come up to me and ask. I would properly answer their questions. I would appreciate it if people ask me directly. DADT (don't-ask-don't tell) policies suck.
I am a selective closet case. I'm not entirely out in the open. I am not entirely honest with my self and my life. I am in the company of my beard and my partially-open closet. It's just the way it is, for now.
So, I think I am ready for your questions.