I have never grown a beard before. Oh, I had some feeble attempts to grow beards in my 20’s and 30’s that were very short-lived, but I have never had the courage to wear a beard to work.
I remember in my late-twenties growing a beard when I lived in New York City. My mother was visiting me and we were in a cab together. She turned to me as we headed down Broadway, just passing Union Square, and said, “You look Hispanic with that beard.” In no uncertain terms, she let me know that she did not like the beard. Her comments confirmed all my self-doubt that the beard made me look silly. When I got home I shaved off the beard. I do not remember growing a beard for more than a few vacation days since that cab ride with my mother over thirty-five years ago.
This past December I took a week and a half vacation around the holidays. I knew my partner liked men with facial hair and had shown his pleasure on multiple weekends when I had skipped the razor for a few days. So as my time away from work neared, I decided I would not shave for the twelve days of my vacation. As the beard began to grow out I really liked what I was seeing. When the day I would return to work grew close, I debated with myself if I would keep the beard or shave it off. But here is the bottom line: I really liked how the beard had grown in and I thought it looked sexy. My partner really liked the beard and we both loved rubbing our two beards together as we kissed.
One of the things I found sexy about my partner when I first met him was his beard. He has one of those beards that always looks like he has not shaved for a few days. I am looking to grow my beard longer and I am particularly looking forward to my mustache growing in more fully.
I am one of those men who has passed through middle age with very little grey hair. I now have some grey on my temples, and that is only in the past few years. At 58, people usually assume that I am in my late 40’s or early 50’s. But the beard is heavily salt and pepper with mostly grey under my chin. I worried that the beard would make me look older.
I decided to keep the beard. On Monday when I returned to work a lot of people did a double-take. One woman marched in my office on Tuesday morning just to check out my beard and voice her opinion. The bottom line is that I have gotten overwhelming positive feedback on the beard, particularly from the women at work.
I love the new bearded look men are wearing with short hear and full, sexy beards. For me, as a gay man in his late 50’s, how I look is important to me. And I am enjoying this new look that is somewhat distinguished, somewhat sexy, and very current.