A "beard" is a person of the opposite sex who marries or dates a closeted lesbian or gay person to cover up their homosexuality. In the past, often lesbians married gay men so that both could "pass" as straight, either for work or for their families.
To dream of seeing a beard, denotes that some uncongenial person will oppose his will against yours, and there will be a fierce struggle for mastery, and you are likely to lose some money in the combat. Gray beard, signifies hard luck and quarrels. To see beard on women, foretells unpleasant associations and lingering illness. For some one to pull your beard, denotes that you will run a narrow risk if you do not lose property. To comb and admire it, shows that your vanity will grow with prosperity, making you detestable in the sight of many of your former companions. For a young woman to admire a beard, intimates her desire to leave celibacy but she is threatened with an unfortunate marriage.
In gay slang, a beard is a female companion used to hide a gay man's sexuality by appearing in public as if she and the gay man were a heterosexual couple. It is generally considered poor form for a gay man not to reveal his homosexuality to the woman. The term originated in the mid-1960s, and is derived from the notion that a man with a woman on his arm looks more masculine, like a man with a beard.