The usage of the term: 'beard,' also known as 'lavender dating,' or 'front dating,' dates to the twentieth century, prior to the gay rights movements. This was at a time when homosexual relationships had not yet gained public acceptance. Often , in the early to mid-twentieth century, a beard companion was used by homosexual. 2 Jun Last summer, CBS used the quasi-romantic relationship between Big Brother contestants Frankie Grande, a gay man, and Zach Rance, a straight guy, as a rallying point for viewers. Not only was “Zankie,” as they were dubbed, prominently featured on the show, but they became favorites among the show's. 19 Apr Heartbreak of man forced to come out after being conned by fake rent boy. Robert Bain has been jailed for six years for blackmailing gay men (Picture: North News and Pictures). A victim of a man who pretended to be a gay rent boy to blackmail gay men has said the effects of the fraud will never go away.