Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jodie Foster's Coming Out: My $0.02

Whether you found it inspiring or rambling and incoherent , Jodie Foster's coming out was the most talked about thing that happened at Sunday night's Golden Globe awards ceremony. Andrew Sullivan even went as far to say that Foster "stopped lying, " but as far as I can remember, she never pretended to be straight.  It was disappointing, though. Her speech weirdly defiant and uncomfortable to watch.

Count me among those who wishes she would have just done an Ellen and bluntly proclaimed, "Yep. I'm gay," but I get it. Comparing being an out lesbian with gutting oneself, reality TV-style, where nothing is sacred is a little hyperbolic, but I understand her need for privacy (as much as someone who wasn't raised on movie sets can), and I fully believe that no one is "owed" a coming out. I think that's what's been bothering most about the media's reaction to her quasi "outing:" that we were owed it in some way.

I wrote something similar a few years back when skater Johnny outed himself, and I guess Anderson Cooper falls into the same category. There was a huge sense of "finally," or "we knew it all along." With Anderson Cooper and Johnny Weir, though, both of them clearly supported the gay community, and Weir especially did a lot to break down barriers when it came to gender expression. I haven't really followed Jodie Foster's life outside her movies; her intense need for privacy made it hard to. I won't say that her speech meant nothing, because clearly it does or we wouldn't be talking about it, but the awkwardness of the whole thing was so palpable.


  1. I tend to think there's a more than tiny difference between hiding something and not announcing it to the world, and I think Foster falls into the latter category so much so that when I heard of her 'outing' I was thoroughly confused.. I thought she had been out for years.

    I don't particularly agree with the reality show analogy, because I think people have a right to be as 'out' as they choose to be. Being outspoken about one's sexual orientation is no less a valid way to be than not really talking about it (and not talking about it is not the same as denial or hiding).

  2. Yeah, Andrew Sullivan's post bothered me big time. I never interpreted her not disclosing her sexuality as "lying," nor do I think most people would. But the whole speech was just really uncomfortable to watch.