The commentary and opinions expressed on this column are strictly my own. They do not represent anyone else, including former, current, or future employees of Out Impact, Inc.
Last night was no ordinary Golden Globes Awards show. What most of us are talking about today isn’t what this actress was wearing or didn’t wear on the Red Carpet, or what TV show or movie to watch next. It was “What did you think of Jodie Foster’s speech?”
For years, it’s been widely speculated, whether or not Jodie Foster would ever “come out.” Many for years, have wildly criticized Jodie’s reluctance in fully coming out and putting “hello my name is..” name tag on and with the follow-up sentence being, presuming, “and I’m an out and proud lesbian.” And even today, despite what I feel was a brave, honest, gutting, vulnerable “truth-telling” during her Cecil B. DeMille Award speech honoring her career accomplishments, people are still, taking her to task. But I feel it’s not our place. It’s not my place to do so. Just like it was no one’s place to tell me how to come out when and how I did.
“Seriously, I hope that you’re not disappointed that there won’t be a big-coming-out speech tonight,” she said, “because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age.”
We each have our own ways of telling our truths into our universe. Sometimes it’s messy, sometimes it’s poignant, sometimes it’s an non-event. One day I hope we live in a world where it’s a non-event, because we’ve finally gotten the equality that we want and deserve.
What will be telling is the reactions to those in the LGBTQ community and those who are not to Ms. Foster’s speech. The headlines are various and the reactions are already strong. Foster has Twitter-trended as a top topic since it happened.
Does being a celebrity, a public figure with the consequence of fame because she’s an award-winning actress, mean she owes the public the right to have her privacy at our beck and call, revoked like a membership if we don’t agree with how she conducts herself?
“If you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler, if you’d had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you, too, might value privacy above all else,” she said.
This speech was much about the right for her privacy as it was to acknowledge that she is who she is, without apology and without the need for a reality show to hallmark the occasion.
Not every person who comes out, wants or needs a parade. Though I completely believe that positive visibility is important for those struggling as it was for me growing up in the South, so is leading a life of truthful integrity and that’s what Jodie Foster has done for herself and her family. Her children.
As I said Sunday night on Twitter, my gut reaction was I had never been more proud of Jodie as I was last night. She did it her way, it was messy, it was real, it was in front of the world, with no apologies. She didn’t have to discuss it at all, and she chose to go there. Ms. Foster behind the scenes has given to LGBT causes, such as The Trevor Project, when she didn’t have to, but did.
Congrats Ms. Foster on your many achievements, and I wish you nothing but happiness and continued success. You did more than I could have asked for.