Monday, January 14, 2013


(Video of full speech at the end of this post) Jodie Foster won the Cecil B. DeMille award last night at the Golden Globes for her lifetime achievement in the field of entertainment. After a weird, insider-joke filled intro by Robert Downey, Jr. and a wonderful montage of Foster's 47-year career in Hollywood, Jodie took the stage and gave a speech that, in my opinion, was a much-needed, honest and emotional look at what we, as a society, expect from public figures today. Foster didn't come out because, as she pointed out, she came out "1,000 years" ago. She had lived as a gay woman with her family and friends and people she had "actually met" for years. She even thanked her former partner for an extended period of time, not just last night, but FIVE YEARS AGO while receiving a Women in Entertainment award. Yes, Jodie Foster talked publicly about being a lesbian in 2007. Anyway....the fact that Foster never said "I am gay" or "I am a lesbian" is totally and completely irrelevant to me. We all knew what she was talking about, right? Hasn't everyone gay person, people who follow entertainment or people with heads known that Jodie Foster was gay since the 80s? I mean, really? She's not exactly the modern-day Marilyn Monroe, is she? Now, a few of the points Jodie was making didn't seem to make sense to people.....inexplicably.  I'll focus on one. Why reference Honey Boo Boo? Well, the whole point of the speech, as I understood it, is that "entertainment" as it stands now is all about train wreck reality and/or whores who get famous for making amateur porn. What Jodie and everyone else being honored in that room last night do is not the same thing. They don't need you to know every aspect of their life because it actually plays against what they do. Does Meryl Streep call a news conference every time she has sex or makes a life decision? No. It's none of my bee's wax. That's why we can see her play anything without a pre-conceived notion of who or what that character is already. Would Jodie Foster have been allowed to play all the roles she played if the public in general had known that she was a lesbian? Sadly, probably not. Not in the 80s or 90s for sure. Probably not even now. Yes, that sucks. But what Jodie Foster was saying last night was basically, I'm gay, but it's none of your business. I'm not going to argue with that. I don't know Jodie's life or Jodie's mental state or Jodie's anything. Maybe it would have been psychologically damaging for her to come out as a young person. Maybe she had financial responsibilities that she had to prioritize. Maybe lots of things. Who knows? Sure, it would have been great for you or someone else if Jodie Foster, double Academy Award winner, had come out in 1992, but is she obligated to do what's best for you? And now that she has been more open, vulnerable and human than she has ever let herself appear off-screen in her career, are we as a community going to dismiss and ridicule her for it? Is that where we are? If so, I'm not joining us there. I think Jodie's speech was moving, funny (I'm 50!), honest, brazen and, above all and perhaps most importantly, human. Again, this is my personal opinion. I know that brave men and women fought for the rights that we as a gay community enjoy today. We are still fighting now, but I am not going to deny others' right to privacy at the expense of my personal happiness. You're not impressed by Jodie's speech? You don't care or think it's too little, too late? Good. Stop talking about it then and let those who are moved or inspired by it take what they want from it. IF you really don't care. I have a feeling you do. She was clearly nervous and vulnerable. I think Jodie was brave and lovely. I'll leave off with my favorite part of Jodie's speech, and the most relevant to what I'm writing about in this blog. I think this sums it up quite nicely. "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 what value privacy above all else."

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