January 14, 2013

Jodie Foster Came Out All Wrong...

Jodie Foster is a two-time Oscar winner, a role model of child star growing up right, an acting icon and a pretty great director too. And as she said over and over again last night, yeah she is 50.

Foster gives great acting - The Accused was devastating and smart, Silence of the Lambs was creepy and smart, Contact was epic and smart, even Sommersby was touching and semi-smart. Granted, Nell blew, but we all have our missteps.

Long rumored to be a lesbian, she has been quoted as referring to her former partner, the woman she has two kids with, but never publicly came out. Until last night at the Golden Globes. Sort of, maybe came out.

Back in 2008, gay magazine Out ran a cover titled The Glass Closet with pics of Jodie Foster and Anderson Cooper, saying was long overdue for them to come out (Cooper came out in 2012).

Foster's not coming out always bugged me... her crappy movies in later years (hello Flight Plan) also bugged me... her dogged defence of homophobic anti-semite Mel Gibson really bugged me... so lately not so much a fan.

In a much talked about seven-minute speech (Hey, I tweeted about it all night), Foster "came out" as single, prompted the crowd to cheer her on, said she didn't have to come out as she had a million years ago, talked about the good old days when privacy mattered, said she didn't want to be the kind of star with a fragrance and reality show, paid touching tribute to some of the people in her life, and said something about magic sticks and making sounds that no one hears... what the hell, Jodie Foster?

Girls star Lena Dunham called the speech "mind-blowingly beautiful"; Zero Dark Thirty's Jessica Chastain called it "incredible"; I am more on the big gay fence. But did she come out? Or refer to being already out? And she did not use the words "Gay" or "Lesbian" even once. When a reporter asked if this was a coming out speech, Foster replied that the speech "speaks for itself"... uh, no.

I was all over the place with this speech -- I was confused, then I was annoyed she didn't fully come out, then I was touched by the parts about her mom and her ex, and now I think I am unsatisfied -- Foster is one of the most famous women anywhere, and she could have stepped up to the opportunity and said "I'm gay", which millions of kids would have heard. Some very scared very lonely closeted gay kids... and she didn't. I am not impressed.

I somehow feel that as a member of the gay community I should applaud a mega-star coming out. After all, visibility is important. However, I am not doing that. Jodie Foster came out all wrong... she sounded bitter, she said she wants privacy but there she is on prime time TV, she mocked people who come out a different way.

Yeah, we all hate fucking Honey Boo Boo. Big deal. You don't have to do a trashy reality show to come out... look at Ellen DeGeneres or Neil Patrick Harris or Anderson Cooper or Lance Bass or Jim Parsons to see it done right. Those people are braver than you --- at least show them some respect.

Foster tried to be cute by "Coming out as single" but then didn't come out as gay, she acted bitter that she was expected to come out, like it is beneath her. She mocked people who publicly come out... hey lady, I know standing up and saying "I'm gay" is difficult, I have done it. More than once. But it is powerful for anyone who does it. And with someone as big a stage as Foster has, it would be even more powerful.

What did you think of Foster's coming out?