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Views & Voices

Who are you to judge Jodie Foster?

Monday, January 14, 2013

I’m sorry, I don’t understand all the fuss about Jodie Foster and her alleged “coming outat the Golden Globes last evening.

Gay writers and bloggers are angry that she didn’t come out 15 – 20 years ago; she could have done so much for the gay community, blah, blah, blah…

I don’t understand this whole philosophy that exists by some in the gay community that doesn’t tolerate any sort of weakness when it comes to a gay celebrity. This whole thing that says if you’re gay, and you’re any sort of celebrity, or have any sort of power, it’s your responsibility to pave the way for every other gay person in the world.

Jodie Foster

I don’t believe its Jodie Foster’s responsibility to make my life easier. I don’t believe it should be the job of any celebrity to make my life easier. Their job is to make me laugh or cry – you know – entertain me. What they do when they go home is absolutely none of my business.

Every gay person has a coming out story. It’s private, it’s personal, and it’s not to be judged by anyone. How can any one person judge the journey of another human being without sounding snide and just a wee-bit arrogant?

There was no way I could have ever come out before I did at the age of 50. I don’t believe that makes me a coward – I just believe it was my life, my circumstances, my choices. I knew the moment I made the decision that my life would most surely change, people would judge me, and I would never again look at the world through the same eyes.

It’s scary, and it’s probably the loneliest I have ever felt in my life.

It’s not as easy as just saying I’m gay. Once you say it – your life changes. The way people look at you – changes, the way people speak to you – changes, the way people treat you – changes, basically – everything changes. You instantly become one of the “other,” one of the freaks, one of the queers, one of the “those kind of people.” I can understand the years it may take to have the courage and the strength to face all of that.

Even after one makes the life-changing choice to “come out” we all don’t want to stand on a soap box and preach, or shove our gayness into the faces of the non-believers. Some of us just want to live a life of truth – our own truth. Some just want to live a quiet life of dignity and respect filled with the love of friends and family who know who they are and love them unconditionally. Those who choose the road of privacy deserve the same respect as those who choose the road of activism.

For in the end, isn’t everyone who has made the choice to come out made their own statement to the world? Haven’t they changed the world just a little by speaking their truth? We should celebrate Jodie Foster and her courage, just as we should celebrate each and every gay person who has the courage to say: Hey world – This is who I am…

Now go and hug on each other…

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41 more reader comments:

  1. She’s a class act . . . many of us have known for years . . . .

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:35pm
  2. We judge her because WE have been at the front lines battling the bigots AS OUT humans since 1975. That’s who we are.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:35pm
  3. Right on, Barbara!

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:35pm
  4. how is making sure you don’t destroy your career weakness, only someone with nothing to lose would say that

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:36pm
  5. We’ve always known she was gay, it’s not like she went out of her way to hide it. The gay community is always complaining about having to come out and how falling in love should be considered as something natural thereby eliminating the need to come out. If Jodie didn’t feel like giving a long speech about her sexual preferences that’s her business.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:36pm
  6. Well said. Every journey is different, if we start judging each other we’re as bad as everyone else

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:36pm
  7. Thats like with Kenny Chesney, he came out and had anyone seen him do anything with the Gay Community….not that I can recall but Im not broken up about it. Any person famous or non has their own battle with what this so called society expects of anyone to be.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:37pm
  8. Absolutely agreed.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:37pm
  9. Maybe we all “knew.” Maybe she needed to do it for herself to be free, to shout it from the roof tops so to speak. Don’t be so judgy. Let her have her breath. To you it may not have been a big deal, but to her it was.

    How did you feel before you came out? How did you feel when you felt the need to come out? How did you feel while you were making your announcement? How did you feel after?

    Before you judge, walk in her shoes. Actress Yes, but she is ALSO a human being.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:39pm
  10. Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:39pm
  11. She owes nothing to no one. Why the hell does the community have to make her or anyone else responsible? I say this as a staunch supporter…my brother and 3 best friends are gay…..but to say she owes the community anything is just so self-serving, childish, and ignorant.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:40pm
  12. Not reading this one even though the title suggests that maybe it is not an attack on her. It is really none of our affair if she came out boldy, clearly or whatever. We all need to remember from whence most of us came.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:42pm
  13. Yes, I also believe each person has the right to come out or to not come out in a way that is special to that person. What I don’t like about these celebrities is when they do decide, they make a big deal of it like we should be applauding them. She wanted to stay in the closet quietly, when everyone knew she was gay anyway and the community respected that. So don’t now go to the Golden globes and make a big deal of it. Just pay it forward so that women questioning their sexual orientation will have someone to look up to. Do something good with your “gayness”!

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:43pm
  14. i love her speech

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:43pm
  15. It’s ridiculous that people are berating her for not publicly coming out years ago. But what I want to know is this – when did Kenny Chesney come out?

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:44pm
  16. Don, it’s supportive. And I agree. I don’t understand our community. Whatever status a human being may have, each individual deserves respect and a right to privacy. It’s none of my business, nor anyone else’s, what my neighbors do in their bedroom, what my friends do in their bedroom and most certainly not what a media figure does in theirs. No one in the community can place a responsibility for activism on anyone else. That is a choice that must be made by the individual and their immediate family. Besides, no one castigated Bomer for the same type of speech last year. WTF??

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:46pm
  17. If she decides to come out, as it appears she did. it is NOT for us to decide when that will happen. All I’ll say is welcome Jodie!

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:48pm
  18. “It’s not as easy as just saying I’m gay. Once you say it – your life changes. The way people look at you – changes, the way people speak to you – changes, the way people treat you – changes, basically – everything changes. You instantly become one of the “other,” one of the freaks, one of the queers, one of the “those kind of people.””

    You’re right, it ain’t easy. In fact it is damn hard and, often, just plain dangerous.

    That’s why I have to kinda, sorta have to disagree with you. In the beautiful, talented Ms. Foster’s case, she has always be out. She might not have used the fact for self promotion or as her sole claim to fame, but it’s not like she kept it a deep dark secret.

    My only wish is that she would have felt more comfortable being vocal about her orientation earlier because it might have eased the way for a bunch of other people who didn’t have her fame, money and power to protect them.

    Either way IS a personal choice and I respect every lesbian and gay’s right to choose when, or even if they come out, but I also greatly much more admire those who put themselves out there as role models.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:50pm
  19. Agreed Barbara! My expectations for celebrities is actually lower than that of the unknowns in the world. I came out around 40 and it has been an insane journey. My partner, a former Mormon, would probably take the quiet just live and let live road. I have always been an activist. All of our stories are important, and critical to share in some way with others so even though there is no way to shed those lonely hours, weeks, months completely at least have something to hold onto, stories. We can know that this path has been walked before, just not quite enough yet to have blazed the trail. You might want to take a look at From Privilege to PRIDE: Love is the Road on Amazon.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:53pm
  20. Who cares if she ‘formally’ comes out or not. I thought it was already know back when she was a teenager. What’s the big deal.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:57pm
  21. Whatever. She’s reaped the benefits of thousands if us coming out years before so she could have such a flippant self indulgent speech last night. I love her but in this issue, not so much! Mel is another strange part of this too. Ugh

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 1:58pm
  22. Who is to judge those that come out or not? Everyone has there reasons and she obviously had hers. Done and over with. Be glad she chose to come out. Another celebrity felt comfortable enough and put her career on the line. If you were in her shoes could you do it?

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 2:03pm
  23. While I wish she had come out much earlier, we should all understand our individual journeys make it impossible for any of us to decide for all of us what the right time is.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 2:10pm
  24. Well said. Her life, her journey. She never signed up to be a spokesperson and no one should try to assign that role to her.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 2:14pm
  25. Even in this “coming out” speech, she neither promoted nor hid being a lesbian from the public. Isn’t that what we all hope for?

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 2:23pm
  26. <3

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 2:24pm
  27. Like she said last night she’s come out a 1000 times already. Just because it wasn’t plastered on the cover of People magazine or televised to millions of viewers during an hour long chat with Oprah does not mean she isn’t out and living her life honestly. We all know she is gay, she knows we all know. She see’s no reason to keep reminding people of something they already know and have known for a few decades now.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 2:55pm
  28. I am 47 and have grown up watching Jodie Foster as an actress, director and producer. It never occured to me that she might not be gay nor did it occur to me to care. I have simply enjoyed and respected her work. She had a dream, followed it and became a powerhouse in her own way in the field of her own choosing. What more can we ask from a role model.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 2:56pm
  29. Who gives a shit what Jodie Foster has to say about anything? She’s not part of MY life, so why would I care, either way?

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 3:01pm
  30. Silly. People don’t seem to understand that actor/actress live in a different world. Coming out gay destroys their career. It worked for Ellen because she is just a talk show host.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 3:08pm
  31. well said, Barbara. It is a good reminder. Judging others’ journey is not our place; and since most of us know how the other side of that judgment feels….shame on us when we set ourselves up as judge of others.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 3:22pm
  32. It wasn’t a coming out speech. She was saying that: “I know that you know, that I know that you know that I’m gay, BUT I am NOT gonna “come out”, because I don’t condone this Honey Boo Boo, reality show, type of crazed invasion of privacy society. My private life is just that, my private life.” And that is the reason why she never used the word gay. She instead used the word privacy.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 3:57pm
  33. Theres become a new standard of aggression in our own community, people hounding trans, questioning, bi and allies out of the loop as being unwilling to commit to a binary label. People who are afraid to come out are cowards, people who are flamboyant are hams. But thats what we should be all about. DIVERSITY. Diversity in how we live, who we love and what we choose to use our sexuality for. Jodie doesnt have to be Ellen. But as a fan of hers I would have loved for her to be more connected to the community. Also remember, we have made from pretty epic strides lately, maybe she didnt feel safe enough to come out. especially as the last time she was in the public for her personal life, it was as the jewel of a stalker.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 3:58pm
  34. Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 4:15pm
  35. I respect Jodie and her career. I understand her privacy issues after the Chapman matter. I just find she thinks a bit too much about Jodie and speaks in a very oblique fashion.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 4:22pm
  36. Love love love love this a billion times over! She owes nothing to anyone she isn’t anyones keeper! She normalises her life by not making every thing about her sexuality now if only other members of the community took note!

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 4:37pm
  37. Would love to have read this story, but due to your new requirement of signing in, I won’t be.

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 7:25pm
  38. she has never denied anything or tried to create cover by faking dating men – just said “my personal life is private

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 7:36pm
  39. so true and her personal life should be private whether or not she is a celebrity

    Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 9:54pm
  40. i so agree – who cares what one does in their personal life. If it doesn’t affect anybody else outside of their personal life then is nobody’s business. Focus on what she has done SILENTLY so many things some celebrities do are never told because they do not want it to be known for the very reason that many will bastardize the good they do in silence.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 6:09am
  41. The 1% owners of mass media focus on Hollywood gossip so sheeple don’t focus on what’s really important.

    http://www.unseatHarper.ca

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 10:44am