Monday, January 14, 2013

Fostering Divisiveness

Am kind of surprised by how strongly people are reacting to Jodie Foster's "coming out" speech at last night's Golden Globes. My friend Scott seemed to feel empathy, almost sadness, for the enormously wealthy, two-time Oscar winner -- "too famous for too long methinks" -- while stars like Rosie O'Donnell, Lena Dunham, Chelsea Clinton and Jesse Tyler Ferguson were blown away by her candor and grace. ("Jodie Foster: You are perfection. I love you," the carrot-topped actor tweeted.)

Mike Signoroile took a more circumspect view of things: "Yes, if she'd done it 20 years ago, 10 years ago, even five years ago, it would have had a much greater impact. ... [But] it was another win for busting down the closet door among public figures. It was also another example of the new way that celebrities are coming out, embarrassed in 2013 to have ever been in the closet and claiming that they've always been out (even if that sounds pretty ludicrous, as it does in this case). And that's a testament to the coming-out message that activists have made for years.

But many in the LGBT community were having none of it -- with cries of "too little, too late" -- summed up best by actor Wilson Cruz::
Gay Star News reported: 'I'm glad that Jodie Foster thinks that coming out publicly is no big deal and that you don't have to do interviews and make a big deal about it," he wrote in a post that has since been taken down. 'She's right...TODAY, you MAY NOT HAVE TO, but there was a time, not too long ago, that it was an act of PRIDE, it was ACTIVISM, to proclaim your truth in order to shed light and, sometimes, save lives.'  
Cruz characterized Foster as having been 'hiding for decades' then standing on the stage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and acting 'as if it was a non-issue. It's a non-issue because people risked their careers and yes, their lives, to make it so.'
I tend to believe every person's coming out is their own journey. So while I understand people's frustration with this (and Anderson Cooper's) long-delayed confirmation, as well as Foster's attempt to turn it around on the media and the activists (like somehow they were to blame for merely doing their jobs), I choose to see this glass half-full. It's not like she was pretending to date men or denying she was gay -- and can you really blame her for being such a privacy nut?


Blobby said...

I could care less about Jodi Foster coming out. You'd have to be blind not to have known - but that's neither here nor there.

Her bigger offense is her unwaivering support of Mel Gibson during his anti-semetic and homophobic comments. That she can shelve her homosexuality and support him when he brings down her and a community is deplorable.

Anonymous said...

I can understand the difficulty in coming out. I think our community will, on the whole, support her.

Tom said...

I totally agree that it's up to the individual. But I agree too that the "I've always been out" is really, really lame. If you're not publicly out, you're not really out no matter how many of your friends know.

P@tr!ck said...

Jodie Foster came out as a narcissist. Period.

Anonymous said...

I whole-heartedly agree with you. They kept cutting away to his face which looked like he was saying "what??? You are gay!!!"

Ryan said...

Thanks, Jodie Foster, for utilizing your white, upper class privilege to make coming out not a big deal. But for other people of different backgrounds, coming out is not always an option, and doing so still remains a risk.

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