I’ve loved Jodie Foster for a really, REALLY long time. I think it started when I saw Silence of the Lambs when I was around 12 or so. I think she’s pretty and smart and you can just tell that she’d be a good person to have on your side.
It doesn’t hurt that I’ve known for years that she’s gay. But she’s chosen to never confirm (OR DENY) that, and I feel like that’s absolutely her right. And that’s the thing: she never pretended to be straight. I’ve been into celebrity gossip my whole life and I don’t remember her ever dating a man. (Or pretending to.)
I think we all have areas of our lives that we hold sacred and as open as we choose to be about other things, those particular areas are OURS and we get to choose who knows about them and who doesn’t.
For me personally, I’m very open about the fact that I date women and I’ve been out to pretty much literally everyone for over a decade.
But there are things that I don’t talk about. I keep my relationship with my biological mom and her parents pretty private for two reasons. The first is that it’s not just my story to tell and the second is that it matters to me and if I start telling every anecdote about them, it becomes less mine and more everyone’s. Of course I talk about them to friends and family; they’re a major part of my life and I love them. But they’re mostly off the blog and when I DO talk about them, it’s never by name. Because it’s mine.
And with Jodie Foster, it’s a whole different thing because (a) she’s been in the public life since she was a child and (b) someone tried to assassinate a president “for” her. And honestly, if anyone has earned the right to be obsessive about privacy, she has. I have the luxury of being open about the things I want to be open about because I’m not a public figure and no one cares.
Do I wish she had come out before? Yes. Every time a celebrity comes out, it makes it harder for people to stay anti-gay. If you love Jim Parsons and Anderson Cooper and Zachary Quinto and Ellen DeGeneres (who, God love her, we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to, because she really is the one who “normalized” gay people for most of America), it’s hard to stop that just because you learn that they sleep with men (or, in Ellen’s case, women).
But I also see Jodie Foster’s point. She’s an actress. Does the fact that we all know her face and resume mean that we get to discuss her private life over breakfast? Does it mean that she has to come out in a very public way or be considered a bad lesbian?
I don’t think it does. She doesn’t owe us anything.
(But since she’s single, I will take a date.)