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JANUARY 14, 2013 4:47PM

Who Are You to Judge Jodie Foster?

Rate: 19 Flag

I’m sorry, I don’t understand all the fuss about Jodie Foster and her alleged “coming out” at 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 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.

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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You're so right. It's just this social media we have today - everyone has to make a comment & make a judgment about everything - nobody REALLY thinks of others feelings when they're busy gossiping. R
Marilyn - I just believe so much that no one has the right to judge another - we just don't know what their path is - we just don't know. Thanks so much for reading...
I admire her so much. She is a wonderful actress, and that's all I care about. Well done, Barb. ~r
This is news to me; I actually thought Jodie Foster came out a long time ago. But when is this going to stop being news?
She came out years ago. Last night's speech was not a coming out speech. Anyone who thinks it was hasn't been paying attention.
Hugs. I know the day is coming when race and sexuality is not an issue for anyone.
I didn't see/hear her speech so all I can say is you are right. This obsession people seem to have with other people's business is bizarre. One thing doesn't have to affect the other and Jodi is just another case in point. R
Joan – thank you so much for reading and for the comment.

Margaret – I could only hope it stops being news for anyone to come out any day now! Thanks for reading and for the comment.

Kathy – She has never publicly stated she was gay – ever, and I wasn’t saying the speech was her coming out address. Let me just say this - Talking about your partner and saying you’re gay – are entirely two different things… thanks for reading…

Zanelle – I look forward to that day for all of
us. Thanks for reading and for the hugs!

Buffy – Thanks so much – I don’t know why people care so much about what another person does either!
I, too, thought she was out a long time ago. I didn't see or hear all of what she said last night but ... I guess I don't care at all. Be happy. You don't have to report to me.

I just don't like that she seems so tight with Mel Gibson lately. I'll judge that nutjob.
Things have gotten worse through the years and it is time it stops. It took courage for my BFF to come out to his parents and I could only shudder if he had the media after him.

It is no one's business but to the individual. To tell you the truth I found her speech confusing last night but that was her personal choice. If it was me I'd tell them all to stick their opinions where the sun don't shine. I had tears when I saw her kids and how proud they were of her. That is all that matters.

HUGGGGGGGGGGg
Life is complex. I don't judge Jodie. By her own lights, she was out. As she said, everyone in her personal circle knew. Coming "more out" (something I also started doing in my own way and for my own reasons a couple of years ago - late 40s) was also a blessing.
Sheila – Thanks so much – for reading and for the comment.

Nerd – Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I don’t get the whole Mel Gibson thing – but – it’s not for us to say….

Linda – I couldn’t agree with you more – and thanks so much for the HUG.. ♥ It’s great to see you.

Eva - Life is most certainly complex – We all walk our own path in our own time. Thanks for reading and for the comment…
I was sleeping when she gave her speech, but listened to it this morning on Gawker. She is a lovely person and that came across in all her words, even if their meaning was unclear. When she told her mother she loved her three times, saying she hoped it might sink in, I did understand that her mother had dementia. That was beautiful, and it did not matter if no one else in the world understood.
You are right, and what Marilyn said. I am surprised though that you are surprised. This is the land of busy bodies and non-issues; we love to talk about nothing and the media simply capitalize of that wonderful quality. Excellent post. R
Nobody much cares about her sexuality, I would guess. She's had a great career, and part of that in this world involves being scrutinized. It's a tradeoff, and I'll bet she wouldn't trade the privacy for the success. I did find bringing Mel Gibson along changed the tone for lots of us, who find her conflicted in many ways.
Ummmm... can't help but get the feeling, when I read things like "when is this going to stop being news?..." or "Nobody much cares about her sexuality...", that what I'm REALLY hearing is, "Why don't you stay in the closet like a good little queer!"

Granted, all of the issues related to a LGBTQ person's coming out is "uncomfortable" to all you str8 people, and we DO know that most of you secretly wish we'd shut the hell up and go away, but sorry peeps... that ain't gonna happen.

The REASON that this is being discussed isn't so much Ms. Foster's sexual orientation (cuz EVERYONE has know what that was for decades), but has more to do with people who are willing to stand up and be role models.

I fully acknowledge that "announcing" your orientation is a personal choice and I respect the privacy of people like Jodie Foster and their right to privacy. That does NOT, however, remove my wish that MORE famous people would publicly come out so as to ease the way for many other people who DON'T have their fame, money or power to protect them.
I think Jodie Foster's speech was perfect. She basically said that anyone who knew her (her family, friends, business associates) knew. Why should anyone else care? Why should her her private life and personal relationships be the subject matter for a press conference.
Greeheron – Her words to her Mother touched me also. My mother recently passed from dementia… I understood. Thanks for reading and for the comment.

Thoth – I shouldn’t be surprised – but somehow I just keep hoping this sort of thing won’t matter all that much… thanks for reading and for the comment.

Lea – For whatever reason – She and Mel Gibson are friends and I suppose it’s not for us to judge that friendship. Thanks for reading and for the comment.

From the Midwest – Thanks so much.

Amy - You and I simply do not agree on this issue. I don’t believe that anyone has the responsibility to publicly come out to ease the way for anyone. We all make our own way – we all find our own path.

I also didn’t take the comments the same way you did. I believe the “when is this going to stop being news” meant that it doesn’t matter – let it go – it’s not news…

Role models don’t have to come in public figures. They can come in the lesbian couple living quietly next door, the gay couple pushing their kids on the swings in the park. We all have the power to be role models by simply living our lives with pride and dignity. It’s the responsibility of every LGBTQ person; we shouldn’t demand something from a celebrity we don’t expect from ourselves and each other.
Loved this post--and also your last comment here. Agree.
I absolutely agree with you!

In my experience most of the straight people I know are also very tolerant, accepting, absolutely ok with gays and lesbians. We coexist pretty comfortably in my neck of the woods, and one reason we do is that we don't lump either side with words like "all." We do not generalize and stereotype based on sexual orientation. Those kinds of toxic generalizations are what breed discord, not people's decision to maintain their own privacy, no matter WHAT their celebrity status.

Jodie has been an extraordinary entertainer for alot of years. Her job is to entertain, not to fix the world. If she chooses to lend her story, then well and good. And if she chooses not to, well and good.

The world's not going to be fixed by people "coming out." It will be fixed by people, regardless their sexual orientation, living responsible lives.

People aren't interested in who I sleep with. They are interested in what I contribute to my world. Jodie deserves no less.
If "its personal and private, perhaps it should remain so. Are we not all God's children?
Well said. And your last comment was perfect.
As another example, the media made another big deal about actor Victor Garber "coming out" this week and some criticized him for being part of a so-called trend of announcing their sexual orientation "softly" instead of in splashy fashion. Garber rightfully was perplexed by the attention. He and others have never actively hidden who they are, they have just lived their lives openly. Why are they suddenly criticized by some for not holding a press conference or wearing their sexual orientation on their sleeve? Simply because some others choose to remain in the closet? I think the greatest activism these celebrities can do is by showing the rest of the world that their lifestyle is just as "normal" as anyone else's, and it's no big deal.
Well said, Barbara. I have so much respect for Jodie as an actress, director and human being.
OK, I'll be the pooper at this party.

I've disliked Jodie Foster for years. Like the odious Mary Cheney, she seeks to benefit from the real sacrifices made by other gay people over the last 30 years, now that her coming out is free of risk and signifies pretty much nothing.

Further, the sight of her sitting with world-class anti-Semite, homophobe, and nutcase Mel "I want his intestines on a stick" Gibson is beyond belief.

Instead, I praise the younger generation of gay celebrities -- Anderson Cooper, Ellen and Portia, Neil Patrick Harris, Rachel Maddow, Sarah Paulson, Zachary Quinto -- who go about their business with openness, dignity and good humor. And God bless the millions of unknown gay people, some of whom paid with their lives for the freedom that most of us enjoy today. My partner came out in 1973. That's courage, people.

And, Jodie, why don't you try making a good movie while you're at it. You can't dine out on Silence of the Lambs forever.
Who are you to judge the people who judge Jodie Foster??
Dear Barbara,
Thank God that the people her in Australia are far more tolerant of the gay community
Even the the Australian newspapers rarely give them any coverage,except for when the Sydney gay and lesbian Mardi Gra festival is held,which is once a year,which is a very popular event,attracting thousands of local,and overseas visitors.
Peter
I agree. It's none of our business if a celeb is gay or straight as long as they are doing their job and setting a good example. Jodie's speech did make me kind of dizzy, I wasn't sure where she was going or possibly she was drunk. I don't know, but after 47 years in show biz she deserved the shout-out!
"It's none of our business if a celeb is gay or straight as long as they are doing their job and setting a good example."

See, I don't even think the "setting a good example" part is necessary. An actor's job is to entertain people by playing a role. The public and/or the gay community does not own Jodie Foster, and has no say in what she does. We can appreciate her stellar job performance, but other than that, why is it her responsibility to be a good role model? And if she wants to be a role model, shouldn't she be able to chose what role she's modeling? Maybe she values privacy, and feels she is a role model for others in public life who also value privacy. But that's up to her.

My job is to write advertising copy. My friend is a zoo vet. My uncle sells cars. Jodie Foster is an actress. These are just our jobs, and none of us should be expected to be awesome examples in society's generalized idea of what a quality person is.
[r] bravo!! such a powerful share! best, libby
I only judge Jodie for the rather incoherent nature of her speech, and for one or two of her acting performances I have not enjoyed (I usually think she's awesome). She has as much right as anyone else to choose when and how and if to come out, or stay in.
Well said! Judging anyone you don't know well is a tricky business, and Jodie Foster seems like such a wonderful person, so it's even worse in her case.