Interpreting Foster’s Speech: The Fight for Privacy
Jodie Foster came out by not coming out because she’d already come out, then complained about the general lack of privacy after giving up more of hers.
At least, that’s what I think happened at the Golden Globes on Sunday. I’m still a little confused.
People have been sure for years that Foster was gay. She apparently never came right out and confirmed the rumors, but the rumors existed for so long that they just seemed to become accepted as fact. That’s how people are, unfortunately.
Foster started by announcing that she was about to make a big announcement, only to reveal that she was…“single.” She then played up the notion that everyone must have assumed that she was going to come out. “I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago,” she added.
But then she turned her attention to the issue of privacy, joking that she was breaking the rules because these days, when celebrities decide to come out, they “honour the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show.”
Explaining her own position, she made a perfectly valid point:
“If you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler, if you’d had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you too might value privacy above all else.”
Okay, I get it: you’re a public figure who basically grew up on film. You’re a celebrity. Everyone wants to know everything about every detail of your life, things that are clearly none of their business. You have every right to your privacy, just as your fans have a right to theirs.
But don’t then make such a show of coming out, or not coming out, depending on how you read what she said; you are only fueling the fire you claim you hate to begin with.
Why do I need to know of Foster’s sexual orientation? Is it supposed to make me want to see more of her movies? (It doesn’t.)
Being gay means you will be treated differently, unfairly, unkindly. But there are already what Foster would likely call “poster children” for the cause who’ve had their press conference and who are already likely in development of their signature fragrance and in talks for their reality show.
How many more of those do we need?
I can absolutely respect privacy, even if I can’t relate to what child stars experience as they grow up in the public eye.
But there comes a point at which you have to decide how much privacy you’re actually willing to give up, no matter what the rumor mills are or aren’t whispering about you. Here’s a clue: there’ll always be someone whispering about you somewhere and about something. It’s a sad part of the human condition, granted, but it’s true.
If you complain that you don’t like giving up your privacy, yet you let people into your private life, anyway, how, exactly, are you solving this problem?