Jodi Foster received an award for acting tonight and gave a lengthy speech talking about a topic that had empirically nothing to do with the art of acting. She talked about a shift in the world where a celebrity is expected to lose all expectation of privacy. While I agree with some of her thoughts, I disagreed with what she was using these thoughts for. She was basically using the sanctity of privacy as a defense for not explicitly coming out as a lesbian.
For forever, people have been joking about the fact that Jodi Foster is a secret but not so secret lesbian. Perhaps this is part of the reason why she is so averse to outing herself in public. She said in her speech that in the past, in a much more private society, she had the luxury of discretely telling her closest friends about her most guarded secret, in this case her sexuality, and nobody would pester her about her secrets. To that I ask, what about those of us who don’t have that luxury?
Growing up in one of the most liberal places in America, New York City, I grew up around an eclectic mix of people- people of different backgrounds, heritages, religions, beliefs. I’m used to people accepting each other despite their differences. But even through all that, I would always hear jokes, disdain-laden expletives and pointed barbs at the expense of homosexuals, sometimes from some of my closest friends and family- people who you’d expect to accept you for who you are. I consider myself bisexual. But in the past, I’ve always avoided discussing my sexuality because of this fear- this fear that those people I love, the people I call my friends would hate me for being who I am. When I see people younger than me, I worry for that person like me- the kid who is afraid to come out. That fear is a debilitating and isolating one.
When I think of Jodi Foster’s speech, I can’t help but feel that a part of her message is that its okay to stay in the closet. That its okay to share who you are with only your closest friends and family. That its okay for you to be proud of who you are just don’t tell people you are. That its okay to leave the next generation of homosexual kids to struggle on their own and find their own secret pride. That it is okay to have this fear about revealing yourself. I don’t want all of that to be okay. I want it to be okay to tell people openly that you are who you are and not receive backlash or judgment. Maybe I’m a bit naive in thinking that in the future that my hopes will be achieved, but I hope that it can happen.
In her speech, she intimated that soon privacy will be something that will be mourned, something we lost in our culture of social media (which im using right now), reality shows, tabloids, networking, and gossip. And again, while I agree with that, I have to say that we can’t use that as an excuse to not come out of the closet. We all have the right to our privacy- we have no duty to the public body to reveal who we are. But maybe we have a duty to ourselves and to people like us to come out. Maybe then, people wouldn’t feel so isolated in their fear of coming out. Maybe then, the next generation doesn’t have to struggle with keeping a secret. And maybe then, it won’t be okay for our friends, family and complete strangers to say those pointed barbs, those jokes, those disdain-laden expletives.
This is a slight rant so I feel like my whole argument is tangled web of thoughts threatening to contradict each other in some way. Like a Catch-22 hinging on some clarity to clear itself up. I don’t want it to just be a smattering of thoughts. I want it to have some result. So I think I’m going to use this post to make it my New Year’s resolution, no a life resolution, to slowly come out to more people. To be more assertive and stand up to people who make those kinds of jokes and insults. To be more open. I have talked about my sexuality with some of my friends (some to supportive encouragement, some to painful disappointment). I’m going to face that fear head on and ignore whatever negative backlash I may get. Whats the worst that could happen? If Anderson Cooper, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Neil Patrick Harris, Ke$ha, Amber Heard, Anna Paquin, Simon Tam (hehe, aka Sean Maher), Kyle XY (aka Matt Dallas) can do it seamlessly (and in some cases be met with praise for doing so), so can I.
In her speech, JoFo mentioned Honey Boo Boo, in a subtly derogatory manner in reference to her surging fame in this reality-show-worshipping, privacy-free society. While she isn’t the most refined, mature person (namely cuz she’s a child), she is very open. And I think that is an example to live by. Coming out doesn’t necessarily mean you sacrifice your privacy. So maybe JoFo can live by her example and be more open. In the words of Honey Boo Boo, “aint nothin wrong with bein a little gay, everybody a little gay.”
Even though she was on for only a couple minutes, Olivia Munn was all kinds of amazing.
Okay I’ve changed my mind again. Maybe I only like Tara when she’s with Pam. That seems to be the only time she lets loose and isn’t a total fucking despair.