Jodie Foster received the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes award on Sunday, but that was not the big news: Mark Jan. 13, 2013 as the date when Jodie Foster finally came out as single — then as a lesbian
Notably, Foster wasn’t there for a coming out speech. Instead, she was there to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which is a lifetime achievement award given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”. It was first presented on February 21, 1952 at the 9th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony and is named in honor of its first recipient, director Cecil B. DeMille.
The part of her speech that finally — finally — detailed what had been known for some time was about halfway through her acceptance speech (embedded below). Foster said:
So while I’m here being all confessional, I just have a sudden urge to say something that I’ve never really been able to air in public. A declaration that I’m a little nervous about, but maybe not quite as nervous as my publicist right now, huh, Jennifer? But I’m just gonna put it out there, loud and proud, right? So I’m gonna need your support on this … I am single. Yes, I am. I am single. No, I’m kidding, but I’m not really kidding, but I’m kind of kidding. Thank you for the enthusiasm, can I get a wolf whistle or something?
[sound cuts out] wanna be a big coming-out speech tonight, because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family, co-workers, and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met. But now, apparently, I’m told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a prime-time reality show.
Foster said, however, that her decision to never publicly confirm her sexuality had nothing to do with shame or a fear that she would be ostracized, but had instead had to do with privacy for herself and her partners.
If you had been a public figure since the time you were a toddler, if you had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you too would value privacy above all else.
Foster alluded, in her speech, to retiring, but then swiftly denied that afterwards. She said:
This feels like the end of one era, and the beginning of something else. Scary and exciting, and now what? Well, I may never be up on this stage again, on any stage for that matter. I will continue to tell stories, it’s just that from now on I may be holding a different talking stick.
Maybe it won’t be as sparkly, but it will be my writing on the wall: Jodie Foster was here. I still am and I want to be seen, to be understood deeply and to be not so very lonely. Here’s to the next 50 years.
When asked about a possible retirement backstage, Foster clarified that she really meant she would be doing different things — but also, still acting:
I could never stop acting. You’d have to drag me behind a team of horses. I’d like to be directing tomorrow. But, no, I’m actually more into [acting] than I’ve ever been.
… people change. That change is important. Hopefully, I’ll be doing different things than when I was at 3 years old or 6 years old … That work evolves.
Jodie Foster now joins celebrities like Matt Bomer, Sam Champion and Anderson Cooper who have recently publicly addressed their sexuality in subdued, non-publicity seeking ways.
The video is embedded, but an alternative link is here, in case the first is pulled over copyright issues.