This past Sunday, gay parent and actress Jodie Foster accepted the Cecil B. De Mille Lifetime Achievement award at the Golden Globes. However, the award took a backseat, as Foster’s coming out speech took center stage and caused mixed reactions. Here is a snippet of Foster’s speech.
After saying that she is nervous and needs to put something out there, Foster joked to the audience, as stated on www.msnbc.msn.com, “I’m going to need your support on this. I am. . .single.”
After kidding around a bit more, Foster turned serious, resuming her speech.
“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,” as stated on www.thedailybeast.com.
Foster also addressed her two adolescent sons, Charles and Kit, who sat in the audience, an unusual occurence. The actress shares parenting duties with former partner Cydney Bernard, who she also thanked.
While some lauded Foster for coming out publicly including singer Ricky Martin and comedian Rosie O’Donnell, other people disagreed.
“I found her speech a weirdly defensive, self-rationalizing defense of the celebrity closet,” said the Village Voice columnist Michael Musto. “I think Jodie should have just said, ‘Yep, I’m gay,’ rather than try to justify the fact that she was in the glass closet while claiming she already did come out (meaning to everyone she meets),” Musto e-mailed to ABCNews.com, as stated on www.abcnews.go.com.
Deb Baer from the Huffington Post felt that Foster should have come out years ago, which may have helped other people, while Eric Sasson from the Wall Street Journal criticized the actress’ speech as “confrontational, defensive, disjointed,” as stated on www.msnbc.msn.com.
Applauding Foster’s speech, as stated on www.abcnews.go.com , GLAAD President Herndon Graddick expressed, “Given Jodie Foster’s lifetime of achievements, this is a significant moment for LGBT visibility. As more and more high-profile LGBT people like Jodie speak openly, those who do not accept LGBT people will continue to fall behind the times.”
Fred Sainz from the Human Rights Campaign supported Foster, telling Jocelyn Noveck from the Associated Press, "No doubt, she was partly speaking in code, and she may never have wrapped her words around the fact that she is a lesbian. But everyone watching clearly understood that she was communicating to people that she is gay. She is to be congratulated, no matter how awkward or inarticulate it may have seemed to some. It took an awful lot of courage."
What are your thoughts on Jodie Foster’s coming out speech? Please leave a comment below.