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Monday, January 14, 2013

Unpacking Jodie Foster’s Golden Globes speech. Will the consensus be ‘You go, girl’ or ‘Girl, go home’?

Foster backstage at the 2013 Golden Globes

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or your crooked wig has been blocking your eyes and ears, you know Jodie Foster sort of came out of her lesbian closet at the Golden Globes Sunday night. Of course, Foster has been sort of coming out for a few years now—her sexual orientation has been the biggest open secret in Hollywood and among her LGBTQ fans for decades—but she’s never given a solid “Yep, I’m gay” statement in the brave, groundbreaking fashion of Ellen DeGeneres. What the heck does privacy and Honey Boo Boo got to do with it?! If she were straight, her boyfriend/husband/ex-husband and kids would be all over entertainment media. Unfortunately, Foster seems to be conflating privacy with shame. She can share her life in a positive way without becoming a reality show cliché. Sure, some of the tabloids and paparazzi will exploit her life. That’s show business. But Foster is savvy enough to manage and shape the attention into something powerful and affirming. Let’s hope she catches some pride and works it out.

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