There’s no mistaking it. You don’t have to read between the lines. A big-name Hollywood actress has come out and it’s Jodie Foster. Did you watch her during the Golden Globes? Did you pay attention to her speech? Jodie Foster’s words says it all, albeit a bit too subtle for some. She is gay. She is a lesbian. And you know what, she couldn’t have done it at a better time. Receiving a Cecil B DeMille award and broadcasting it on live telecast at Golden Globes for the whole world to see and hear takes a lot of grace and guts.
Why now? Why on Golden Globes? Why name her former girlfriend and partner for the whole world to google? Why? Why? Why?!
It is so easy to complicate matters when you fail to take in the actress’ words and intentions. Why should her private life be of concern to the public in the first place? Can you imagine how the publicity of her sexuality becomes just another fodder for the media to feast on, where in this day and age, as she puts it, your private life becomes a cheap, money-making franchise for a reality show and a fragrance line? Should she really stoop to that level and jeopardize her private family life? An actress of her calibre?
I can’t pretend to understand everything. I don’t know the pressure famous and influential women go through, how hard it is to separate their public life and private life, and how much effort it takes to screen out the prying eyes of the media and all the unwanted attention. Still, I think it is important for women to come out of the closet. Whether you are a public figure or not, I think it is a responsibility we owe to our predecessors who have set the path for us, we owe it to every scared woman out there to help them find their voice, we owe it to ourselves to be proud of who we are. Because just by coming out, we come to represent, we come to claim our space, our rights, and dignity. And by doing so, we help others find the opportunity themselves.
The circumstances vary for each and every woman out there. But let me just say, congratulations! It truly takes a lot of heart to come out. It takes a lot of courage to come out. It takes a lot of sacrifice to come out.
As women, as lesbians, we are made of the sterner stuff. And truly, we can and we will overcome anything and everything until equality fully lives up to its promise. This is our campaign.