“Tonight, I feel like the prom queen,” Jodie Foster beamed with an inner light that could blind God if He looked at her directly. She stood on the stage at the Golden Globes, poised and you could tell that her win of the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award meant more to her than we’d ever know. While there are many conspiracy theories around what her speech was about, it seems Jodie had a point to make and I think that point was that she’s in charge of her own life and the way intimate details of her life are revealed. I’m proud of Jodie Foster.
“I’m going to need your support on this. I am single. I hope you’re not disappointed that there won’t be a big coming out speech tonight because I already did my coming out about 1000 years ago, back in the stone age. It was those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends, family and coworkers and then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her (everyone she actually met).”
The battle of “coming out” in a world where we expect to know the deepest details of a celebrity’s life is a slippery slope. On one hand, you’re labeled an oversharer a la Kim Kardashian and therefore lose the popularity you need to stay relevant in this industry and on the other, you’re placed in an always-sensational, always criticized role that will inevitably eat you alive.
I’ve often written and chatted with my friends about what I think I know about Queen Latifah’s love life. Between snapshots from the craftiest of paparazzi to the Queen’s own questionable comments and actions, I’ve deduced that she’s a lesbian. While I share this personal opinion with many, I’ve always known that the truth was for Queen Latifah to hold and protect for herself. She was never required to tell the world who she prefers to do the no-pants dance with. In an interview with Upscale, Queen explained, “I don’t feel like I need to explain things to a perfect stranger. The people who matter know. And they love me for Dana. I don’t have to tell Joe Blow. Joe, you worry about who you sleeping with.”
People typically take these type of responses to the recurring question as an admission of homosexuality. I’ve heard, “Couldn’t she just say she’s not gay?” Yes. Queen and any other high profile celebrity without a man could mention that she’s straight, but that still wouldn’t stop the whispers and water cooler chatter. So, how do they win? By making these types of statements and leaving it at that.
During Jodie’s epic acceptance speech, which became more candid as she went on, she offered this sobering truth, “If you had been a public figure from 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. Privacy. Someday in the future, people will look back and remember how beautiful it once was.”
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While Jodie prides herself on a person that will never be as exposed as “Honey Boo Boo Child,” there are women in Hollywood who have come out to the world in an effort to feel empowered. Women like Wanda Sykes, Ellen Degeneres, Portia DeRossi and Alexis Arquette have all come out to the world on their own terms and were welcomed with open arms. But every celebrity can’t tell the same tale of triumph.
The process of coming out is no easy task. Even if you know your loved ones will accept you and love you all the same, the pressure is intense. As someone who doesn’t limit their sexual attraction to one sex, I know that opening up about your preference is often just plain…weird. With a group of gay friends who have loved me since my drunken college years, I knew that coming out wasn’t impossible, just uncomfortable. I thought that finally making peace with what I was feeling on the inside would be enough, but it wasn’t. I’m not on Queen Latifah’s level by any means, but there are people who care about my sexual orientation and often demand to know “what I am.”
The only difference between homosexuality and heterosexuality is who you choose to sleep with. Nothing else. So why does our so-called advanced society hold so much weight in being in-the-know on who causes the notches on your bedpost?
As Jodie mentioned, she’s already come out, but during this Golden Globes speech, she gave us an earful. Moral of the story? Her sexuality is her own. Have a good day.
What do you beauties think? Does our society force homosexual celebrities out of the closet? Let’s chat on Twitter @HB_DaniYoung.
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