Jodie Foster didn't come out to shock you
Jodie Foster's big coming out speech at the Golden Globes has been the water cooler topic of the week. Every time a public figure comes out, I like to sit back and listen to the online response, and most of the time I find it runs somewhere in the vein of mockery: jokes - with the occasional sprinkling of awesome warm-heartedness.
The response to Ms. Foster seems to be no different, so I wanted to take this chance to relate from my experience, maybe shift a few people's perspectives, or just generally start a discussion about it.
Coming out to parents and family members was a frightening thing for me, and still is for people who haven't done it yet. I don't think social climate will ever fully change that fact. I remember telling my father and later my sister that I was bi-sexual and how terrifying that was. My sister was livid pissed... but only because she was the last one I told. Sisters are funny like that.
Regardless of how frightening it is, no matter how scary it is to think about your relationships with your loved ones being impacted by your sexuality, at some point most of us get to a point where it's worth it to face that fear. It's worth it to just be who we are. And looking that fear in the face has very little to do with the person being told.
I've heard so many people making jokes about how they've known for decades that Jodie Foster was gay. That they aren't shocked that she's gay, and that basically she didn't need to bother coming out.
I hate to burst your bubble...Jodie Foster didn't come out for your shock and awe. She came out so she could live her own truth (at least that's how it was for me). I am not open with my sexuality with people because I give two shits if they're shocked by it or not; it's because it's the truth.
If part of who I am offends someone so badly that they'd rather not be in my life, even something as benign as my sexual orientation, then it's probably best that we figure that out don't you think? Jodie Foster didn't come out for the public, if anything she kept quiet so long because of public perception. Jodie Foster came out for herself, and it was an amazing, brave, beautiful thing. And I cannot think of a better time to do so than on the evening celebrating her life-long achievements.