Although many in the media are calling Jodie Foster's speech at Sunday night's Golden Globe Awards her "coming out" speech, the announcement was "old news" for many.
Foster, who received the Cecil B. DeMille award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment, began her speech by reminding the audience that she was 50-years-old and has been in the film business for 47 years. She thanked members of the Hollywood Foreign Press, calling them "Golden Globies", and said that the evening and the award made her feel like a prom queen. It was then that Foster said:
"So I'm here being all confessional and I guess I just have the sudden urge to say something that I've never really been able to air in public, so a declaration that I'm a little nervous about."
Foster mentions being "loud and proud" before announcing that she was - single. After getting a laugh from the crowd, Foster apologizes, saying:
"Seriously, I hope that you're not disappointed that there won't be a big-coming-out speech tonight. Because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age."
Foster may have come out to her family and friends years ago, but she also came out publicly as a lesbian more than five years ago.
During the Women in Entertainment breakfast in December of 2007, Foster paid tribute to her partner of nearly 15 years, film producer Cydney Bernard. She began by telling attendees:
"I feel fragile, unsure, struggling to figure it all out, trying to get there even though I'm not sure where there is."
Foster goes on to thank Bernard for all of her support, saying:
"[she] sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss".
Foster has been a long time supporter of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, helping to establish a gay youth helpline known as The Trevor Project. She has also supported HIV/AIDS prevention projects, and has been featured during gay pride month events.
Some believe the media clamor over Foster's Golden Globe comments is due to the fact that the Golden Globes is a worldwide media event, unlike the Women in Entertainment breakfast. Regardless of the reason for the media intrigue and spectacle, no one can deny that Foster's comments were made with humor, as well as with genuine emotion. Foster used comedy when she jokingly said that celebrities are expected to announce their sexual orientation “with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show.” She then talks about her desire for privacy, saying:
"If you had been public figure for the time you were a toddler. If you had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal and against all odds. . . Then maybe you too would value privacy against everything else."
Although Foster and Bernard are no longer a couple, they have remained close friends. Foster acknowledges the relationship by saying:
"No way I could ever stand here without acknowledging one of the deepest loves of my life, my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love...Cydney Bernard. I am so proud of our modern family, our amazing sons, Charlie and Kit, who are my reason to breathe and to evolve."
Foster ended her speech by possibly hinting at why she had chosen this moment to once again announce her sexuality, saying:
"I want to be seen, to be understood deeply, and to be not so very lonely."