So Jodie Foster has finally, sort of, come out publicly. Sure there had been rumours for years and most of us who form part of the LGTB community knew she was a lesbian. Even as celebrities continued to come out, Jodie Foster still remained in the closet.[1] Foster cites her personal privacy as part of the reason she has never come out publicly. As far as she was concerned she had already come out to those around her and she was living an authentic life. One must ask the question why she should be expected to come out.

Many reasons exist for LGTB to come out publicly. The most important reason is for our youth. Role models are critical for young people. The more we stand up and say yes I am LGTB the more our youth see that being LGTB is not only a viable option but one that can actually make them happy. The more of us who stand up, the more visibility we have the less likely LGTB youth are to hate themselves.

Celebrities have even greater visibility; their role in society is magnified. This is why it is so important for them to acknowledge their sexual orientation. Trans celebrities are in a unique position to help youth and parents to understand what may be happening in their family.

As long as LGTB youth are killing themselves in large numbers we all share the responsibility to be role models.


[1] I heard it described as a ‘glass closet’ – basically everyone could see who she was even if she wasn’t going to come out.

One thought on “Jodie Foster and coming out

  1. I’d like to see more “real” people come out…..I believe everyday, normal, person-next-door members of the LGTB community will make a bigger impact on the lives of kids who are wrestling with issues of sexual orientation. In my experience, having a teacher come out (at a time when it still wasn’t safe to do such a thing) was much more important to me, much more affirming and real than learning some celebrity was gay. Police officers, teachers, members of the military, coaches, fire fighters, executive directors of not-for-profits, writers, artists, doctors and even politicians have more impact on youth in most communities than actors. I can’t imagine being closeted in the entertainment business at this point in history, there’s no excuse to hide one’s sexual orientation, especially in Hollyweird, where it seems that anything goes.

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