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13 Dec 2007

jodie foster comes out

Jodie Foster, who's known to be fiercely private, thanked her "beautiful Cydney" at an award ceremony - a move seen by the media as coming out.

Two-time Oscar winning actress Jodie Foster is said to have finally come out as a lesbian in an award acceptance speech at the Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment breakfast held at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles last week.

Above: Jodie Foster and her girlfriend, Cydney Bernard (left). Top: Most recently seen in psychological thriller The Brave One, Foster won her Best Actress Oscars playing rape victim Sarah Tobias in The Accused in 1988 and Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lamb three years later.
Accepting the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at the magazine's Women in Entertainment Power 100 breakfast, Foster said, "I would like to thank my beautiful Cydney who sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss."

Sherry Lansing is the former chief of Paramount Pictures.

It's believed to be the first time Foster has made reference to her relationship with film producer Cydney Bernard, her reported partner of 14 years. Although it is long rumoured that the 45-year-old actress is gay, she has resisted commenting on her sexual orientation.

Earlier this year, the actress appeared alongside CNN anchor Anderson Cooper on the cover of the May issue of Out magazine with the headline, "The glass closet: Why the stars won't come out and play". She was also named number 43 on the American gay lifestyle magazine's list of "The 50 Most Powerful Gay Men and Lesbians in America."

She said as she accepted her award: "I don't feel very powerful. I feel fragile... unsure, struggling to figure it all out, trying to get there even though I'm not sure where there is... I've been working in this business for 42 years and there's no way you can do that and not be as nutty as a fruitcake."

The couple met on the set of the film Sommersby in 1993 and are raising two sons, Charles, 9, and Kit, 6, at their Malibu home. Although Foster gave birth to both boys, Foster has never revealed the identity of the father or the circumstances of the boys' conception.

Reader's Comments

1. 2007-12-13 21:25  
It's long been said and, indeed, widely assumed that Jodie is a lesbian. However, as is always the case with such matters, it is entirely her own business to declare if she is one - or not - not that she need ever publicly say one way or the other.

I don't think anyone would be shocked if she said she was gay; at least over here, where (by and large) she's made thoroughly decent films for years, and is seen as an eminently sensible and level-headed person. Well, if it's conclusively revealed that she Is a lesbian - or another scenario - good luck to her regardless.

I've never, Ever gone to see a film, or watched a television show, where I gave a damn what sexuality the actor I saw was, as long as they were good in that role. I don't care if a gay person is playing a straight character, or vice versa, as there's no 'ownership' on any such role, and I'm sure that most calm, sensible and mature people think the same.

Whichever side of the fence Ms Foster sits on, she'll always 'just' be a decent actress to me...
2. 2007-12-13 22:00  
vercoda : Very well said...

Whether she comes out or not, it's her prerogative and I respect her privacy and decision.
3. 2007-12-14 00:32  
People who come out generally do so because they don't want to lie to their family and friends; such lying brings with it enormous stress and unhappiness. And not saying anything about your own partner when others talk about their wives and children is simply lying by omission.

People are generally happier when they are able to avoid living a lie. It's a matter of integrity, but it's never easy.
4. 2007-12-14 06:44  
It is not for the public nor the media to demand stars 'out' themselves. Foster has every right to the same privacy as anyone, and I am pleased she has shown such dignity and restraint in her dealings with the paparazzi.
5. 2007-12-14 08:06  
You can't say that Foster - or whoever - lacks integrity if they haven't Outed themself (IF, let us not forget, if they happen to be homosexual)!

If she was wandering around, heavily criticising gay people etc, Then her integrity would be in doubt if she herself were secretly gay. Has she been doing this, leading a hypocritical double-life with double-standards?


She doesn't have a 'duty' or a 'resonsibility' to Out herself, for heaven's sake! And remaining silent on the issue of one's sexuality has nothing to do with personal integrity or moral worth. Neither of which are remotely affected by not discussing a personal and private matter - we're not yet That shallow, are we?!

Or, to put it another way, when was the last time a Heterosexual person confirmed their sexuality to you? And yet the integrity of the Majority is not in any doubt.

So, let's put/keep things in perspective, people!
6. 2007-12-14 08:13  
that woman looks like her mother not her gf! at least gay men have the decency to be shallow about looks :)
7. 2007-12-14 09:48  
ALL of teh people inLA and in the Biz have known this for a long time... when she did nna and the King in Malaysia she was already eating more than her fair share of beaver! ;)
8. 2007-12-14 14:30  
hoorayy shes come out...thank god for that..we can all rest easy now (for those who hasant yet!) :D
Comment #9 was deleted by its author
10. 2007-12-14 18:39  
"when was the last time a Heterosexual person confirmed their sexuality to you? .."

Every day, - every time they talk about their family, wear a wedding ring, show baby pictures, discuss Christmas arrangements, talk about girlfriends/ boyfriends. It's all normal and taken for granted. What is not normal or healthy is to avoid talking about your own life in the same way.

When is the last time you heard a heterosexual oscar winner Not thank their husband/wife etc? Why should a gay one avoid thanking their partner? (- and how does it make the partner feel to be invisible?)

I'm not so much talking about moral integrity, I'm talking about living in integrity with yourself by not lying to (or about) the people you care about. And therefore being happier.
11. 2007-12-14 20:42  
yeahhhh.... my dream girl has finally "out"

12. 2007-12-15 06:45  
Hmmm. I'm unconvinced by your 'analogue' expectation of what integrity seems to be: either publicly switched on, or off.

As a moral trait or personal characteristic, I believe it has a much broader scope than that, and is correspondingly hard to define - and/or limiting in how to expect other people to believe.

Still, as the old saying goes: One man's meat is another man's murder... I suppose we should just agree to differ!
Comment #13 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-21 18:36
14. 2007-12-15 18:49  
Oh, by the way (and this caught my eye at the time), technically, based on the above story and the factual elements therein, she HASN'T 'come out'.

"Seen by..." and "Said to..." are pure, whimsical conjecture - the story could as easily have been entitled: "Jodie Foster Is A Hyundai Robot", or "Jodie Foster Was A Witch In Salem", or "Jodie Foster Has A Wooden Leg", or "Jodie Foster Is Made Of Candy Floss", or, well, whatever else you can apply "seen by..." and "said to..." towards - both of which are terms to describe what Other people have said about her, rather than what she herself has directly said.

Until and unless she herself specifically and exactly says: "I am a lesbian/homosexual", she has NOT directly (and technically) come out.

That's a little thing that we in the newspaper business stubbornly refer to as on-the-record Facts...
15. 2007-12-15 19:14  
Oh yes Caesar (Caesar?), lets all stay in the closet like good little boys and girls, never complain, never make a fuss, never take a risk. Why, we'll be back in the good old 1940s before we know it!

And Vercoda. Really. Coming out does not always involve saying the words "I am gay". Ask Michael George or Elton John. Acknowledging the existence of your partner to your family or the general public is a classic way to come out. When I married my partner I was not asked by the Registrar during the ceremony to confirm "I am gay", it was taken as understood.

An easy way to come out is just to be honest with your straight friends about who you fancy at that Christmas party, when they're telling you who they fancy.
16. 2007-12-15 19:47  
Well, I made that point in the context of This story. There's a significant difference between what someone does/says at a Christmas party and then 'reports' in the media about a public figure, and you can't simply rehash what "is said" about so-and-so without sailing dangerously close to libellous and actionable waters.

What if, in the context of that story, I'd swapped in the name of the supreme almighty ruler of Singapore and said that He had 'come out', because "it's said" or "widely believed" that he was gay, or other such vague, non-identifiable and unsubstantiated - within the context of This article - claims? No. Whether in 'soft' publishing (eg an online article like this) or traditional 'hard' copy (papers etc), you don't - and can't - simply whack a headline on a story without the story *and the facts printed therein* to back it up, which This article doesn't.

I spend every working day headlining and correcting what various journalists write, so you'll excuse my nit-picking the details like this - there is nothing in THIS story - as published - to justify the 'comes out' angle. The story and the headline don't marry, as we say.

And THAT'S my point; no more, no less. Commenting on figures of interest to the gay community within a gay site doesn't mean you can simply drop the finer details of technical journalistic accuracy... ):-/
17. 2007-12-16 13:30  
if she's my mom...man life would be a lot simpler...
18. 2007-12-16 15:17  
Some interesting articles about whether or not she came out...

Does Almost Count? The Outing of Jodie Foster
EDGE Boston, MA

CNN More Than Happy To Give Jodie Foster One Final Nudge Out Of ...
Defamer.com, CA

19. 2007-12-16 15:25  
There also seems to be some kind of double standard many gays and lesbians regard to be "private life or info."

People I've spoken to about why are not out at work always say that being gay or having a same-sex partner is "private" and there's never a need to tell this to a co-worker. However, that same person would typically know if the (straight) person in the cubicle next door is married or in a relationship, the name of his/her spouse or the person is seeing, no. of children he or she has, etc. Is not such info private? Yet I've never come across a straight person who is unwilling to share such info and say that their personal life is private...
20. 2007-12-16 17:50  
Yes, only gay people who are in the closet (and certain straight politicians who want to keep them there), claim that sexual orientation is in itsef a private matter. So about 95% of people do not consider their sexual orientation a private matter, but something it would not even occur to them to hide.

For most straight people these days someone being gay is just not an issue, so why hide it? Why cut yourself off from potential good friendships with these people by being secretive, which just makes you look creepy (and they've probably guessed anyway because you're so secretive).
Comment #21 was deleted by its author
22. 2007-12-16 23:52  
Anyone else read the Kinsey report 'Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male'? Or Butler? Or Foucault? Or Chou? According to them, there's no 'closet' to come out of. 'Gay' as an 'identity' was created by the civil rights movement in the mid-20th century, and 'homosexual' by German psychiatrists in the 19th century. In all our respective cultures, East and West, all terminology pertaining to what is today often mislabelled 'homosexual/gay', referred to actions, not an 'identity'.

Ms. Foster evidently sees the person she chooses as a life partner as separate from her public life, and wishing to remain mute on her so-called 'sexuality' is an expression of this belief. I applaud this, as, while of course we don't want to be 'repressed' as human beings, there is a difference between self-repression and not making your choice of partner a matter for public dissection. Jodie Foster has become renowned as an actress and humanitarian for other reasons than the gender of her squeeze. It is her achievement, not her sexual preference, which is exemplary - let's not try to change that!

As anyone can see from all the posts on this thread, queer people, too, are as multitudinous in viewpoint as in ethnicity and temperament. And thank goodness we are! Otherwise, can you imagine how boring queer culture would be?
23. 2007-12-17 00:02  
Oooh damnit, I had a long and sensibly discussed point typed out arguing against a typically blinkered view below... only to accidentally delete the whole thing! I really need to buy a new keyboard...

Anyway. Long post shortened: What a silly and rigid viewpoint! It must be nice to live in a world where people are obliged to make Everyone else aware of what they are, so that they can neatly be filed away into Box A, B or C.

But why stop with sexuality, where gay people who Don't tell everyone their orientation are obviously closetted, in denial, oppressed, and letting the side down?

Why don't people tell each other what their faith or religion is, so that it's all out in the open, rather than kept secret? After all, for Billions of people, faith is super important to them - yet how do I know that there isn't a secret Scientologist in the queue behind me at the bank machine? Is that a Church of the New Reformation Anglican buying stamps at the post office, or have I deleted a badly-written press release at work from a Roman Catholic? My God, there could be an atheist (just like Me!) at the wheel of the bus! I think we need to know these things!

Hell, why stop there? There must be All kinds of things that it's wrong, perfectly wrong for people to keep as a private matter, selfishly choosing not to make everyone else around them know about them!

So, please draw up a list of What People Need To Know About Everyone Else, which can have things like Sexuality near or at the top (obviously), work through equally important matters such as Vegetarian Status, or Carbon Footprint, and then end up at the Watches Star Trek, or Doesn't Wash Hands In Toilets categories.

I'm not entirely sure how to then make everyone else neatly aware of who and what you are as a person, but it appears that at least Some people would feel a Lot happier to be able to neatly mark out other people into convenient categories...
24. 2007-12-17 00:55  

One's sexuality is one's very own matter ... if one decides to come out, so be it ... one cant force it upon others to come out simply because one thinks coming out is the right thing to do ... everyone has their own right in deciding whether or not and how much of oneself he or she decides to reveal ... unless of course, one is obliged by law ... coming out to family and friends (in this day and time) is not an easy task ... so ... go easy on those who are comfortable being where there are now ... maybe they will come out, maybe they will take their sexuality to their graves ... who are others to judge? ...

... ... you need to be open gay because? ... a) you want to screw with everyone thus this would be the direct and straight forward way to advertise ... b) you think everyone wants to screw with you? or ... c) your sexuality is everyone's business ... if they dont know it, they will surely die ...

bottom line, you want to come out, or already am out, good! im sure many people are happy for you ... and that is your own choice and business! ... ... but just dont give others who are not ready or dont see the need to come out a hard time ... based on your own sets of rights and wrongs :P
25. 2007-12-17 01:25  
*Obviously, that last post of mine should be read aloud with Irish Sarcasm set to Maximum value; a single eyebrow scornfully raised; and random, theatrical pauses here and there.

Just in case anyone took what I said at face value - although my serious points were meant as seriously as my sarcastic tone...
26. 2007-12-17 03:48  
Kudos for the sarcasm etc., it's a point that those lucky people who see sexuality as a black and white issue seem reluctant to confront that perhaps the individual defines their sexuality, not vice versa. As soon as people look at (and judge) other human beings simply by their treatment of others, we will be able to put away the equal rights banners once and for all, because even the most committed pedant couldn't categorise every human on the planet individually.
27. 2007-12-18 00:04  
And yet, Vercoda, you mention every time you post on Fridae the fact that you're Irish. Funny that.
28. 2007-12-18 00:16  
And Ken34my, it should be no different from mentioning any other aspect of your life in conversation; the fact that people go to such lengths to hide it, including in some cases marrying poor unsuspecting people of the opposite sex that they can never love (and I've known one wife to have a nervous breakdown as a result of marrying a gay man), is what is unnatural and damaging.
29. 2007-12-18 04:17  
What's your point/relevancy to bring That up? I may mention it here and there, as many people of other nationatlities/ways of thinking do, with a light tone and no great meaning to it, but You certainly seem to have made a note of it.

Has it occured to you that Irish sarcasm IS different to British, American, or other spoken-english sarcasm; that it's a trait at which the Irish are noted for; and that, thusly, the way I use my words may have a different meaning to how You may read them?

Somehow, that seems to have sailed blithely over your head, while you've been too busy charging in here with yet another another Black/White semi-confrontational viewpoint - something, I note, which others seem to have picked up on here.

These posts aren't [and shouldn't be] a popularity contest; your opinions are as perfectly valid as mine, and you're surely entitled to them. However, for a gentleman of, shall we say, seemingly advancing years, you seem to have some way to go just yet in how you relate to external criticism, or accepting a wider viewpoint than your own seemingly polarised one. Sexuality, and the whole 'coming out' debacle, aren't as morally or simplistically decided as you seem to think they are, with many shades of grey for the individual to mark out and choose - not You.

I won't drop back to this thread; whatever was relevant to Ms Foster has long been said by all of us, and a trolling match ill suits us all (or me, personally). Better instead to stick to the points, if possible, and you may now have your merry say here from now on...
30. 2007-12-18 19:56  
You ask me what my point was, though you say you will not read my response, because, of course, despite what you say: you really think yours is the only point of view. You claim that everyone else agrees with you, and throw insults; this is the typical behaviour of the school playground bully.

I was responding, probably unclearly in an effort to be concise and clever, to your point about boxes and categories. Isn’t mentioning nationality regulary perhaps putting yourself in a box, at least by your reasoning?

Perhaps the answer is dependant on the circumstances. Maybe:

“Hello! I’m gay, I’m gay!”

or “Hello! I’m Irish! I’m Irish!”

is putting oneself in a box or category,


“Thanks, I’d love to come to the party/company dinner, can I bring my boyfriend?”
“ I was born in Ireland” isn’t?

Just one possible way of looking at it.
31. 2007-12-18 20:47  

just got back from an out-station posting ... very sleepy ... this will be quick ... and painless i hope ...

lying by ommission ... ... ...
a) does not apply to life ... real ones that is

b) other people's lives are not court rooms

c) this is a forum, not a court in session

d) you are not a judge and not here to judge

e) you must be the most honest man in europe ? no one "i solemnly swear i will tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me god" here ... or did you ?

e) "I would like to thank my beautiful Cydney who sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss." can never be admitted as evidence in a court of law

i do like you steveuk, because you are "married/civil partnership" ... i wonder who will marry/civil partnership me someday ... but i find myself disagreeing with you on many grounds ...

at any rate, we need people on both sides ... people who are openly gay and people who are not ...

on the other hand, do you think people who are openly gay contribute more (if any at all) than those who are not? ... and do you think people who are not openly gay contribute less? ... why are homosexuals stereotypes? and you wonder ???

and to kellen on double standard ... ... ...
let us examine this ...you expect people (straight people) to respect your decision and lifestyle and regard it as a personal and valid choice and yet you cant (or dont) see the need to respect other people's decision on their choice not to make their sexuality a public affair????

and to fridae ... ... ...
this is news "iranian man executed for alleged sex crimes" ... people died ...

this is not "jodie foster comes out" ... it is unsubstantiated

if you keep on publishing articles that insist on outing people ... you will on attract and retain people who are keen in other people's sexuality ... and in turn ... encourage and nuture another few generations of people like such ... whose time and money and efforts could be spent on something else more collaborative and constructive

besides, by keeping on pressing on the issue of their sexuality, these people will develope a dislike and distaste towards anything gay ... they will not likely to participate in events (fund raisings and such) and functions that benefit the gay community ... but if you let them be, and stop sensationalising this, they just might ...

merry christmas and a happy new year guys and girls ... and all in between ;) ... kisses
32. 2007-12-18 20:52  
lastly, how does a regular person "out" himself or herself ? ... do you tell without people asking? or do people ask? ... if i was asked, i would be offended ... it is like asking " how much do you make a year? " ... on a gay dating personal, we are already revealing alot ... specific activities we do in bed, our dick size, our religion and more ... do you see such in straight dating personals ? ... and yes i understand that we can "prefer not to say" ... but, why are they there in the first place?
33. 2007-12-19 16:48  
lastly, how does a regular person "out" himself or herself?

- don't pretend to have a opposite-sex partner or make one up to appear straight
- don't lead your friends or co-workers to think that you have the hots for a certain female if you are a gay man, and vice versa
- introduce your partner to your family
- ask your partner to attend formal or informal company events with you if co-workers are attending with their partners
- mention your partner and not pretend like he or she doesn't exist if the topic comes up
34. 2007-12-19 16:56  
About whether it's ok to be asked about one's orientation or gender, I think it's fair to ask if one is unsure rather than assume or speculate.

For example, my friend knows a man who crossdresses in public often but was not sure if he or she is trangendered and thus was unsure whether to use the masculine or feminine pronoun. So what did my friend do? She asked, tactfully of course. It's not that she's want to intrude into his/her private life or know what between his/her limbs. But if we are to truly respect and accept each other, first, we need to be able to speak honestly about ourselves.
Comment #35 was deleted by its author
36. 2007-12-21 01:09  

Kellen, how does one pretend to be straight ? and pretend to have an opposite sex partner? ... cant one just be neutral ? ... you sound familiar ... you are not one of us, then you are one of them? ... or you think peer pressure is cute? ...

i think you pick your crowd when you speak ... if you want to talk about your girl friends (since you are gal) im sure you will have more common grounds ...with people with girl friends ... birds of same feathers ...

and ... not all co-workers are interested in your sexuality? a passing interest maybe? but most of them would go there for work ... they perform ... thats their main priority and interest ... you want to tell them your private life? ... how many are really interested in knowing so much of someone at work ? ...


... if ... let say, someone got fired because he / she discussed his / hers sexuality at work ... are you going to offer him / her employment? ... housing? if he / she gets kick out of home ? ... love? security? are you willing to offer others those? ... can you ?

and why did you friend have an interest in a man who cross dresses ? ... his cross dressing interest her? or maybe she wanted to cross dress also? .. or she was a plain busy body ? ...

you should be honest to yourself ... your way ... its your life ... dont impose that on others ... :P big bullie / meanie :P
Comment #37 was deleted by its author
38. 2007-12-21 02:31  

do you have many cross dressers walking around wanting to be asked their pronoun in your life? or that was a one off case? ... you should ask all your co-workers their sexuality, beginning tomorrow ... and of course you should tell them yours too ... every single one of them ... since you are so fair and so honest and so upright and so righteous ... dont leave out anyone ... ... ... wear a shirt ... " i heart my girl friend" ... ;) ... is that what you want? and what else are there to prove after this?

every time you see someone who is remotely displaying some form of gayness or doesnt conform ... ... do get your friend (that specific one) to ask them their sexuality ... u know, just in case she gets it wrong (she has to be right all the time, how can she be wrong???) ... and she must know ... mustnt she ? ;)

and ... ... ... really ... "your friend" ? ... "know a man" ? ... you sure that was not you ? :P

lastly, tell me something ... how does one ask another his or her sexuality ... tactfully ? ... teach me ...
Comment #39 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-21 18:37
40. 2007-12-22 20:25  
sources of depression ? anxiety ? confusion ? suicides ... among younger gay teenagers, youths and unsuspecting adults ... those still struggling to find or keep their jobs ... in early stages of their career ... those still needing money, security, understanding and love ...

"But if we are to truly respect and accept each other, first, we need to be able to speak honestly about ourselves." (Kellen)

in other words ... I enjoy making other homosexuals feel guilty about themselves because they are not as honest as i am ... they dont respect themselves and others ... and therefore are lying to themselves and are leading fasle lives ... i am superior and am here to judge and compel

Kellen, do you wear skirts to work ? or boyish manly pants and attire? ... hence crossdressing ? ... are people asking for your pronoun at work? ...

"I'm not so much talking about moral integrity, I'm talking about living in integrity with yourself by not lying to (or about) the people you care about. And therefore being happier." (steveuk)

if you dont reveal your sexuality to everyone you love and care about, you are a liar, very very guilty and you will not be happy ... according to me ... and you have no integrity and moral ... unlike me

in your 50s steveuk ? ... do you still need to work for money? do you still have to service your mortgages? loans? plan for your retirement? or you have all those in place already? ... were you out in your 20s, 30s and 40s ? or were you bullied into coming out by your peers?
41. 2007-12-24 18:47  
Hi Ken,

If you would like to discuss these issues with someone in a Malaysian context, you could try LPG-Community, an egroup on Yahoo that organises sports, social outings etc., and is very supportive.

Have a good holiday.
Comment #42 was deleted by its author
43. 2007-12-25 22:40  

thank you for being able to see that the risk of getting fired and getting kicked out from home apply only to Malaysia (glad you see everyone is in a different context though) ... and finally, it's an individual's own choice ... you dont make it for them ... less self righteous speeches in 2008 please! and thanks for the tip on LPG, didnt know it was there ...

merry christmas and a happy new year 2008!

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