In this series we look at various heroes and advocates of the LGBTQIA family.
In this article we focus on a woman who identifies as gay female.
Iconic Actress, Jodie Foster may be the most quietly celebrated famous Lesbian.
Anyone who grew up in the 1970s 80s or 90s will remember Jodie Foster as the Girl Next Door, the best friend we wish we had, the sister we always long for or the woman we wanted to be.
Born Alicia Christian “Jodie” Foster on November 19th 1962 in Los Angeles, California Jodie Foster has continued to astound audiences – from her shocking and groundbreaking performance in 1976 ‘s Taxi Driver, which was her first Oscar nomination – to her poignant role as rape victim in 1988’s The Accused – her first Oscar win, and 1992 Oscar winning role as edgy FBI agent Clarice Starling, Foster has captivated audiences – sometimes at a great peril to herself.
In 1980 while she was a freshman at Yale University – Foster majored in literature there – John Hinckley jr., A mentally disturbed and misguided fan of her role in Taxi Driver began stalking her – until on March 31st 1981, in an attempt to gain her attention and approval, Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan and three others; Hinckley claimed, “he did it for Jodie” , and while this would have thrown a person of lesser strength off of their path, this did not deter Foster – she continued her studies at Yale, graduating Magna cumme laude and becoming valedictorian. However, for a very long time, Jodie was plagued by the tragedy, often times being bombarded with questions and interviews. Ever classy, Foster refused to comment – one time even walking off of the set of a popular talk show when she discovered they planned on bringing up Hinckley in the interview. Then, in 1999, during an interview with Charlie Rose, Foster herself addressed the subject. Stating “I never wanted to be the actress remembered for that” and although people remember it, that is certainly not all she is remembered for. She is celebrated as so much more.
Foster remained quiet publicly about her sexual orientation. Probably because, in her 48-year career Jodie had seen Hollywood and the Showbiz industry hush homosexuality – even to this day; arranging fake marriages and relationships. It is no wonder Foster was tentative to publicly announce anything about her private life. However, the media (true to form), brought up her sexuality for public debate during the 1991 release of Silence of the Lambs, a film which was alleged at the time to be a homophobic statement. Foster was accused of being a closeted lesbian by The Village Voice and OutWeek Magazine.
In 1993 during the filming of the movie sommersby Foster met and fell for Cydni Bernard. & nbsp;The two were together until 2008 and had two children, Kit Bernard Foster and Charles Bernard Foster.
Foster first publicly acknowledged her sexuality at the 2007 Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Breakfast, but it wasn’t until 2013 at the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards, where she was given the Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award, that she declared her sexuality openly. Even then it was done with the sort of nod and wink Foster has been known for. Stating “I hope that you will not be disappointed – there won’t be a big coming-out speech I have already done that” she further went on to say “I’m just going to put it out there right, loud and proud” “I did my coming out back in the Stone Age those quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to fr iends and family and then gradually and proudly to everyone she ever met” Foster’s Declaration was met with an outpouring of support and applause from her peers.
Not long after this public declaration and affirmation at the Golden Globes, Foster met and became involved with photographer Alexandra Hedison. (Hedison had previously dated Ellen DeGeneres in 2004).
In April 2014 the two married. Foster and Hedison tried to keep the ceremony as private as possible, which has been Jodie Foster’s classic nature. She has been quoted as saying “I’m aware now that celebrities are ex pected to share the details of their private lives with everyone and have a show about it and create a fragrance but that’s not me”
Jodie’s two sons, Kit – 15 and Charles – 18 have been raised in an open loving and intellectual atmosphere. Although Jodie has stated she is an atheist, she has raised the boys in all religious faiths – celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa and the Jewish sabbats – saying she wants them to learn about everything and choose as they will for themselves.
I personally have loved Jodie since I first laid eyes on her in an old movie called Bugsy Malone where she pl ayed a character named Tallulah. I further fell in love with her, or perhaps just wanted to be her, when I met Clarice Starling in that oh so professional pantsuit in Silence of the Lambs. But more so, I’ve respected her; an actress, scholar, director – a producer a mom a survivor and one hell of a woman! One of my favorite Jodie Foster quotes is “normal is not something to aspire to it’s something to get away from”. Life lesson. Thanks Jodie, you truly are, a Star!