Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jodie Bananas Foster

I mean---wouldn’t it have been so much easier to simply accept that award, talk about her work, keep her life private?

She sort of came out already. Why do that weird dance? It’s like---she was pissed off that she had been forced to come out to begin with and she was letting the world know it. But sort of people pleasing, too.

Deep down, I believe the “keeping things private” thing is a load of hogwash. Sure, you keep your secrets about really private stuff…because much of it is too intimate or embarrassing. But being gay is not that intimate a subject any longer or an embarrassment. Unless, of course, it is to you. And you are annoyed that people are putting you in a crappy position.

In my twenties, when I was sexual bait for all kinds of genders, I knew it was a point of power to not let people know about my exact sexuality. Because I was primarily an actor then, it was also important that I hid the truth about my ass (I use the term as in “my being”). I used to have horrible daydreams that I would be interviewed by Barbara Walters and she would force me, in her B.W. way, to “Tell America what they really want to know,” and I would get furious! Though I might have been a tad insane to even ruminate about such a thing, I imagined she was using my “misfortune” to create some sort of sensational segment on her show—in collusion with the homophobes of America who want to see someone squirm. I was furious that Barbara took on the least common denominator of American opinion about a subject, sat with it as if it was hers, and then exploited it. Yes. I felt exploited.

Yeah, all that. It’s no wonder I was so tired in my twenties.

But instead, I never was interviewed by Barbara Walters and the terrified young gay person I was, having his own regressive Walter Mitty field day, soldiered on until it was no longer uncomfortable. It is horrible to imagine being exposed if in the long run you imagine it will harm you.

Jodie Foster is so talented and smart and beautiful. And appears to be a person with a lot of integrity. I think she should have passed on the half coming out confirming thing and could have chosen to just focus on her life’s work in her speech. By watching her behavior, the whole sexuality thing is something she is not publicly comfortable with…the strange unfocused talking, the repetitive nervous knocking on the dais, that she should have left it alone. She looked scared and unhappy, roasting on a spit of terror. That does not instill confidence in other gay people.

It is not Jodie’s job to be comfortable or uncomfortable. But I do believe there is an art to being truthful. She stumbled with it. I so wish her well. I wish I could calmly hold her in my lap and stroke her hair and say, “Give Me That Hair!”  No, I wish I could stroke her head and say, “Jodie, really, it’s no big deal. You are loved. Let it go. Sexual preference announcements are so 2011. Carry on, girl and love yourself, fully, for who you are. That’s what we want to see.”

Sometimes, too, humor works. 

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