Jodie Foster's Confession (No, Not That One) Made Her My Hero
Jodie Foster became my hero this week.
She demonstrated remarkable courage during her seven-minute speech as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes Sunday evening, but not for the reasons that have gotten the most attention.
Reactions to her oddly rambling, obliquely confessional words are all over the map. Most of the virtual ink spilled about the speech has focused how she spoke about her sexual orientation in terms of (choose one) coming out / kinda sorta coming out / the coming out she'd actually done years ago. Others have questioned the logic of her pleas for privacy from the very public stage of an awards show.
Frankly, those decisions don't earn Ms. Foster a place on my hero list. But the words she used to end her speech do: "Jodie Foster was here, I still am, and I want to be seen, to be understood deeply, and to be not so very lonely."
That frank and fragile confession is the most daring thing I've heard a public figure say in a long, long time. Bottom line, isn't what Foster wants exactly what each one of us wants? To be known, to be cherished…and not to be so very lonely?
Sandip Roy, a Bollywood reporter, honored Foster's courage with these words:
At the Golden Globe awards, lifetime honoree Jodie Foster revealed something a Bollywood celebrity would never ever 'fess up to.
She came out.
Not as a lesbian. I mean she did come out as a lesbian. Well, sort of, without saying those actual words. It was a "I am not necessarily lesbian but my (ex)girl friend is" kind of coming out.
What really moved me was that she came out as "lonely." It was not a sort of lonely-at-the-top bravado. Or even a poor little rich kid self pity. It was just plain darn run-of-the-mill lonely.
Most of the time, we are uncomfortable with admitting to run-of-the-mill loneliness in our own lives. We don't dare verbalize that existential or emotional state, lest others think there is something terribly wrong, something toxic, broken, and contagious, with us. Lonely people are needy people. Needy people frighten away less needy people… or those who are better at hiding their neediness.
The formula becomes even more complicated for Christians, who are by definition no longer alone. Though Scripture acknowledges our experiences of lonelinessand social and spiritual isolation, the prospect of verbalizing loneliness to another person or group of people at church can be shame-inducing.