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Did Jodie Foster ‘come out’ at Golden Globes? And does it matter?

Actress Jodie Foster (L) accepts the Cecil B. Demille Award, on stage on at the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California January 13, 2013.

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Actress Jodie Foster's speech at the Golden Globe Awards was one of the most memorable moments of the evening, raising plenty of questions about whether she was retiring and whether she was publicly acknowledging her sexual orientation.

As The Globe's Peter Scowen writes, Foster basically "told the world 'Of course I'm gay,' and then defended, somewhat defensively, her right to have never made a big deal of her sexuality."

In her speech, after accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment," Foster said, "I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days, when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers and then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her and to everyone she actually met."

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In a cutting remark on celebrity tell-alls, she added: "But now apparently, I'm told that every celebrity is expected to honour the details of their life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a prime-time reality show."

She also noted that "if you'd had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you too might value privacy above all else."

Foster went on to express pride in her "modern family," and thanked her ex-partner and "one of the deepest loves of my life," Cydney Bernard, with whom she has raised two sons.

You can't help but admire Foster for wanting to keep her private life private. After all, whether she is gay or not is irrelevant to her winning the award and does not detract from her achievements.

But unfortunately, by not making a big deal about her sexuality, she has inadvertently left many thinking of little else. Since she never explicitly stated she is gay, the subject has dominated entertainment headlines and discussion about the actress.

The Los Angeles Times's headline reads, "Golden Globes 2013: Jodie Foster speech moves, mystifies," while the National Post asks, "Did she come out? Depends on whom you ask." Given her penchant for privacy, Foster is unlikely to discuss the matter further.

But one issue she did clear up is that she is not actually retiring, despite having hinted that her career was coming to an end.

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In her speech, she noted: "This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else…. Well, I may never be up on this stage again, on any stage for that matter. Change, you gotta love it."

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, she clarified that she merely meant her work was evolving. "No, I am not retiring," she said. "I could never stop acting. You'd have to drag me with wild horses."

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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