The recent guarded ‘coming out’ by actress Jodie Foster and the mixture of reactions to it together with the predictable ‘hot or not’ type rating of Jodie’s supposed partner (in much the same way as Camilla Parker Bowles gets comments on her own subjective physical appearance) is an irritating reminder of why women of Jodie’s generation and before may have preferred not to discuss their personal lives.Keeping it ambiguous may have seemed the preferable option (it might even have been exactly how they felt).
It is, after all, not anybody else’s business and not connected to being an actress. But we all know that our personal lives frequently are an issue in social situations and at work where office politics and personal prejudices can sometimes come to bear.
It’s not specifically a gay or lesbian issue per se, it’s just part of that whole married or not, kids or not, sexism, ageism, racism, disability stuff that many of us have to grapple with in life.
After all we often learn in the playground that many will latch onto any perceived personal difference to use as a weapon against us whether it’s physical appearance, skin colour, clothing, disability etc.
Coming out can be an awkward process at any age and for some they find they come out all the time in various social situations rather than just the once (“hey bring your husband along”, (or wife if a man) …followed by putting the record…er…straight once again.
This ‘in or out?’ game can be applied equally well to single people, couples, childless couples, disabled partner, large age differences etc. We can all find ourselves having to measure up to somebody else’s theoretical ideal (woah, I was getting dangerously close to a Rhona Cameron “we’re all like that” type rant there).