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Foster, Jodie (b. 1962)  
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It was on the set of John Amiel's Somersby (1992), in which she plays the wife of a Civil War veteran who returns after a long absence, that she met Cydney Bernard.

Other recent films featuring Foster include such box office successes as Robert Zemeckis' Contact (1997) and Spike Lee's Inside Man (2006). She continues to pursue an active career as performer, director, and producer.

The Trevor Project

Although Foster for many years refused to discuss her private life, never responding to rumors about her sexual orientation, she was nevertheless a major contributor to The Trevor Project, a telephone counseling service for glbtq young people founded by Foster's close friend, the late Randy Stone, who served as executive producer of the Foster-directed film Little Man Tate in 1991.

In 1994, Foster was the first major donor to provide support for the short film Trevor, a film about a teenager who attempts suicide after realizing he might be gay. The film, directed by Peggy Rajski who co-produced it with Stone, won an Academy Award for live-action short film in 1995. When accepting the award, Stone pointed at Foster in the audience and said, "Jodie, I love you."

In 2007, Foster presented The Trevor Founders Award to screenwriter James Lecesne and director Peggy Rajski at the organization's Cracked Xmas event, and accepted the award posthumously on behalf of Randy Stone. She also kicked off the campaign to establish The Randy Stone Call Center by contributing the largest gift in the organization's history.


Foster has two sons, Charles Bernard Foster (b. 1998) and Kit Bernard Foster (b. 2001). For some 15 years, she lived in Los Angeles with Cydney Bernard. On May 15, 2008, however, The Daily Telegraph reported that Foster had ended her relationship with Bernard after Foster had an affair with Cynthia Mort, a screenwriter for The Brave One.

As usual, however, Foster remained silent about the press accounts of her break-up with Bernard.

But on January 13, 2013, when she received the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award at the Foreign Press Association's Golden Globes Awards show, Foster used the occasion to announce an evolution in her career and also to discuss her personal life, her famous love of privacy, and the complexities of coming out.

As Diane Anderson-Minshall observes in The Advocate, "The speech began a bit like a light-hearted comic interlude but was actually a serious and thoughtful combination of a coming out speech and a retirement goodbye."

After joking about her famous reluctance to discuss her personal life and coming out as . . . "single," Foster talked seriously about the nuances of coming out and her need for privacy. In doing so, she obliquely acknowledged the criticism she has received from some activists for her reticence.

"I hope you're not disappointed that there won't be a big coming-out speech tonight, because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back 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, to everyone she actually met."

Foster emphasized that she has not spent her life in the closet, that in fact in "real life" she has been out for a very long time.

"But now," she continued, "apparently I'm told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a prime-time reality show. You guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo child. No, I'm sorry that's just not me, never was, and it never will be. . . . But seriously, if you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler. If you had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe then you too would value privacy above all else--privacy. . . . I have given everything up there from the time I was 3 years old. That's reality show enough, don't you think?"

She went on to acknowledge Cydney Bernard, her former partner with whom she co-parents two sons: "There is no way I could ever stand here without acknowledging one of the deepest loves of my life, my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life, my confessor, chief buddy, consigliere, [and] most beloved BFF of 20 years, Cydney Bernard. Thank you Cyd."

She added, "I am so proud of our modern family, our amazing sons Charlie and Kit, who are my reason to breathe and to evolve, my blood and soul. And boys in case you didn't know it, this song, all of this, this song is for you."

She concluded by hinting that her career as an actress may be over, but "from now on I may be holding a different talking stick... maybe it won't open on 3,000 screens, maybe it'll be so quiet and delicate that only dogs can hear it whistle, but it will be my writing on the wall: Jodie Foster was here. I still am. And I want to be seen, to be understood deeply, and to be not so very lonely."

While her speech was first interpreted to mean that she was retiring, she clarified later in an interview with Seth Abramovitch of the Hollywood Reporter that she meant to indicate only that her career was evolving and that she may spend more time directing.

In accepting the Sherry Lansing Award for Leadership in the film industry in 2007, Foster remarked that she did not feel very powerful. "I feel fragile . . . unsure, struggling to figure it all out, trying to get there even though I'm not sure where there is." She even described herself as "nutty as a fruitcake."

Still, as one of the few women in Hollywood who is considered a "bankable star," as well as an accomplished director and producer, Foster occupies a singular place in commercial film.

Having won two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, Foster would seem to have nothing left to prove, yet she is likely to continue to develop in interesting and perhaps unpredictable ways as a filmmaker.

In April 2014, Foster married accomplished photographer Alexandra Hedison, a former actress and former girlfriend of Ellen DeGeneres. Foster and Hedison had been a couple for about a year before they wed.

Victoria Shannon

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social sciences >> Overview:  Coming Out

"Coming out" is the revelation or acknowledgment that one is a member of a sexual minority, a process that is at once personal and social and often political.

arts >> Overview:  Film

Since cinema began, Hollywood has been fascinated with finding ways of representing homosexuality.

arts >> Overview:  Film Actors: Lesbian

Lesbian actresses have played a significant role in Hollywood, but their contributions have rarely been recognized or spoken of openly; the "lavender marriage" is by no means a relic of the past.

arts >> Overview:  Film Directors

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual film directors have been a vital creative presence in cinema since the medium's inception over one hundred years ago.

social sciences >> Overview:  Outing

First used by homophobes and then by glbtq activists, outing is the public revelation of a person's sexuality without the consent of that person.

arts >> Overview:  Transsexuality in Film

Representations of transsexuality in films range from freak-show exploitation, to dramatic and documentary depictions, to the use of transsexuality as a metaphor for exploring the crossing of all kinds of borders.

arts >> Pierce, David Hyde

Award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce, best known for his comic performance on the long-running hit comedy television series Frasier, belatedly acknowledged his homosexuality in 2007.

arts >> Richardson, Tony

Bisexual British film and stage director Tony Richardson was instrumental in challenging British censorship codes, especially regarding the representation of homosexuals.

social sciences >> The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project, a Los Angeles-based educational organization, operates the only national 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention hot line in the U.S. aimed at glbtq youth.


Anderson-Minshull, Diane. "Jodie Foster Comes Out and Maybe Retires." The Advocate (January 13, 2013):

Chunovic, Louis. Jodie: A Biography. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1995.

Foster, Buddy, and Leon Wagener. Foster Child: A Biography of Jodie Foster. New York: Penguin Books, 1997.

Gardner, David. "Jodie Foster Comes Out with Emotional Tribute to Her Girlfriend of 14 Years." The Daily Mail (April 7, 2008).

Hare, Breeanna. "Jodie Foster Marries Alexandra Hedison." CNN Entertainment (April 25, 2014):

"Hollywood Star Jodie Foster Has Ended Her 14-Year Lesbian Relationship with Film Producer Cydney Bernard." The Daily Telegraph (May 15, 2008).

"Jodie Foster Biography." The Biography Channel. A&E Television Networks:

Kennedy, Philippa. Jodie Foster: A Life on Screen. New York: Birch Lane Press, 1996.

"The Trevor Project Holds Annual Gala." Beverly Press (December 13, 2007): 24.

Warn, Sarah. "Jodie Foster Thanks Cydney in Accepting Sherry Lansing Leadership Award." (December 5, 2007):


    Citation Information
    Author: Shannon, Victoria  
    Entry Title: Foster, Jodie  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2008  
    Date Last Updated July 30, 2014  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2008 glbtq, Inc.  


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