Jodie Foster at the Golden Globes
WATCH: Jodie Foster Comes Out and Maybe Retires

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on Advocate.com January 13 2013 11:34 PM ET

The biggest surprise at the Golden Globes on Sunday wasn't the near shut out of Lincoln (which was a front-runner with seven nominations), but Jodie Foster's speech after she was given the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award for her 47 years in the entertainment industry. 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.

"For all of you SNL fans, I'm 50!" shouted Foster triumphantly in front of a standing ovation."I need to do that without this dress on, but maybe later. I was going to bring my walker tonight but it just didn't go with the cleavage." 

Foster kept up the joking demeanor for a bit: "So I'm here being all confessional and I guess I just have the sudden urge to say something that I've never really been able to air in public, so a declaration that I'm a little nervous about. But maybe not quite as nervous as my publicist right now, huh Jennifer? Um, but uh, you know, I'm just gonna put it out there, right? Loud and proud, right? So I'm gonna need your support on this — I am single. Yes I am, I am single. No, I'm kidding. But I mean I'm not really kidding, but I am kind of kidding."

It was a winking nod to her fans and followers who by now know that Foster is gay. But the actress turned director took a serious turn after that.

"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. But now apparently I'm told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press confrence, 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 a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe then you too would value privacy above all else — privacy. Someday in the future people will look back and remember how beautiful it once was. I have given everything up there from the time I was 3 years old. That's reality show enough, don't you think?"

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The actress then talked about her family, including her two sons who were in attendance. "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... most beloved BFF of 20 years, Cydney Bernard. Thank you Cyd. I am so proud of our modern family, our amazing sons Charlie and Kit, who are my reason to breath 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."

Foster followed that up by saying she may never be up on that stage again, or any stage for that matter, and though she'd continue to tell stories, to move people by being moved, 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."

Watch video of Foster's speech below.