DeAnne Smith’s Open Letter to 2011

Dear 2011,

Hi. How are you? I’m good.

First, let me congratulate you on being named International Year of Chemistry and International Year of Forests. I’m sure you’re very proud, and I trust you will do more for Chemistry and Forests than 2010 did for Biodiversity and Youth, the two things of which it was International Year. I mean, between the BP oil spill and the shrilll internet dominance of “Beliebers,” 2010 has a lot to account for on both fronts. Although, to be fair, 2010 did have Anna Paquin coming out as bisexual, which I’m sure benefited both Biodiversity and Youth. Don’t you worry about how, 2011. Only with time and reflection will the human race be able to fully comprehend the positive ripple effect of Anna Paquin’s bisexuality on everything from tween pop stars to the Mediterranean Monk Seal.

Before I get any further, 2011, I should probably admit that I’m still not sure how to pronounce you. Should I say “twenty eleven” or “two thousand and eleven?” Rhythmically, I favor “twenty eleven,” but I also like how sci-fi it sounds to say “two thousand and eleven.” If you don’t mind, I think I’ll avoid an uncomfortable situation altogether by coming up with a special nickname for you.

So, twenty double one, I’ll get to the heart of this letter. I’ve heard a rumor about you. Word on the street is you have a new Jodie Foster movie coming out, and it’s called The Beaver. Is this true, twenty dub one? Because if it is, I’m not quite sure how to feel. ‘Excited’ comes to mind, but so does ‘paralyzed with trepidation and disbelief.’ I’ve only felt this particular tingle on a few isolated occasions, like the time I looked down and saw someone wearing finger shoes

and when I first learned that miniature pigs exist.

Jodie Foster’s (The) Beaver stirs in me a feeling that is deep and real. I am a longtime Jodie Foster fan. Back before I knew I was gay, or even what gay was, or even that gay was a legitimate thing a person could be, or even that I didn’t single-handedly invent the concept of two girls “doing it” in what I believed was simultaneously the greatest embarrassing glitch and spectacular triumph of my overactive pre-teen, pre-gay imagination, I found myself inexplicably scouring the video store for any and all Jodie Foster flicks I could find. Freaky Friday? Seen it. Foxes? Seen it. Taxi Driver? You talkin’ ta me?

I just knew, the way one knows, that Jodes and I were kindred spirits. I was drawn to her like a vocally homophobic right winger is drawn to a secret gay sex life, which is to say completely and unfailingly. I knew I had something to learn from her kind. Of course, I had no way of knowing it at the time, but here’s what Jodie looked like the year I was born:

Yes, 2011. Jam-packed into that one photo is a jauntily inhabited three-piece suit, a no-nonsense hair cut, and a commanding gaze, three of ten key indicators of a visibly recognizable lady gay. (The other seven, if you’re wondering, are six separate variations on a knowing smirk, and comfortable shoes.)

You can understand why The Beaver has piqued my interest. What really concerns me, though, is the fact that the movie co-stars Mel Gibson. As you know by now, in addition to being named International Year of Youth and International Year of Biodiversity, 2010 was also named International Year of The Death of What Was Left of Mel Gibson’s Reputation, which unfortunately doesn’t fit as neatly on a U.N. plaque. As much as my inner pre-teen, pre-gay self is dying to see a Jodie Foster flick called The Beaver, I’m not sure I can deal with Mel Gibson, especially when his sexist, racist, brutish hand is stuck up a beaver puppet for most of it.

I know there are a lot of other, more important things I could be writing to you about, 2011, like your plans for the economy or the environment or Lindsay Lohan (who starred in the remake of Freaky Friday. Coincidence?). But, in its own small way, this is important to me. Please don’t be the year in which Jodie Foster puts out a terrible movie. I mean, 2007 was weird enough for her when she finally came out and the world answered a collective, “Doy.” You can do better by Jo-Fo, can’t you two-oh-elev? To be honest, The Beaver’s trailer actually looks kind of interesting:

You may not know this, but there have been crazier, less likely Jodie Foster movies. Back in the day (which actually spanned a three year period of my life), so serious was my quest to see everything of hers that I possibly could that I even rented Bugsy Malone, 1976’s all-child gangster musical. That’s right, all-child gangster musical. I know that upon first glance, the phrase “all-child gangster musical” seems like three concepts shoved up against each other so haphazardly that the resulting combination loses all intelligence, like National Rifle Association or Traditional Values Coalition or Sean “Puffy” Combs. But trust me, Bugsy Malone is pretty spectacular.

I’m looking forward to getting to know you, 2011. I’m sure you’re going to dazzle the world with sights even more amazing than small children, covered in whipped cream, dressed as gangsters and show girls, performing choreographed routines while lip-syncing to upbeat piano numbers. Oh, and I’m especially looking forward to November 11, otherwise known as 11/11/11. What a cool date! Of course, if the past ten years are any indicator (01/01/01 through 10/10/10), I will likely miss the date entirely until reminded of it in my friends’ Facebook status updates.

Thanks for reading, 2011. I hope this letter finds you well.

Your Friend,

DeAnne Smith is a hilarious and famous lesbian with a website and a twitter account.

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I care a lot about my hair. Unrelatedly, I say short, funny things at

DeAnne has written 22 articles for us.


  1. This made me laugh a lot.
    Especially “like the time I looked down and saw someone wearing finger shoes.” Could not stop laughing for some reason. It was pathetic almost.

    Also, is it bad that the only things I could think during “The Beaver” were “why does the beaver have an australian accent i don’t think there are any beavers in australia” and “i am so superficial every time they show mel gibson i can only focus on his wrinkles”

  2. 11/11/11 will also be know as the hangover of my 30th birthday. A day we shall all remember but me.

  3. I thought “hand in a beaver puppet” was supposed to be an euphemism for something else, but then I scrolled further down and found that Mel Gibson literally had his hand inside a beaver puppet. =/

  4. i’m going to be judge-y for a second. here goes: ugh, this movie is gonna be the worst. i don’t know but i just know. also, i have a problem with mel gibson announcing his beaver thing. maybe its different, but it reminds me of christmas with the kranks, when tim allen announced to his office that he wasn’t celebrating christmas. like ugh, you’re an ADULT. you can do what you want, you know?

    anyways, this post made me laugh. also, MINIATURE PIGS

  5. also 2011 is the year when deanne smith writes lots of hilarious articles for autostraddle. yesssssssss.

  6. DeAnne Smith, how you make me laugh so. This was hilarious.

    Completely shamelessly I will mention that I hope 2011 brings us another Girl on Girl on Girl comedy show in Montreal because you were all so funny and awesome.

  7. 2010- the year I discovered lesbians who look like Justin Bieber (finally- putting him to a good use) and Autostraddle. <3
    And miniature pigs. That's the cutest yet scariest thing I've seen in a while.
    Is it bad that even though I'm a vegetarian, my first thought was "What a tiny amount of bacon"?

  8. Once when I was watching Jodie Fosters first SNL appearance I asked my mom how they did not catch on any sooner that she was gay. She answered that she didn’t think she was gay period. It was at this point that I noted that Jodie Foster talked like/looked like a 15 year old boy, and for her monologue had decided to wear a boyscout uniform……I feel like that alone presents an unassailable case.

  9. Great post, DeAnne. I also fell in love with Jodie Foster years ago. Somehow I suspect you would have more luck there than I would. lol

  10. I hate to say this, but the picture of the Vibram Fivefinger Sprints you posted is of a counterfeit color. At least make fun of them without some knock off from China.

  11. 1/1/11. 1/11/11. 11/1/11. 11/11/11.

    Oh, and the last full year before the apocalypse.

    Here’s hoping it’s a good one.

    • I read this comment and I was like oh yeah 2012 is the apocalypse.
      2 mins later, I’m like whoa that’s next year, MEEP. Basically, I am scared.

      • Guys what. Remember how the world was going to end when midnight fell on Jerusalem in 2000. Or sunrise. Or something.

        Anyway, we all lived then and we’ll all live now, don’t fret. Plus I am always suspicious when people decipher scripts that have no living speakers/writers of the language left to confirm their interpretation, like ‘oh THAT’S convenient’. We can all make up interpretations of scripts if there’s no one to say whether we’re doing it wrong. I’m off to read Linear A right now.

  12. That miniature pig is the cutest thing ever. i am still going ‘aww’ although the champagne probably isn’t helping.

  13. Wait, hold on. Someone went to a meeting and said “I have this idea for a movie” and pitched The Beaver and someone else was like “This is exactly what the world needs. A movie about a man with a beaver puppet. You are brilliant. We need to make this happen.” Then, it did happen, but Julie and Brandy can’t have their movie? What is wrong with this world?

    Also, despite the fact that it looks like a train wreck, I will at some point watch The Beaver, because I have to see how they pull this off.

    • People with a dirty mind like me will hear “what this movie is about Mel Gibson spending all his time with a hand shoved up a beaver? MUST. SEE.”






    • I googled the first line of this to see if I could decipher its meaning, but nothing came of that.

  15. that pig
    ok, so the rest of all of this is nice, and everytime i hear about dear deanne smith i picture her topless, and that’s really quite nice, but
    that pig
    i have this weird thing about instantly personifying everything i see. shoes, tables, spiders. everything. sometimes i have conversations with them.
    i saw that pig and instantly heard it speaking to me. i’m not crazy, i swear, i just have so much love in my tiny girlish body that it exploded and is now covering everything on earth
    but mostly that pig
    yeah. and because i’m a dirty hipster i tumbled it. isn’t that was you guys do? you tumbl your feelings? or things you imagined a miniature pig would say? i think probably you do, it’s not just me, not at all

    • I instantly thought “awww it’s having a tot of tea awww so cute” so it’s not just you who’s having all of these feelings and thoughts about what a wee little pig would say. :)

  16. “all-child gangster movie, what does that even MEAN?”
    “i don’t know, but i imagine it’s like oliver twist but with more pinstripe suits.”

  17. “panic room” with kristen stewart. yes.

    so, “the beaver” actually seems more heartfelt once i saw the trailer. i seriously thought it was a spin off movie from sesame street.

    also, british accent anyone? i think yes.

  18. Just, why is it a beaver puppet? Like, can someone explain this to me? That puppet could have been any kind of animal and that movie could have been called “The ANYTHING” but someone picked a beaver? Who was responsible for this choice?

    Though when trying to come up with alternatives one of my first thoughts was “The Rabbit” which… well, I don’t think I have to go into any more detail on that either. haha.

    • my theoretical answer can only be supplied as this.

      the writers were at a roundtable much like king arthur’s, but not as round. anyways, they were thinking of animal puppets to relay gibson’s emotions, and yes they did think of a rabbit, but rabbits are far too exploited in the world. bears are too aggressive when first thought upon, and well, llamas just seem too ridiculous.

      the end result, a beaver because it provides a nice innuendo for the lack of sex life gibson most likely has in the movie so he has to resort to faux things [toys,himself, etc.]. also it can gear towards an adult audience while keeping a nice light air for the younger ones, thus keeping it a family movie.

      actually, i don’t know. but it seemed like a good explanation.

  19. Remember when the Hollywood PR machine instigated a Mel Gibson infatuation meme among the hetero female set? I’m going to say this was the early 90s.

  20. This was sooo funny. However, I cant laugh because my gf is sleeping next to me so I just breathe heavily/snort/open my mouth really wide at the funny parts. Which is not weird or anything

  21. Ooooh, Finger Shoes scare me…it’s kind of like…they’re gong to grab you and strangle you! With their feeeeeet! Eew.

  22. Someone asked about the all-child gangster movie, wondering if it was Oliver Twist in pinstripes. That was actually not a bad description. As well as a young Jodie Foster, it also featured a young Scott Baio. I watched it out of curiosity years ago and thought it was woeful, but that’s just me. In some ways I thought it was so bad that it became funny.

  23. i thought a picture of taylor was sneakily put in there but i guess that’s actually jodie foster.

  24. Isn’t she directing it? Does that mean she’s the one that cast Mel Gibson? On purpose?
    Never thought I’d say it, but I’m a little disappointed in JF.

  25. OMG! I love Jodie! Before I even knew I was a lesbian I had the Premiere Magazine cover of her after Nell came out up on my wall…..shoulder length red hair, NAKED, with only a wreath covering her chest…..LOVE. :)

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