She also made it sound as if she planned to retire from acting once and for all, something she'd toyed with previously.
"This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else. Scary and exciting, and now what?" Foster said. "I may never be up on this stage again, on any stage, for that matter."
But backstage afterward, she clarified for reporters: "I could never stop acting. You'd have to drag me behind a team of horses. I'd like to be directing tomorrow. I'm more into it than I have ever been."
As for why she chose this place and time to discuss her private life, Foster explained backstage: "The speech kind of speaks for itself. ... It's a big moment. I wanted to say what's most in my heart."
Her revelation, vague as it was, nonetheless set Twitter on fire with reactions. Some called her words moving and brave while others suggested that she should have done more to be a role model for lesbians.
Ricky Martin, who came out himself in 2010, tweeted: "Jody Foster On your terms. Its your time! Not before nor after. Its when it feels right."
And Amy Poehler, who co-hosted the Golden Globes with longtime friend and fellow comedian Tina Fey, cracked as she was signing off for the night: "We're going home with Jodie Foster!"
AP Entertainment Writers Anthony McCartney and Beth Harris contributed to this report.