Cynthia Nixon backtracks on comments that being gay is a “choice”

Actress Cynthia Nixon has taken a lot of heat recently for an interview in which she said that her gayness was a choice.  She told the New York Times, “And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me … Why can’t it be a choice? Why is that any less legitimate? ”

A few days later, she in an interview with The Daily Beast, her sexuality became a topic once again.  Asking about her former relationship with the father of her two older children, Danny Mozes, and her current partner, Christine Marinoni, Kevin Sessums (KS) asked:

KS: You’ve been quoted as saying about these two relationships in your life: “In terms of sexual orientation, I don’t really feel I’ve changed … I’ve been with men all my life and I’d never fallen in love with a woman. But when I did, it didn’t seem so strange. I’m just a woman in love with another woman.” I’m a bit confused. Were you a lesbian in a heterosexual relationship? Or are you now a heterosexual in a lesbian relationship? That quote seemed like you were fudging a bit.

Cynthia Nixon (CN): It’s so not fudging. It’s so not. I think for gay people who feel 100 percent gay, it doesn’t make any sense. And for straight people who feel 100 percent straight, it doesn’t make any sense. I don’t pull out the “bisexual” word because nobody likes the bisexuals. Everybody likes to dump on the bisexuals

KS: But it is the “B” in LGBT.  

CN:  I know. But we get no respect.

KS: You just said “we,” so you must self-identify as one.

CS: I just don’t like to pull out that word. But I do completely feel that when I was in relationships with men, I was in love and in lust with those men. And then I met Christine and I fell in love and lust with her. I am completely the same person and I was not walking around in some kind of fog. I just responded to the people in front of me the way I truly felt.

These comments did little to help squash the controversy of her earlier statements.  Outrage on the internet spread as she simultaneously reiterated that her homosexuality was a choice and seemed to fall victim to her own stereotype that there’s something wrong with bisexuals.

Most recently, she attempted to clarify her statements to The Advocate, saying:

“My recent comments in The New York Times were about me and my personal story of being gay. I believe we all have different ways we came to the gay community and we can’t and shouldn’t be pigeon-holed into one cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering. However, to the extent that anyone wishes to interpret my words in a strictly legal context I would like to clarify:

“While I don’t often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have ‘chosen’ is to be in a gay relationship.

“As I said in the Times and will say again here, I do, however, believe that most members of our community — as well as the majority of heterosexuals — cannot and do not choose the gender of the persons with whom they seek to have intimate relationships because, unlike me, they are only attracted to one sex.

“Our community is not a monolith, thank goodness, any more than America itself is. I look forward to and will continue to work toward the day when America recognizes all of us as full and equal citizens.”


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