Confusion and Mayhem

January 26, 2012
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To the annoyance of those who believe people are born gay, former Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon is doubling down on her position that she chose to be gay.

In the New York Times interview that is the subject of the controversy she stated,

“Why can’t it be a choice? Why is that any less legitimate? It seems we’re just ceding this point to bigots who are demanding it, and I don’t think that they should define the terms of the debate. I also feel like people think I was walking around in a cloud and didn’t realize I was gay, which I find really offensive. I find it offensive to me, but I also find it offensive to all the men I’ve been out with.”

True, there is no conclusive evidence (yet) that one’s sexual orientation is more nature than nurture. And I agree that even if some people choose to be gay, makes no difference with respect to marriage equality and other gay rights initiatives. I also know what it’s like to be highly offended at having one’s heterosexual relationships discounted as insignificant or imposed by an “oppressive” heteronormative society. Most insulting is the idea, as Nixon articulates, that I was so out of touch with myself that I didn’t realize I was gay. I will admit to having been goaded, to the point of vulgarity, to correct this point.

Bisexuality, by definition, affords me the choice of both genders, but I did not choose to be bisexual. For as long as I’ve been sexually self-aware, I’ve enjoyed an attraction to both genders, and I can’t imagine what it’s like to be romantically unaffected by one or the other. For this reason, I would invite Nixon to consider that she feels like she has a choice because she is, in fact, bisexual…

…as she has admitted here, to the Daily Beast.

Kevin Sessums: You’ve been very vocal and political about marriage equality and helped lead the successful fight for it in New York. So congratulations on your own marriage. But before you met and fell in love over seven years ago now with Christine—who, through a sperm donor, gave birth to your son Max Ellington almost a year ago—you were in a 15-year relationship with Danny Mozes, whom you first met in high school. You had two children with him—Samantha, who is now 15, and Charles Ezekiel, who is 9. 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: 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.

CN: 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.

So, Nixon is bisexual. Therefore declaring she “chose” to be gay is both obfuscating and superflous. While her bisexuality affords her a choice between men and women, it does not necessarily follow that she chose to be bisexual. And just because she doesn’t like to “pull out that word” doesn’t make it any less applicable.

**********UPDATE**********

In an interview with the Advocate, Nixon revised her previous comments to clarify that her bisexality is not a choice, although she has chosen to be in a gay relationship.

That’s all she had to say in the first damn place. I declare.

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