Cynthia Nixon: “For me, homosexuality is a choice, you don’t define my gayness”


Cynthia Nixon gave a surprisingly intimate interview to The New York Times a few days ago. Do you know how much I like Cynthia? She’s awesome. I would love her alone for her commitment to public education, but whenever I read one of her increasingly rare interviews, I like her even more. Anyway, you can read the full NYT piece here - Cynthia talks at length about her experiences as a child actor, how she transitioned into an adult actor, her stage work and finally, her lesbianism… or bisexuality? Cynthia has had long-term relationships with both men and women, and Cynthia considers herself a lesbian by choice. Here are some highlights:

Getting Sex & the City at the age of 30: “Nobody ever really thought of me as sexy, right?” she said wryly when we sat down earlier to talk. “They thought of me as smart and quirky. For a while I was waifish, and then I was smart and quirky, and then when I was like 30 I was cast in ‘Sex and the City.’ Thirty seems young to me now, but at the time 30 seemed to be kind of getting old, so it was this amazing confluence of events where I, who had never really exercised, never really worn heels, was in this thing that was about sex and grooming and your body. I might have just gone from waifs to old ladies, but I had my bombshell period in there, my unexpected bombshell period.”

Kids: Nixon is a mother herself; her two oldest children are Samantha, 15, and Charlie, 9. Their father is Daniel Mozes, a classmate of Nixon’s at Hunter College High School, where he now teaches English. The couple never married and split in 2003. As Nixon has grown older, she has allowed herself to start coloring outside the lines. A year after splitting with Mozes, she began a relationship with Christine Marinoni, now 44, whom she met while campaigning to increase financing for New York City public schools. With the help of a male friend Nixon will not identify, Marinoni conceived a child. She gave birth to their son, Max Ellington Nixon-Marinoni, on Feb. 7, 2011.

Her mid-life change to lesbianism: “I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line ‘I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.’ And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. 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. A certain section of our community is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice, because if it’s a choice, then we could opt out. I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here, it matters that we are here and we are one group and let us stop trying to make a litmus test for who is considered gay and who is not.” Her face was red and her arms were waving. “As you can tell,” she said, “I am very annoyed about this issue. 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.”

[From The New York Times]

CB pointed out that Cynthia might be in the middle of the Kinsey scale, which means that her sexuality can easily go from men to women, and that people on the far ends of the Kinsey scale don’t have a choice when it comes to sex of their partners. That could be the case with Cynthia – she could just be one of those people who are like, “I just fall in love with whomever I fall in love with, men, women, no matter.”

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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131 Responses to “Cynthia Nixon: “For me, homosexuality is a choice, you don’t define my gayness””

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  1. Kat says:

    I can’t help but think that Cynthia’s comments are going to cause a sh*tstorm. Intentionally or not, the angle she’s taking is inflammatory and it will cause backlash from all sectors of the community. I don’t believe homosexuality is a choice. YMMV. I suppose statistically there are always exceptions to the rule, though. I guess Cynthia’s the “proof”? Such a tinderbox situation.

    • Jayna says:

      I agree. I think she should say she’s bisexual and has chosen a woman as her life partner.

      • Leigh says:

        Exactly.

      • JenJen says:

        That IS what she’s saying, without saying it. She obviously doesn’t like or want labels, and doesn’t want to call herself bisexual. The proof is in the pudding — she’s unapologetically slept with men AND women… what else do you call that? She’s “chosen” to live a lesbian lifestyle (now) rather than a straight one.

        It’s sad when people demand that someone stake their claim in a label – gay, straight, bi, whatever – and when someone like Cynthia has other ideas, it’s unacceptable.

        Obviously she can choose because she feels both ways… purely gay people don’t have the choice, so it’s quite apparent she’s bisexual, she just doesn’t want to label herself, so WHO CARES? Let her define herself as she wants. Insisting she call herself one thing or the other is incredibly narrow-minded.

      • ol cranky says:

        @JenJen – then she should say she refuses to accept labels imposed by others and then refuse to use those labels. The way to do that and show she’s made an active choice to be with a woman would be to say I’ve chosen to be with a man in the past and I now choose to be with a woman, being with a woman is better for me. It’s a much classier and less inflammatory way to make a point about labels and her choices without giving haters ammo to impugn/malign the natures of those whose are different than hers.

      • Snappyfish says:

        I agree with you. The key words here were “For me….”

      • Violet says:

        Co-sign. It’s a bit bizarre that she felt she needed to declare herself a lesbian by choice, when it’s clear that she’s actually bisexual.

        It would be far more accurate for her to say that she swings both ways, but currently chooses to be in a relationship with a woman.

        I believe that sexual preference is biologically determined. I can look at a woman and appreciate if she’s attractive, but have only ever been sexually drawn to men. No choice about that, it’s just the way I’m wired.

        Cynthia is actually lucky that she’s bi, because it expands her dating horizons. Sometimes I think it’d be easier being involved with a woman — after all, the toilet seat would never be up!

      • Lee says:

        The bottom line is that everyone has the right to self identify. She may have bisexual attractions and relationships, but if she chooses to identify as lesbian and no longer pursue relationships with men, she has every right to.

        There are many different reasons someone may choose to identify as lesbian instead of bisexual in spite of their innate attractions. They may do it for political reasons or because they strongly identify with and prize their position in the gay community.

        Personally, I’m probably a Kinsey 5 (mostly lesbian), but I’ve never had a relationship with a man nor do I ever intend to. As such, I identify as lesbian. I don’t go around telling people that I’m like 90% gay. In an ideal world, labels wouldn’t exist and we would all just accept that people are who they are. But since our society is hell-bent on categorizing everyone, some of us choose to drift to the category that best approximates who we are.

        The point I think she’s trying to make is that, whether we are born this way or whether we have some level of choice in the matter is not for anyone else to say and it shouldn’t be the basket we throw all of our gay-rights eggs into. The current essentialist movement implies that if we did have the choice, we wouldn’t deserve equal treatment. And that’s a problem.

      • Carny says:

        Why does she have to say anything to appease people who think “she should just say” ? Its her life and she can do as she wishes ,just as we all should, without having to “Take Sides” or be a soldier in someone’s battle. She has a relationship – don’t try to make it political.

    • I Run New York says:

      “I don’t believe homosexuality is a choice.”

      Why would she lie?

    • WillyNilly says:

      I agree about the shitstorm about to burst (hopefully) but I disagree that she should simply claim she’s bi and move on.

      WHY? Who does that reward? It only rewards the person trying to define her and pardon the expression but f*ck that. It’s not their journey. I totally commend her honesty and her attempt at pointing out consistent yet antiquated thinking in both communities.

      Good job Cynthia!

      • cici says:

        I don’t think there should be any sh_tstorm. As you said, Kat – YMMV. Cynthia said, “For me, it is a choice….” if it’s YMMV, then you have to allow for people to say “for me, i believe…” That’s HER. Live and Let Live. To each, his or her own.

      • dayan says:

        Well said, WillyNilly. And I agree.

      • Kathy says:

        A person can say and feel any way they want about their sexuality. And everyone else can agree or not. Who cares?

        I think it was incredibly rude and insulting to try to get her to change what she said. I would have told them to go *&z! themselves. Which I realize is the wrong approach of course, but that would have been my reaction in the heat of the moment. And no, I wouldn’t have been proud of it later.

      • barb333 says:

        So you think she just say it is a choice? While I agree you an choose which sex you fall in love with, and I could care less, again her choice, if you go back and forth between the 2 that’s the DEFINITION OF BI!! And who cares who she loves, but her??

    • Capella says:

      @Kat – You are right, some are offended at her “choosing” to be gay. Because it seems that you cannot choose, you are, or are not.

      IMO, that line of thought is as prejudiced as someone stating that bi-sexuality is an ignorant state before admitting to one’s self who you truly are. That falling for someone because of WHO they are as a person, is impossible, your sexual leanings, apparently, are encoded in your DNA. Obviously, like your political leanings. You are either Democrat or Republican.

      See how silly that sounds?

      Of course you can be one or the other, at one time or another in your lifetime. Your profound opinion and interests can and will change, the packaging might attract you, or the substance might convince you. Your yearning for change might be answered in the most surprising way.

  2. Jesse says:

    Some choose others dont.
    For me I dont care what two consenting adults do in their bedroom, and agreee with what she said, but her comments will upset some of the hard core gay activests.

    • JenJen says:

      I dislike the hardcore gay activists just as much as I dislike the hardcore straight activists. Both sides are much too insistent in their own policies and have no leniency or ability to bend and accept anything outside the little boxes they paint for themselves and the way they see the world. Human life is not multiple-choice, it’s fill-in-the-blank.

      • WillyNilly says:

        Yes, but at least the ‘hardcore gay activists’ aren’t trying to take the rights away from the ‘hardcore straight activists’ based on what they themselves do in the bedroom. But I get your sentiment. And agree with it. ;)

  3. Boo says:

    I think people can legitimately be attracted to both genders…so for those people, choosing to be with a same-sex partner is, indeed, a choice. Those people who are only attracted to their own gender have no choice.

    She’s right–there is more to sexuality than the simple notions of choice versus genetics. Are we evolved enough as a society to grasp that? Probably not.

    I think her point about being fair to her previous male partners is important, too–she wasn’t falsely involved with them any more than she is falsely involved with Rojo…and to make it seem like she was pretending to be straight for those years is an insult to her and to them.

    • Izzy says:

      Boo, you expressed everything I wanted to say so much better than I could.

      And I completely agree with Cynthia that being able to make the choice doesn’t make it any less legitimate.

    • Mauibound says:

      Being straight, I can’t imagine the difficulties she or any other person in that situation has gone through. To me everything that you just said is what I believe. To me, you and cynthia are both awesome!

    • Lee says:

      Thanks Boo! You expressed exactly what I was trying to convey, but in a far more succinct and effective way. :)

  4. I.want.shoes says:

    Who cares if it is a choice or not. It was a choice for HER. If she’s happy, so be it. The fact that it was a choice for her does not make her any less gay, nor does it take away from others who feel it wasn’t a choice for them.

    • Lenore says:

      AMEN.

      And the weird thing is, until I read her comments, I’d never even considered how unfortunate the whole “sexuality isn’t a choice” defence is. Just because there are bigots who want to deny LGBT people their basic human rights, why should gays have to plead out with, “But it’s NOT a choice, I didn’t choose it!” It really is a little like saying, “Yes I know it’s wrong, but I can’t help it”, and I’d never even considered it that way.

      LGBTs shouldn’t have to justify their relationships or tastes or choices to anyone. They shouldn’t be discriminated against, period, end of sentence.

      And they especially shouldn’t have to have anyone wagging fingers at them and saying, “Well, if you choose, then you’re not gay-gay…you’re a bisexual who sleeps with women, not a lesbian.” It’s for Cynthia Nixon to say how she identifies, and nobody else.

      • someone says:

        Iove the last point uou made in the first Paragraph. I completely agree

      • I Choose Me says:

        Hear! hear!

        I get what Cynthia’s saying and I agree. And I love that most of the comments are well-reasoned, articulate and respectful. Seriously Lenore, well said.

      • Gradstudenteatinghotpockets says:

        Perfect. What you said was perfect.

      • guilty pleasures says:

        So well said, and a nuance I never really stopped to consider.
        Why is it not just OK to say I am gay, straight, bi-sexual because that is what I choose to be, that is what I identify as!
        I also commend Cynthia’s sentiments regarding her very personal life.
        When we just let people be? I am never forced to strongly defend my sexuality.

  5. Mimi says:

    What a corageous woman, I support her 100%.

  6. Jayna says:

    Well, she’s bisexual. I have a stunning friend who is bisexual (not the trendy kind). She has slept with and lived with both. As she has gotten older she has leaned towards men more.

    • guilty pleasures says:

      we may well have the same friend!! My pal has had long, loving relationships with men and women, she identifies herself as human.

  7. RocketMerry says:

    But she is right, you know.
    Some people are homosexual by birth, in a physical, hormonal, “built-in” way.
    Others have more of a psychological inclination to same sex love.
    Others again choose. For whatever reasons.

    That is why it is always so confusing to talk about these issues, since everybody goes: “I was born gay!”. It’s not always like that and it is not that simple. Sometimes digging in the depths of a sexual inclination can clarify the reasons of it and, before somebody starts yelling at me, just help to live a more conscious, mature life. Looks like Chyntia did.

    • I Run New York says:

      “Some people are homosexual by birth, in a physical, hormonal, “built-in” way.”

      What evidence do you have of this? Or are you just assuming?

      • Pia says:

        As evidenced below, it doesn’t matter what her response is, because you would just respond with “That is a lie”. Yes, it has been proven scientifically, but it seems everything you disagree with or have trouble grasping is simply written off as a lie so you don’t ever have to change your thinking. Must be nice to live in such a utopian bubble of ignorance…

    • Teresa says:

      Sounds sorta like heterosexuals to me..

  8. truthSF says:

    That’s her girlfriend’s name, I only knew her as Rojo Caliente?! You can only guess who gave me that idea. :)

  9. Pont Neuf says:

    I find it a bit ignorant of her to assume that sexuality is a matter of choice – maybe for bisexual people like her it can, up to a certain extent, be a matter of choice (even though, can anyone really choose who they fall in love with?), but for many it isn’t.

    Declaring yourself to be the spokesperson for an entire community and saying “this is my experience and you don’t get to define it in spite of all the evidence against it”, is irresponsible and gives certain reactionary sectors the opportunity to revel in their own bigotted views.

    Maybe a more careful wording and admitting the possibility that bisexuality does exist, and that bisexual people do have more choices (at least in principle), would have been better.

    By saying what she has said, and in the despondent tone that she has said it, it would appear as if sexuality were a matter of whim. Also, it seems to imply that anyone could change it if they feel like doing so, or work hard enough at it.

    The message is valid for her own experience as a particular type of bisexual woman, but not for the majority of people.

    • Franny says:

      I completely disagree with you. Read this line again:

      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.

      for HER it is a choice. who are you to say its not?

    • Tapioca says:

      If you could point out the part where she declared herself a spokesperson for the entire gay community I would be grateful!

      What she actually started her statement with was “And for ME…” before qualifying it with “I understand that for many people it’s not [their experience]“.

      I’m sure there are plenty of people who feel similarly to her and appreciate that they have someone in the public eye to vocalise that, but she was talking about herself.

      Which she is wholly entitled to do.

    • Jo says:

      Anyones message is only valid from their own experience. This includes all the people saying they were born gay, and those who are bi.
      One experience does not rule out another.
      Her statment is her truth, not the truth of all bi/gay woman.
      If you cant see that, please remove your blinkers.

    • Incredulous says:

      About your second paragraph:

      I don’t think she was declaring herself a spokesperson – I could be wrong – but, most importantly, what you say applies to people who insist being gay is not a choice as well. It is bigoted of them to insist that what they feel is what everyone feels.

      Or, to put it a different way, any time anyone tells me they speak for all women/men, I ask them when they found the time to speak to a few billion people?

    • Pont Neuf says:

      I have to disagree. Cynthia has presented her speech from the perspective of a gay woman, which she is not, and has angrily attempted to refute the argument that homosexuality is innate – an argument that science has proven to be right, and affects the entire LGBT community.

      Yes, for some bisexual people, choosing to settle down with a person of one gender or the other would make them, in the eyes of society, either gay or straight, but that doesn’t mean they are themselves. It certainly doesn’t make them any less bisexual, which is their innate sexuality.

      It doesn’t mean that their choice, however unconscious, should define what homosexuality is for the simple reason that they are not homosexual. They are bisexual people in a same sex relationship.

      I am not denying that Cynthia’s experience is very valid, and I am most definitely not saying that her choice, as a bisexual woman, is wrong. However, her appropriating homosexuality to present her point of view as a bisexual person, is erroneous.

      As a relative of three gay people who had to face much pain and sorrow while trying to be accepted by my bigotted and ignorant family, I find what she has said both simplistic and irresponsible.

      • Krill says:

        Agree.

        And you’re waaaay more eloquent than I am, because all I would say about this is, “Bitch, please. You’re bisexual. End of. Now stop harping on being “homosexual”, because you are not, and STFU”.

      • I Run New York says:

        “attempted to refute the argument that homosexuality is innate – an argument that science has proven to be right”

        That is a lie.

      • Pont Neuf says:

        Krill, you would have said it clearer than I ever could.

        ‘I Run New York’, science has more than proven that homosexuality is natural and innate. Ask any evolutionary biologist about their observations in same sex behaviour across many species, and their answer will always be: it is a part of the natural order.

        Also, neuro-scientists have documented very well the differences in brain structure between gay and heterosexual people.

        Unless you can provide any insights on a study that has disproven the findings of empirical analysis, I would disagree with you.

      • Jayna says:

        Bingo. My friend, who I talked about who is a hot bisexual and has lived with and loved both genders, dated both genders, has in her mid thirties gravitated towards men and seems to be what she wants. I in my mind dismissed what her feelings would still be towards women. Then she told me she still fantisizes about women at times and can meet a woman and be attracted strongly to her even though she says she is more satisfied in a male/female relationship and is madly in love. So she’s not really heterosexual just because she fell in love with a man and is marrying him and has no desire to be unfaithful. That’s just the gender she settled down with. She still considers herself bisexual.

      • I Run New York says:

        “‘I Run New York’, science has more than proven that homosexuality is natural and innate.”

        That is a lie.

      • S_____ says:

        God. You’re so right. This is a woman who is not gay trying to redefine the word to suit her own personal experience.

      • WillyNilly says:

        Jayna – what does it matter if your friend is hot or not? How is that even remotely relevant to the discussion??

      • Pirouette says:

        I’ll ask any evolutionary biologist what thier biases are and who is paying them.

  10. Monique says:

    What she’s essentially saying is that being gay isn’t just “acceptable” if it is involuntary, that it is a completely acceptable choice too.

    She’s saying that it shouldn’t matter whether you choose to be with someone of the same gender of whether you are involuntarily compelled to do so.

    Couldn’t agree more; and go her for being willing to face the backlash. I love that she’s refusing to be told how she loves people, be they male or female.

    The point is, who cares if it’s biological or psychological or whatever – it is what it is, and there’s nothing at all wrong with that.

  11. Franny says:

    I think she makes a really good point. I think so much of the “gay battle” has been “we didn’t choose this so stop trying to change it” but it does seem kind of a cope out just to have people stop trying to change them. I’m a straight girl, and I’ve always been attracted to men, so I don’t know if I choose this or if thats just how it worked out, but I would hate to have to justify it to people all day long for the rest of my life.

    • Franny says:

      edit: I don’t mean to say that the “born this way” is a cope out for everyone, because I know many people who believe that this is just the way they are, I’m saying that it doesn’t apply to everyone. After I reread my comment, I realized it sounded different than I intended it to.

  12. Alaina says:

    I love her, and see absolutely nothing wrong with her offering her own perspective on her own sexuality. Agree it’ll probably be held up to the light and found wanting by various LGB groups but she has taken nothing away from anyone else’s experience, merely clarified and owned her own.

    The other issue, which I’ve seen as a criticism elsewhere, that the bigots may swoop on it and use it to triumphantly *prove* that it’s a choice is not a good enough reason for her not to express her opinions about her own experience. Let’s not bow to the bigots here and allow them to dictate what can and can’t be expressed. With hate as their default setting, their opinions have no value.

  13. JPX says:

    Choice? I think she needs to acknowledge that she’s bi-sexual. Her girlfriend might be the ugliest human being I’ve ever seen in my life.

    • blinkblue says:

      I think your comment just awarded you the title of ugliest human being we have ever seen in our lives. Congratulations.

  14. bigorexia says:

    Gah! I find her comments so annoying. I think her comments could cause a lot of damage because they confirm something that homophobes mistakenly believe. Her attraction to her girlfriend was not a choice. She is bisexual and chose to be with a woman. She is still bisexual. If you are gay, you are gay. Nothing can be done about it. There is no such thing as a homosexual lifestyle – it’s who you are. Wil someone please shut her up!?!!?

    • Sunshine says:

      Typical leftist sentiment. You don’t follow the party line? THEN SHUT UP! Only approved speech is allowed! Do you hear yourself? Because YOU personally disagree with someone, you feel that they should be silenced? I’m a “right wing nutjob” but I certainly don’t hate gays nor do I want them to shut up. They have every right to define their sexuality however they see fit and NOBODY has any right to shut them up. See, the problem with “free speech” is that even the supposedly oppressed people will eventually say something you don’t approve of. In a sane society that’s fine, but in THIS society, we have people like you telling others to shut up. Unreal. You should be ashamed of yourself, this attitude is not tolerant, progressive OR enlightened and you’re being lectured about your lack of tolerance by a conservative. Next stop, Bizarro world!

      • JenJen says:

        I, too, am a “right wing nutjob”, and even I don’t disagree with Cynthia.

        I believe everyone is born a certain way; some are extremely straight or gay, and some lie somewhere in the middle. Cynthia obviously is somewhere in the middle and is attracted to both men and women. At the present time, she is in love with a woman and is making the choice to live with said woman in what is a “lesbian” relationship (since it involves two women sexually, it’s “lesbian”, even though Cynthia herself may not identify as strictly “lesbian”). Should that relationship end, Cynthia may find herself attracted to a man and may choose to return to a “straight” relationship. Who knows?

        She has the ability to choose because SHE feels attracted to both genders. Some people have sexual feelings exclusively for the same or opposite genders, but she feels both, so why not explore both? Why should she be told to sit down and shut up because she’s explaining how her sexuality works for her and defending her right to make her own decisions? She doesn’t want to be pigeonholed and rightfully so.

        Like I say, I’m pretty damn right-wing and even I didn’t find anything offensive about what she said.

    • Liz says:

      I think Sunshine went a teensy weensy bit – *cough* – overboard with that, but it’s a good point.

      I’ve seen people on the internet telling Nixon to go die in a fire. (“DIAF”) The people telling her to shut up, or saying that someone should forcibly shut her up, are the saner ones.

      She’s stating an opinion, from her own experience. She supports equality for LGBTs. And yet she is being subjected to an unbelievable amount of vitriol for going off reservation.

      “I think her comments could cause a lot of damage…”

      I’m so sick of this idea that we can’t talk about this, or even have the debate. Because there are apparently millions of ebul hicks out there just glued to the internet in case some gay/bi person breaks ranks about her own experience.

      *eyeroll*

      In purely practical terms, it’s counterproductive. The reason the marriage equality votes have always lost is, sadly, because of our supposed allies.

      Like it or not, you’ll actually have to convince some of the social conservatives, the moderates etc., in order to win. Acting like people who disagree with you are so dangerous that you can’t even have tentative debates has set marriage equality back by years.

      And on a moral level…

      Why on earth would it be so dangerous to have the debate? What exactly do you think people would do if it sexual orientation is really, entirely a choice for everyone? (I don’t think anyone actually believes the last point, but it’s an interesting hypothetical, oder?)

      • Sunshine says:

        Liz, your comment is great! Yes, I did go a little overboard and I apologize but I do get so frustrated at people always attempting to tell others how they need to feel and behave. It’s especially frustrating when the people who act like they are the champions of tolerance and acceptance are the ones trying to shut up anyone who does not fit into whatever box they’ve assigned for them. It’s hypocritical and disgusting and it really bothers me. Remember, these are the people who scream about the Church, or conservatives, or whatever boogeyman of the week, taking away their freedom, but here they are being every bit as bad as those they love to accuse! Either you want freedom of speech or you don’t. I’m beginning to think that very few people really do want it, regardless of their political (or other) beliefs, and I have a HUGE problem with that. Besides, why does anyone CARE how someone else defines their orientation?

      • Sunshine says:

        Hey Jenjen do you post on fark ever? You remind me of someone I used to know over there…

  15. Larissa says:

    I just dont think choosen a partner has anything to do with your sexuality in question, most relationships I know are made of choice, two people who choose to be together. It doesn´t mean she can chose to be gay or not. Even if she was with a man and be attracted to women she would still be considered bisexual. I dont think theres anything wrong with defining sexuality, stereotypes are another issue.

  16. Sunshine says:

    She is 100% right. Gay people seem to want to have their cake and eat it too…they do not want actual LBGTQ people to define their OWN sexuality, they want to tell you that if you’re gay, you do this, if you’re bi you do that, and so on. Well, it seems rather hypocritical to me. I’m straight and I’m cool with that but if I was attracted to other women I’d STILL choose to be straight. I don’t think it’s acceptable to dictate sexuality to ANYONE. There are aspects that I have issues with and prefer not to interact with certain subsets of certain orientations but I do not want to prevent them from living their lives as they see fit, nor do I want to label them just so I can be more comfortable. Basically, I don’t care, whatever YOU feel YOUR sexuality is, is YOUR business and you’ll never get sh*t from me about it. Just try to behave with some decorum, no matter where you belong on the scale. Not talking to you, Cynthia! lol.

  17. Liz says:

    I think she is totally right. And I’m bisexual. I also think the people throwing a hissy fit are simply trying to show off how right on they are. No one cares; let it go.

    Maybe it’s a cultural difference, but I have never understood the American obsession with finding out whyohWHY people are gay/bi/whatever.

    What I understand even less is the obsession of some people to prove that it’s NOT a choice, not even in part.

    It’s like they think that if people *could* change it, they would have some obligation to do so. That’s quite a stretch.

    If everyone could, through sheer force of will, decide on their race, would they have an obligation to change it? Would it have justified slavery and Jim Crow?

    No? Then why would it be any different for sexual orientation?

    It’s closely linked with the – thoroughly obnoxious – argument that being gay can’t possibly be a choice because who would choose something so awful?

    (The people who make these arguments probably aren’t as cool with homosexuality as they like to think.)

    The correct counter argument to the “homosexuality is a choice” anti gay people is “maybe it is. So what?”

    Make them justify their positions and explain why exactly they think it’s wrong/disgusting/whatever. You might learn something. You might even shift their view point (or even change their minds) if you stop screeching from a losing position.

    What you should not do (but so many people do) is whine that it’s not a choice. We can’t help it, poor things. *eyeroll*

    Don’t act like, if it was a choice, then the anti gay people would be, like, totally justified. Personally, I find it more obnoxious than anyone suggesting my sexual orientation is a choice.

  18. Agnes says:

    I Don’t see why people care whether it’s a choice or not – I understand the arguments, but I still don’t see why people butt into the relationships of others. Maybe for her it was a choice. Does that make it any less legit? Of course not. She should not try to mold herself to fit into arguments that are made to appease bigots or to make people “understand” gay people. (As an aside, Kinsey’s studies have long been discredited, Kaiser, as his methods, the populations he’s tested etc. were less than scientifically sound.)

  19. Jackie says:

    she makes a very excellent point.

    i love the part where she says people think she was walking around in a cloud not realizing…i agree, that is very insulting, and that judgement happens alot. very damaging.

  20. kit says:

    Wow, just judging from the comments on this site, she’s opened up a big old can of worms.
    I sort of agree with her. For some it is a choice, although I think for most it is not. But regardless of what it is, if its between two equal and consenting adults, it is not your business.

  21. Kaye says:

    Kaiser, your link to “the Kinsey scale” produces a 404 error.

  22. Ruby Red Lips says:

    I think she is just being honest about her particular situation and her choice of life partner.

    Surely for some people, male or female, its just the person they meet & fall in love with regardless of gender – we are all individuals and different

    I understand that her comments could upset some people who have struggled to be accepted as gay and agreed it is not a choice for many people, but I do admire her for just being herself and refusing to class herself with a label.

    She is happy and in love with a woman at this time… and I admire her for this and more importantly for just being true to herself

  23. Riana says:

    Oh I love her to bits and I agree, when you really think about it it is sad that homosexuality has been locked in this box in order to defend it.

    As we progress as humans I’d like to think we can examine our sexuality and realize it is a tad fluid. Society shapes and defines us but in our own person we can make choices as to what makes us happy or feels good to us. It’d make us likely safer and more peaceful.

    Instead of being on the down-low a man could openly admit while he is primarily attracted to one sex he is physically interested in his own as well. I’m not sure if that truly counts as bisexuality as it isn’t about attraction. Maybe then he could be honest with his partner and consensus could be reached without dear of accusations of being gay/bi.

    I’m sure some people will throw a bitch-fit about her comments but I think it’s the new journey of acceptance and thought sex has to take. Is it okay if we stop saying to society as a whole, “If you ever feel attracted to your own sex then you MUST be gay/bi and you just haven’t known it your whole life.”

  24. barb333 says:

    So by her logic, since I am straight, I can choose to be gay? Doesn’t make any sense. She’s Bi. Accept it.

    • WillyNilly says:

      No, you obviously did not read the article carefully.

      • barb333 says:

        Then explain it wish WillyNilly as I am not the only one who has this. She said she loves who she loves. Which is her choice I completely agree, but she goes both ways. How is that not Bi? Maybe I’m asking a stupid question, but it is truly how I see it.

  25. Zorbitor says:

    Mao says she needs to go to re-education camp and write a self-criticism.

  26. Suzy (from Ontario, Canada) says:

    One of my closest friends for over 20 years married at 21, had a couple of kids, and when the marriage didn’t work out and they divorced she ended up in a romantic relationship with a woman. They are still together and happy. Initially I was shocked because I had never seen my friend interested in women at all. She had always had boyfriends who were the manly big-muscle type and she enjoyed sex with men. I think I was a bit upset initially because I felt like I must’ve missed something really big all the years we were friends, but she explained it like CB…that it’s a continuum and some people are way on one end and some way on the other and those people likely have no choice …they are gay or straight and have zero interest in the the opposite (may even be disgusted by such an idea). But for everyone else, their attraction to men or women depends on where they are positioned on that continuum. It doesn’t mean they absolutely will be involved with both genders, even if they are smack dab in the centre, but it’s possible for them to find both attractive. Oviously social conditioning, etc. can also play a big role.

    I define myself as straight and have always dated men and been attracted to men, but I can honestly say that there are women that I’ve seen that I’ve been very attracted to and depending on the situation/circumstances I could see that I might’ve experimented in a same sex relationship. I have no idea what that would be like but my friend told me she’s happier than she’s ever been because her girlfriend (who had also never been in a lesbian relationship before) just seems to understand what she needs much more than any man ever did. I’m just happy for her that she’s so happy and has found a person (male or female) that gives her what she needs. That is what counts. They aren’t hurting anyone. They are kind and caring and are making a good life together.

    So I get what Cynthia is saying. For some people it is a choice. Not for everyone, but I think people (many people who define themselves as straight) are attracted to some people they meet who are their gender but they just don’t act on it either because of their situation (maybe they are happily married or involved with someone), their social conditioning, fear, or they just don’t see themselves as gay so they refuse to act on it. It’s okay, for them, to admit to finding someone of the same sex attractive but aren’t comfortable acting on it further.

    Like someone said, it’s way more complicated than a lot of the anti-gay people would have you believe. Frankly, kindness and caring is way more important to me than someone’s sexual preference. What someone does in the privacy of their bedroom is really none of my business, as long as they aren’t abusing or forcing someone who isn’t willing. But beyond the criminal… let people love who they want to love and mind your own business. That’s my opinion.

  27. k says:

    I don’t understand why she would say she chooses to be a lesbian when she has repeatedly demonstrated she is bisexual. She has chosen to be in a lesbian relationship, because she is BY NATURE attracted to both sexes.

    Her comments seem insensitive to the plight suffered by many in the gay and lesbian community.

    • WillyNilly says:

      And that is entirely her point.

      ‘The Choice’ argument is ridiculous. Nobody needs to explain their partner finding qualifications to anybody and that the gay community should probably try to stay away from it as the actual issue is that there aren’t equal rights in this country. Focus on marriage equality for ALL and stay away from how someone came to be with another person because everybody is different.

      The Choice or No Choice argument is irrelevant.

  28. Moi says:

    As a bisexual, I can totally understand where’s she’s coming from.

    It’s interesting how the “community” is always harping about tolerance to everyone outside the community, while it is so intolerant of those inside the community.

    Wouldn’t the world be a nicer place if people minded their own business and didn’t worry about stuff like this? I realize that everyone’s looking for the gay gene, but what if it’s never found? Is it really necessary for you to validate your life? If someone is born gay, chooses gay, tries to be straight, etc., who cares? Mind your own business. YOUR experience is YOURS. THEIR experience is THEIRS. It’s HER experience…she never claimed to be a spokesperson for anyone but HER.

    What two consenting adults CHOOSE to do in their bedroom is up to them.

  29. mel says:

    More importantly – when was she ever considered a bombshell? :) I like her – she makes relevant thought provoking comments and is true to herself. Unlike 99.9% of hollywood.

  30. katsrulz says:

    I can answer the “Why doesn’t she just call herself bisexual?” question. Because the term bisexual means two and when I choose to be with someone that I love, there is only one. To still call myself bisexual while I’m in a committed relationship makes it sound like I’m still out to have sex with both sexes. When and if I ever date a man again, I will be straight. I have been in a lesbian relationship for two years so I’m a lesbian…I’m only having sex with 1 female. So how does that make me bisexual? In a perfect world, I could use that label and not be judged but that just isn’t the case.

    • Lithe says:

      This argument suggests that your sexuality is defined by your actions, rather than include your thoughts and feelings. YMMV but I think it is the whole package. I consider myself to be bisexual even though I’ve never had a physical relationship with a woman. I’ve had lots of boyfriends and I’m currently married to a wonderful man. However, because I’m attracted to both men and women, I regard myself to be bisexual.

    • janie says:

      I’m totally with you here. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4 years, so I consider myself in a straight relationship, but if we ever break up I’m open-minded to dating anybody as long as there’s a connection. I don’t like labels, so I do agree with her that sexual behavior is totally an individual’s choice.

      There was a psych study in which people were asked to identify their sexual preference, then state their sexual encounters of the past year. They found a big difference in how people labeled themselves and what they did! So many more people have homosexual tendencies than we realize. If these labels weren’t so stigmatized, people wouldn’t be so reluctant to be open about their actions. My old boss was a “hardcore” gay man, and he was SO critical about my male coworker’s identification as bisexual. He implied that my coworker was “betraying” the homosexual community. I think that is almost as close-minded as a homophobic POV.

      We need to realize that, while many people have no choice about being gay, sexuality is malleable and can change over a person’s lifetime, especially with women.

  31. meme says:

    I like her. She made a choice that works for her and is unapologetic about it.

  32. Tiffany says:

    I have always thought from the beginning and today that Cynthia Nixon is the most interesting of all of the SATC cast. As for the interview, as an adult I do my best to empathize with people who are going through things like sexuality. All of my relationships and sexual partners have been men, so I fall into the heterosexual catagory. This is where I think the issue lies, there are just too many catagories and I think it is a matter of pride to prove your catagory is the right one and everyone should conform to it. I find myself thinking why I get a pass for not having my heterosexuality questioned.

  33. Tweakspotter says:

    Why can’t it be her CHOICE? I choose NOT to be GAY…SEE how freedom works?

    Good for her!

  34. Valerie says:

    I relate a lot to her when she talks about her sexuality as a choice. I wonder why she doesn’t use the word bisexual. Perhaps because it is such a maligned identity? But I agree with her that sometimes gay people simply think bisexuals are in denial about being truly gay, and it’s insulting to our experiences. Polarizing people into gay and straight is just as limited as polarizing people by race or ethnicity.

  35. Rook says:

    I’ve never understood why being born gay is supposedly “better” or makes it less likely to be criticized. So it’s genetic and that’s the argument that people should stop criticizing it? Retardation and hairlips are genetic…how do genes automatically make something “good.” The point is that it doesn’t matter at all whether it’s genetic or a choice or an accident or a phase. It’s NO ONE ELSE’S BUSINESS whether you want to have sex with boys, girls, trannies, whatever. Who cares whether it’s genetic or a choice or a fun Friday night?

    I’m glad she gave this interview. She’s right. No one else should define your sexuality whether it’s by genes or environment or experimentation or anything else.

  36. TheOriginalVictoria says:

    I love love love love her. And a lot of my gay friends who feel this way, my brother included for feeling “it can be a choice” as an option. Well, in my brother’s case he feels it’s a sin (he’s Christian identified) but it’s a sin “he ain’t never given up.” LOL. So I’m not counting him because he looks at things from a faith based point of view and a lot of people don’t feel that way. I respect his opinion no matter as it’s his life and he’s free to feel how he wants about his own identity.

    But I absolutely believe it is a choice for some and not for others. Look at Anne Heche. Another thing that bothers me is that it’s okay when “straight” people fall into gay relationships, having never been with or attracted to the same sex before, but if someone who is who considered gay falls for the opposite sex it’s all wrong and they’ve “succumbed” to the pressures of the big bad evil righty! That is so hypocritical. And it’s sends an unhealthy message to society about sexuality and labelling.

    I have one friend who was molested by his uncle for years and he says before it happened, he was never attracted to boys in that way but his first sexual experiences were with a man and it “triggered something” in him. He said he chose to continue exploring his same-sex attractions long after therapy and sorting himself out.Having meant him in a group therapy for same-sex incest survivors, I totally see where he is coming from. I always liked boys but my first sexual experiences had been with a girl and so as a teenager I felt confused sometimes, especially since girls were always hitting one me and wanting to “experiment.” But I was never willing to explore it because it felt wrong for me even though it also felt natural sexually, you know what I mean? I made a choice that same-sex relations was not right for me. It did not “trigger” the need in me to become lesbian or bisexual. But it helped me except that the nature vs. nurture debate is opened for discussion, where as I never thought it was. I thought people were just born the way they were.

    Whatever.

    If we’re fighting for equal rights and respect we have to respect everyone’s journey as being uniquely definitive only to themselves and not to anyone else.

    • LeeLoo says:

      Your comments were very insightful and I agree with you except for one thing:

      Anne Heche is a bad example because that bitch is crazy. Regardless of her sexuality, she is a sick person. I think sometimes people with a mental illness or personality disorder tend to use sex as a tool to get what they want. To me, it has very little to do with their sexual orientation. I always felt she used Ellen DeGeneres in that situation to further her own career.

    • Riana says:

      I empathize with your friend so much. I have a male friend who was raped by an adult man as a friend and as an adult now he finds himself physically interested in sex with men but still primarilly attracted to women.

      He says if not for the rape he doesn’t think he’d ever want to be with another man.

  37. barb333 says:

    Can we just agree that she is who she is and of she’s happy, who cares? She feels her way about it and we all have feel our way. No one is necessarily right, that’s why people have debates.

  38. KatHug says:

    I have had relationships with both men & women as well and I totally agree with Cynthia. Everyone is different and she believes it was a choice for her. Thats her opinion and everyone should respect it

    • S_____ says:

      But she’s claiming to be gay.

      I fully support her assertion that we should be free to love whomever we choose and not be judged based on our choices.

      But to come out and say that being a person who makes those choices equals being gay really does a major disservice to actual gay people, who have no choice.

  39. Kim says:

    Finally someone admitting it is a choice and that there is nothing wrong with that/it doesnt lessen or devalue it at all! Good for her.

  40. RobN says:

    I don’t care who, or what, she or anybody else sleeps with. She’s still dull as dishwater and way overstating her “bombshell” period.

    • Jayna says:

      LOL She was never a bombshell in that show. That wasn’t her character. I was a year behind in watching this show. So had heard so much about the other actresses, but not much about her on there. Her character became my favorite. She did a great job on that show.

  41. Gogogadget says:

    Who cares? She’s in love. Why does anyone feel the need to question or debate this? So stupid. There are 1,000 other issues that are so much more important than this. Love her, love her stance.

  42. JPX says:

    Way to set back gay people decades, Nixon. You’re only giving ammunition to conservative idiots who really believe that sexuality is a “choice”. Why not just acknowledge that you are bisexual?

  43. NM6804 says:

    A quote of John Aravosis (source: Sandra Rose):

    “It’s not a ‘choice,’ unless you consider my opting to date a guy with brown hair versus a guy with blonde hair a ‘choice,’” he writes. “It’s only a choice among flavors I already like… every religious right hatemonger is now going to quote this woman every single time they want to deny us our civil rights.”

    I believe you can fall in love with a person, gender is not of importance. What other people do and how they perceive and explain it, is their business but she certainly sparked the “choice” debate here. You can look at this topic at so many angles but I would never teach my children that love can be a choice. Never. Love happens #kanyeshrug”. Let it roll organically.

  44. Ida says:

    I can completely see where she’s coming from. As a few other posters have pointed out, what she’s objecting to is the rather sad notion that homosexuality has to be ‘tolerated’, or accepted, because the individuals in question can’t help themselves. Whether they can or cannot help themselves, and Nixon obviously can help herself since she is attracted to men and has had fullfilling relationships with them, shouldn’t matter.

  45. Heather M says:

    My brilliant Harvard educated sister is gay and not by choice, but I don’t think that is what Cynthia is saying. She is not saying that everyone makes that choice. She is saying that NOT everyone makes the choice, but SOME people do. My sister, whose ex-wife left her for a man, once explained just what Cynthia said when explaining to me why her ex left her for a man. She said that being gay is a continuum and some are closer to the “gay not by choice,” end of the spectrum, while others are closer to “bi-sexual by choice…” end…

    I like what she is saying about it being disrespectful to the men in her life by assuming she just did not realize that she was gay, and I also like her stance that the bigots should not get to define the argument. However, I am not gay/bi, so I can’t really say that what *I* think really matters. I understand people being afraid that their rights will be affected if people think it is a choice…

  46. NinaG says:

    I agree, no one can define anyone’s sexuality. I don’t think she meant it in a sense of every gay person has choice in the matter ,I myself have been in a relationship with a women because I cared for her as a person, but I don’t necessarily fit with the “lesbian” community. But I don’t think she should have to apologize. The gay and lesbian community is full of diverse people and it’s personal preference. I feel for some your sexuality is not a choice, but who you fall in love with is, whether it be male or female. The problem is how you define homosexuality as far as physical or emotional attraction. I my self is more emotionally attractive to women but physically attractive to men. But I desire to love someone I connect with….so it’s many variables that I’m sure she was not given a chance to explain.

  47. LeeLoo says:

    I do think there are a number of people who are born gay. I also think there are a number of people who choose to be gay. I think some people’s brains are oriented to be homosexual in the same way my brain orients me to be more introverted. I also believe there are people who are oriented in the middle and some event in life shifts them in a certain direction. At the same time, what does it matter if it is a choice or if it is something someone is born with? I never understood why people were homophobic or even felt like homosexuality matters in someway, how does someone else being gay, straight, bi or whatever affect your life? Why does everyone need a reason to love who they do? I always wanted to ask those who are religious and believe all that homophobic nonsense, how someone else going to Hell affects them (Not that I believe such drivel, but I am looking at it from their perspective)? Let people love who they will, regardless of the reasons why. It’s none of your business who I love, why would it be any of my business who anyone else loves?

  48. outofafrica says:

    She said it was a choice 4 her to settle down with a woman.. If they ever breakup & she dates a man it will also be her choice.. @ the same time there r those who r exclusively attracted to 1 sex.. There is nothing wrong with this..

  49. Peg says:

    I think she’s lovely!

  50. Lucy says:

    who we fall in love with is who we fall in love with….who cares if it is by choice or by nature…I wouldn’t lable myself either…I am a human being who is in love with another human being…thats all that matters!

    • I Choose Me says:

      “I am a human being who is in love with another human being…thats all that matters!”

      This! This exactly.

  51. Patricia says:

    Love her for standing up for herself.
    I don’t care who she wants to be with or what she wants to be called.
    She’s a wonderful human being.
    I think that is all the labels we need.

  52. Patricia says:

    Love her for standing up for herself.
    I don’t care who she wants to be with or what she wants to be called.
    She’s a wonderful human being.
    I think those are all the labels we need.

  53. Josie says:

    This is really fascinating and I feel that so many here have made great points. Here is an article that sounds like it’s about one (animals) and turns out to be about illuminating about homosexuality and bixsexuality in humans. And it really goes with this post and what everyone is saying:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/magazine/04animals-t.html?pagewanted=all

    “That being said, Esseks told me, polls show that Americans are more likely to discriminate against gays and lesbians if they think homosexuality is “a choice.”

    “It shouldn’t be the basis of a moral judgment,” he said. But sometimes it is, and gay animals are compelling evidence that being gay isn’t a choice at all.

    In fact, Esseks remembers reading a brief mention of animal homosexual behavior during an anthropology class in college in the mid-’80s. “And as a closeted guy, it made a difference to me,” he told me. He remembers thinking: “Oh, hey, this is quote-unquote natural. This is normal. This is part of the normal spectrum of humanity — or life.”

  54. LittleDeadGrrl says:

    I love her point and how she put it and honestly who cares. You were forced into your sexuality, you chose it, it came in a fortune cookie, I don’t care and neither should anyone else. Your choice. Your life. Why does anyone have to define themselves to anyone else?

  55. skuddles says:

    I admire her guts, but is her sexuality, regardless of how it is or is not defined, even remotely important in the grand scheme of things? Does anyone actually care anymore if someone is gay, straight or bi (or any variation in between)? Why is there any need to talk about it publicly, to categorize oneself in this way? No shame in talking about of course – just… who cares?

  56. Karin says:

    I get what she is trying to say…that it should not matter where “gayness“ comes from. It should be accepted and that is that. Human sexuality is far too complex to just pigeonhole into a few specific categories. Sexuality is entirely specific to humans…it cannot be compared to anything else in nature and is fantastically intricate. There is really no reason to force everyone into certain categories.

  57. Str8Shooter says:

    Great. Just what we need…a so-called ‘lesbian by choice’ just validating the ignorant masses’ argument that we gays CHOOSE to be gay.

    Sorry, but I have to disagree with the majority of posters on here. It may be convenient for her to say its her ‘choice’ to be gay, but that is an irresponsible statement as it implies that it is not innate.

    Oh right. She is from those crappy SATC movies, so somehow she is ‘different’

    BARF

    • stopspleeningme says:

      PBI: The Sex and the City movies (crappy, indeed) are a tragic departure in every way from the show itself. Why they were made is a mystery to me, I don’t really want to know, it’s very sad. If only they had ended on the actual finale of that show, which was beautifully developed, light-hearted and demanding, visually stunning, funny and never boring, and let the show of SATC rest its case. Taken as a whole, it was a fun, glamorous, pro-female, pro-love, pro-sisterhood series, where women stayed close with each other for the long haul because they valued their friendship, not because they were wives of men who worked together, moms in a group, students in the same high school, doctors at the same office, or what 99% of most shows and series present as the reasons women are friends (always waiting to gossip or hurt one another).

      Just an aside. Don’t know why they did those movies but lets hope they are finished sequeling.

      I think Cynthia Nixon is cool. She’s damn talented that is for sure.

  58. Dibba says:

    I wish this check would go back into the closet.

  59. Dibba says:

    I mean CHICK!