Cynthia Nixon | News

Cynthia Nixon: For Me, Being Gay is a Choice

In an interview about her new Broadway show, a revival of the Margaret Edson play Wit, Cynthia Nixon tells the NYT's Alex Witchel that for her being gay is a choice, and nobody's going to take that belief from her:

Wit“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. As you can tell, 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.”

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  1. But I guess that means gay, so whatever

    Posted by: George M | Jan 24, 2012 1:45:53 PM

  2. She said these comments as a RICH, entitled, celebrity who couldn't give two flying blanks about bullied gay youth or the small town gay couple who have been fighting YEARS to earn equal rights...and comments like this MONSTERS commentary push our plight back decades.

    She is an evil person for this, not for the comments...but for being so careless in not understanding the consequences of them.

    Posted by: Real Talk Miles | Jan 24, 2012 1:50:06 PM

  3. Things are like this are arguably helpful because they provoke dialogue--not all of which has been respectful. Here's what I'd like to contribute:

    1) I appreciate Cynthia Nixon speaking her mind on this and, again, sparking conversation. I've never seen anything she was in, but would be more likely to watch a performance of hers now.

    2) I think condemning her comments because other people, who are stupid beyond description and really beneath contempt, will twist her words in some kind of stupid hateful way, is a little odd. Who cares what people like this say? Homophobia is wrong regardless of whatever the "true facts" about "sexual orientation" are. People are coming to understand this, albeit slowly.

    Posted by: Matt | Jan 24, 2012 2:10:09 PM

  4. In one way she is right--if this were a perfect world--why should it matter whether being gay is inborn or a choice? But EXCLAMATION TO A HIGHER POWER--I wish it were a choice!!!! In my case--I'd choose to be straight so fast it would make your head spin. If I could have woken up at the age of 15 or 16 and said--I'm going to be attracted to girls from now on--no more sneaking peeks at bodybuilders--boy might it have prevented me from years of self torment!!!

    Posted by: Gary | Jan 24, 2012 2:59:33 PM

  5. Real Talk Miles -- I AM a woman living in a small southern town in a committed fifteen year relationship with another woman who HAS fought bigotry and discrimination for years, and not only do I respect others’ honest self-definitions, but my own experience happens to be similar to hers. So, again, speak for yourself rather than projecting what you presume others would want someone to say. I'd rather we could all be honest without others (whether gay, lesbian, bi, queer, straight, or whatever the hell) presuming to tell us what our "real" sexual orientation is based on their perceptions of their own.

    Flying off the handle and calling people "EVIL MONSTERS" shuts down conversation and makes us look at best unstable and insecure, at worst indistinguishable from those who actively seek to oppress us.

    Posted by: Shelly | Jan 24, 2012 3:38:40 PM

  6. @ Responders to my original comment...

    I did not choose to be queer. I was born with that. I embrace my queer status. But when I choose to be in a gay relationship, I am also choosing to live my life as a gay man. In that instance, I am essentially "choosing to be gay." I am still bisexual in orientation, but in everyone else's eyes I am gay. When I meet a boyfriend's friends, family, co-workers, I am gay. Explaining bisexuality to most does not compute. Homosexual intolerance of bisexuality may have even lead to that, this defeatism I feel in trying to explain it to people, but that's a different issue. Ultimately, when I walk down the street holding his hand...I am gay in the eyes of everyone but myself.

    Most "gay" men do not choose it. I am just saying that for some of us in gay relationships and living gay lifestyles, it was and is a daily choice.

    Posted by: Alex | Jan 24, 2012 5:27:30 PM

  7. Thanks for sharing nice information with us.

    Posted by: backpacking | May 1, 2012 6:40:12 AM

  8. Seems to me like she's bisexual and romantically only interested in women.

    Posted by: Phrixos | May 24, 2012 6:51:34 AM

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