Cynthia Nixon Won’t Call Herself Bisexual Because ‘Nobody Likes The Bisexuals’

Kevin Sessums follows up with Cynthia Nixon, who made headlines recently for telling the NYT's Alex Witchel that, for her, being gay "is a choice". Sessums asks about Nixon's previous 15-year relationship with a man, and her current relationship with Christine Marinoni:

Cynthia_nixon 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.

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.

But it is the “B” in LGBT. 

I know. But we get no respect.

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

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.

Nixon then repeats the assertion that it's fine to say homosexuality is her choice, because to say it's not a choice would be "caving to the bigots":

 I understand for political reasons why some people want to kind of squelch this idea that being gay might be a choice, because a lot of the rights we want are posited on the supposition that why are you denying me my rights any more than if I were created a different color? But I don’t feel the need to cede the definition of what a gay person is to the bigots. They don’t get to define who I am.

Check out more of Sessums' interview over at The Daily Beast.


  1. Contrarian says

    She is both very right and very wrong. Bisexuality gets no respect, certainly not from many (by no means all) Gay males. Lesbians may, and I suspect do, feel differently. She is also right in saying much of these labels and obligatory categorization is political and ideological (and neceesary to obtain rights truth be told). Whether these rigid categories are objectively true for many is another story.

    She is dead wrong about the choice word. She empowers the bigots, and does not disarm them by making such a specious argument. The only choice is to follow or deny one’s deeply held desires.

  2. says

    I don’t understand what some of you people are taking issue with or are confused by.

    she’s bisexual. she’s in a lesbian relationship. she prefers this energy. she’s not in a bisexual relationship, she’s in a GAY one.

    it IS her choice. HER choice. she has options, as per her innate attractions, and she’s chosen a gay relationship.

    this is not groundbreaking news, nor is it in ANY WAY giving “ammo” to anti-gay bigots, ALL OF WHOM are making a CHOICE to subscribe to religious beliefs.

    gay isn’t ok because “it’s not a choice”, as some of you think – gay is ok because it harms no one. truly. being gay has never torn apart a single family. being ANTI-gay tears apart families.

    every one of you who continue to scream that this “sets us back” is approaching her statement from a place of insecurity and fear.

    stop giving weight to the stupid EXCUSES given by anti-gay bigots. truly. do you know what holds us back? you people, who are so pathetically scared of what The Straights think that you live in fear of how we’re ‘perceived’ all the time.

    wise up. and rock on, Cynthia.

  3. Madam Bomb says

    I for one respect her speaking openly. I don’t necessarily agree with her denigration of Bisexuals (if you want to call it that), but I understand her point. Gay men in particular are ALWAYS suspect of people who call themselves bisexual, just wondering when they’ll come out as gay. Consequently many bisexuals don’t identify openly as such to many people for fear of ridicule from both sides. It’s a shame because the spectrum of sexuality is wide and the gay community (in which I identify myself) should be the last ones to deny that.

    Further, the choice thing. I’ve ALWAYS had a problem with the strict biological definition that the queer community has leaned upon in the past few decades. It’s been about 20 years since the first evidence of it began emerging, however there has been no definitive proof as of yet and I venture to guess, just like there is a broad spectrum of sexuality, there are probably numerous factors where homosexuals and heterosexuals diverge and overlap biologically and no one piece can determine a person’s sexuality. Personally I think the biological definition is one that has been thrust upon our community by the conservative right. We have been backed into a corner to defend our attraction and using biological determinism as our foundation has been most comfortable. To say otherwise leaves the door open to reparative therapy, but I think the queer community should be able to say “Yes, it can be a choice. For many it certainly is not, but quite a few people can and do choose this lifestyle openly. And, No we don’t believe reparative therapy will work for either case.” We’re here, we’re queer, whether we choose it or not, we’re not going away!”

  4. bigots says

    Thanks, Little Kiwi. The idea that everyone experiences their gayness in the same way is absurd. She feels like she has made a choice to follow her desire to be in a gay relationship. It is true! Straight people do it, too, choose to enter into straight relationships. Everyone does. We have desires and we have wills. Saying that we have choices doesn’t negate our inherent _rights_ as human beings. Rather, saying that we do have choices about who we love exercises our innate rights. Adults should be free to enter into whatever types of consenting relationships with other adults they can come up with — it doesn’t depend on whether or not they are “innately” gay or not. It depends on the a priori assumption that all human beings have the right to exercise their free will.

  5. RICK says

    And let’s not forget how much this woman has done and is doing for equality in this country. She’s been an articulate, passionate voice of reason for some time now. I understand what she’s saying. I don’t need to agree with it, and I certainly don’t think she’s setting us back or giving ammo to anyone to use against us. The vitriol is already there, and that’s part of what she’s getting at.

  6. Paul B. says

    Kiwi…kiwi…kiwi…you’re so right.
    I’m not sure why anyone wants to deprive anyone else of “self-identifying” their own sexuality. It smells a lot like what “they” try to do to “us”, but only worse because they always have the stupid excuse, we don’t. Yeah Cynthia…yeah Kiwi !!!

  7. Mark says

    Well, she’s gotten more press – that’s always a plus in her line of business. Sometimes press for doing and saying things that don’t make sense can come back to bite you.

  8. cranky1 says

    I agree with Ms. Nixon 1000 percent. Those of you who are still playing the bigots’ game justifying your existence by bleating “but I can’t help it” are the real stupid contingent here.

  9. says

    how can the “choice” thing be used against us? look, i’m 100% exclusively into males, always have been. and yes, that includes the FTM guy i dated.

    the people who use “choice” against us aren’t going to have their minds swayed by any form of sociological or scientific evidence. truly.

    look at Creationists, look at anti-Evolutionsists.


    they will have an excuse for everything because they dont’ have the intellectual capacity, not the security of self, to accept factual reality.

    it’s like when insecure homosexuals blame “Pride Parades” for anti-gay prejudice, despite the sheer simple fact that anti-gay bigots DO NOT ATTEND PRIDE PARADES and are therefore not in any way “influenced” by them.

    just because a stupid anti-gay bigot says something doesn’t mean that it has any value, or worth, or truth.

    “being gay is a choice” doesn’t mean that being gay is bad, despite what anti-gay bigots say.
    “liking Barbra Streisand” is not a bad thing, no matter what Jason/Rick/His Dad says.

    when someone is anti-gay and uses the “it’s a choice” nonsense as their defense, they’re proving how intellectually mediocre they are. stop worrying about the opinions of the intellectually stunted.

  10. Jeff says

    Since she is bisexual, she can, given the right circumstances, fall in love with either a man or a women. That is the “choice” she has, but she was indeed born bisexual.

    Some people are born right-handed, some left-handed, and a smaller number are born ambidexterous.

    It’s exactly the same thing with sexuality.

  11. Dan says

    Another hyper-selfish narcissist — it’s all about HER. Did she ever think that she was in this thing called life with other people as well? And why do we even listen to actors? They are talented at acting, not political analysis.

  12. jim says

    DAMMIT Occupyequality, you beat me to it, and I was getting so hopeful. My first thought reading this was “Shades of Anne Heche.”

    Love Sessums, btw, check out his autobiography.

  13. Johnny says

    So she’s caving to bigots who don’t like bisexuals, but not caving to bigots who think gays shouldn’t have rights if it’s a choice. Makes perfect sense.

  14. bigots says

    Scientifically, too, the fact of the matter is that we have no way to know if anybody is “born” gay and why we would spend time constructing a politics around this is absolutely mind blowing and short-sighted. Sexual orientation and gender identity are probably a mish-mash of culture, genetics, and experience. Very little about human beings is as simple as “born this way” — least of all something as complicated as who we’re hot for or who we love.

  15. DanSwon says

    Why are people badgering her about it? Can’t she be whatever she wants? We all know it’s unacceptable to harass a pre-op transgender female and say “you’ve got a penis so you’re a man!!!”. She does sound like a really uptight person though. I’d just say “yep i’m bisexual” and stop making a big drama queen deal out of it. And that’s the first i’ve heard of everyone hating bisexuals. No Cynthia, it’s the gays and trans that get by far the most hate.

  16. chauvist overload says

    Anne Heche has never denied she was in love with Ellen. Sometimes people break up and sometimes they are mentally ill. You would think that gays would have a less black and white view of human sexuality than fundamentalist Christians. Cynthia Nixon is still acting and making films — she’s always been a character actor. The lines of thinking I’ve seen posted about Nixon, that her sexuality is false simply because she 1) is a woman and women don’t have sexuality or 2) because she disagrees with you politically smack of chauvinism. Women like sex, sometimes with other women!

  17. says

    when i was dating an FTM guy people would say “ what does that make you?”

    i have no idea. i was enjoying dating him. i wasn’t stopping to think about how or what other people would label me as because of it.

  18. BobN says

    She’s done a lot for gay rights. She’s got a problem with using the word “bisexual” because it doesn’t get respect (her opinion).

    Meh… I can put up with her odd choice of words.

    Seems strange, though. If you want respect, the first thing you have to do is identify yourself, not hide it.

    And what’s with this “gay men have a bigger problem with bisexuals” stuff? We may dismiss a claim of bisexuality (because for quite a few guys it is a stepping stone), but it’s not like lesbians who won’t ever talk to a sister again if she starts dating a man. (yes, yes, stereotypes..)

  19. Jeff says

    @BIGOTS: Well, I can only speak for myself, but I knew I was gay at a VERY early age (certainly by the age of 5). I have never been physically attracted to women. Ever. I have never masturbated to a woman once.
    A very good male friend of mine identifies as straight and has been married to a woman for many years. He has done stuff with other men, however, and is perfectly capable of masturbating to another guy. I would therefore qualify him as bisexual. One of the very few I’ve ever met.
    That’s kind of a litmus test for bisexuality for me anyway – the ability to masturbate to either sex.
    Also, with something as important as the sex drive for the survival of the species, I doubt very much that nature would leave sexual orientation open-ended and capable of being governed by “a mish-mash of culture, genetics, and experience.”
    Hence, most people are born straight, some gay, and a very small number bisexual.
    Just my two cents…

  20. Caliban says

    Right now, as her comments are being reported, there are politicians, religious ideologues, judges, etc. who are trying mightily to define “being gay” as behavior, what one DOES instead of what one IS. They WANT it defined that way because it makes it easier of them to deny us rights and to convince OTHERS to deny us rights via voter referendums.

    You can make all sorts of arguments, that it shouldn’t MATTER whether or not it’s a choice, that the rights of any group should never be put to a popular vote, and you’d be absolutely right from a Constitutional standpoint. However, none of that changes the current REALITY, where popular votes ARE happening and to many people whether or not homosexuality is a “choice” DOES matter!

    Her comments are not happening in a vacuum other, that is, than the vacuum of Cynthia Nixon’s self-interest and self-involvement. No matter how true her statements are to her own experience she has done us no favors with this.

  21. says

    I’m not sure why so many people are invested in defining Cynthia Nixon’s sexuality for her. It’s hers to define, not ours. Just as my sexuality is not Cynthia Nixon’s (or anyone else’s) to define. For many of us, we have no doubt than our sexuality is not a choice, but the same is true for many straight people. Any halfway open-minded person would be aware of this common thread between us, and any halfway open-minded person is not going to form their opinion on marriage equality or other lgbt issues based on what Cynthia Nixon says. The whole brouhaha over this says more about what pushes people’s buttons than anything else.

    Few people, aside from disingenuous bigots, believe that homosexuality has to be a choice, and even if it were, so is religion, and religious liberties receive no shortage of protection in the US. Our arguments for equality are not destroyed by those who claim they weren’t necessarily born that way. More young people are reluctant to label their sexuality, and that is apt to increase as the culture shifts. Unfortunately, the law still does label sexuality. In legal terms, in the US we are defined by our sexuality; that’s the problem, not Cynthia Nixon.

    On a side note, the idea that she’s doing this to generate publicity is silly. She’s mostly a theater actress with no particular investment in being in the Enquirer. Probably she’d rather not be getting this attention.

  22. RyanInSacto says

    While I realize that there are political implications, whether there should be or not, surrounding the question of choice, that is not my main beef with Nixon’s claims. My beef is that there is a word for people who can fall in love with persons of either sex and that word is bisexual. The fact that she doesn’t like that word or that she feels bisexuals don’t get enough respect does not change the fact that her description of her sexuality conforms, by definition, with bisexuality.

    If I decide that, for whatever reason, I am going to call myself a dolphin, that actually won’t make me a dolphin. I’ll just be a human calling myself a dolphin. And all I’ll have to do is attempt to behave like a dolphin and eventually – perhaps around the time that I realize that I can only hold my breath for a fraction of the time that dolphins can – it will become apparent to me and everyone else that I am not a dolphin.

    If she thinks bisexuals are denigrated in this society – and there are cases where she would be right – then I would suggest becoming a bisexual activist. The first step in doing that would be to claim oneself an out and proud bisexual.

  23. Mark Ramsey MD says

    It appears several people left their comments here, instead of at The Daily Beast original article. I agree with Ms. Nixon; she gets to choose whatever term she wishes to describe herself. Labels are unimportant; what is important is that she is treated equally to everyone else. I do hope that Ms. Nixon does not harbor prejudice against bisexuality; it is as real, and as valid, and as deserving of equality as any other description of sexuality. I commend Ms. Nixon on her openness. I think it continues to be important for each one of us to stand up and be counted.

  24. just_a_guy says

    Luv you, Ms. Nixon. Always have. I don’t have a problem with notion that I consider myself gay because I chose to let myself fall in love with my best friend once upon a time, and to express that. And that I then decided women just didn’t compare for me or draw me that much. So what?

    Why say anyone deserves to be denigrated, denied rights, or denied respect because they are expressing something inherent in them? So what if for some such people, they actively chose that as the most meaningful and real expression for them at that time. That doesn’t mean gay/bi/not isn’t inherent or deserving of full rights of expression under EVERY law on the books, in children’s classrooms teaching self-respect and respect for others, and in every religion warranting any ongoing respect.

    The only reason any of this stuff has been argued to be a “slippery slope” is because bigots have ruled the world brutally for a long time. It’s time to stand up and stop that, no matter how incidentally-just-drawn-intensely-to-the-opposite-sex someone might be. Equality for all. F*** the Republican party and “Christian” hate.

    The sort of dignity Ms. Nixon demands is the sort EVERYONE deserves.

  25. jason says

    Cynthia Nixon is a female pain. Female pains like to extend their phony empowerment notions, which they use in relation to abortion rights, to things like sexuality. This is why silly Cynthia is so intent on referring to her sexuality as a choice.

    In my opinion, if it’s fake female sexuality you want, you need go no further than Cynthia and her silly sisters.

  26. Linda says

    I don’t think it’s caving to bigotry to keep reality in view. It isn’t just a matter of not needing to justify one’s sexuality with a reason that satisfies homophobes, it’s a matter of understanding yourself in an honest way. I’m thinking especially of a kid starting to realize his or her orientation isn’t mainstream. If they believe that they’re making a choice in this attraction, it’s going to be hard to reconcile that psychologically since they’re NOT making a choice. Even a person who’s bisexual isn’t going to decide, “Hey, today I’m going to be attracted to woman. Next week it’s men.” Attraction is a response, not a decision. You can choose who you sleep with, but not who arouses you.

  27. Francis says

    Kiwi, as usual, is 1000% right about the fact that people DEFENSIVELY running to the “why would I ever choose to be gay” card are giving so much ammo to the people who see being gay as a negative thing. Choice/no choice, it’s irrelevant when it comes to the basic reality—-which is that gay is gay and gay IS OK, and that we have the right to be gay, without being discriminated against in any faction, whether it be governmental/social/etc. That is the only matter of importance here.

    Cynthia’s sexuality is her own and she is entitled to define it as she sees fit. She never was intending to speak for anyone but herself.

  28. Zlick says

    Since I’m bisexual (not 50/50 by any means, mind you), I would identify as such when I was in a relationship with a woman. But, since my overwhelming preference is for boys – I identify as gay when I’m in a relationship with a man – and, yes, that’s partially because too many gay guys seem to harbor hostility toward bisexuals. WTF? But why deal with that? So I don’t.

    So, yeah, though I may not phrase it exactly that way, I’m a gay guy who can choose to be straight.

  29. borut says

    Kiwi, you’re so right! This idea that gays should be tolerated and have rights just because we can’t help it is so demeaning. There’s nothing wrong with being gay, so if it were a choice, it would be a perfectly good one. Even if I could decide to become straight, why should I? Just to make some retarded bigots happy? I refuse this even in theory.

  30. Francis says

    I agree with what some here are saying, though. She says that bisexuals get no respect so she doesn’t like the label, which is her choice. But if you are seeking respect or if you want to change the disrespect that DOES come with being bisexually-oriented (and we all know there is definitely discrimination leveled against bisexuals, both by straights and gays, particularly many older gays who think all bisexuals are gays in denial), then going out of your way to reject such a label isn’t helping matters in that regard. I’m not sure I down with her on that regard. If she doesn’t relate to the label of bisexuality, that’s OK, but intentionally shying from it makes it seem like bisexuality is dirty or immoral, which isn’t the case.

    At the end of the day, people are who they are, have the right to define ourselves as what we see ourselves as, and none of us are in the position to take that away from anyone. Just accept people for what they see themselves as and their own experiences and lives. Really not a hard concept.

    Oh, and you’re a SEXIST PIG, Jason.

  31. jason says

    A lot of you are arguing over opinions, not facts. It’s a waste of time. Let’s look at some indisputable facts about women:

    1. Women fake orgasms.

    2. Women are sellers.

    3. Women use their sexuality as a marketing ploy.

    4. Women are known to perform lesbian acts for the benefit of a third party, usually a male who identifies as straight.

    All this screams “FAKE”. It’s amazing that any of you take female sexuality seriously and equate it with male sexuality. Face it – women are fakes who use their sexuality for purposes other than sexual.

  32. Wavin' Dave says

    Loved girls. Had a wife. Loved boys. Had a husband. Have a husband.
    I draw the line at “loving Barbra Strisand” though.
    Some relationships are simply sacred.

  33. jason says


    I’ve just reeled off a number of facts. Facts are facts. Here they are again.

    Women DO fake orgasms. Women DO use their sexuality as a marketing ploy. Women DO prostitute their sexuality if there is a reward involved. How else do you explain the women who perform lesbian acts for the benefit of a straight-identifying male?

    As I said, facts are facts. They are indisputable. I”ve just put out a number of them. Female sexuality is framed by fakeness. Based on these facts, females have no right to be spokespeople for human sexuality.

  34. says

    Jason, your comment isn’t worth a lengthy response, but if you think that men aren’t sellers when it comes to sexuality and that they don’t use their sexuality as a marketing ploy, well, you don’t know any more about men than you do about women.

    P.S. Gay men with no sexual interest in women can easily have sex with a woman. Many of us here have actually done it, imagine that!

  35. jason says


    I don’t agree with you. I think those “gay” men who have had sex with women are at least marginally bisexual in their orientation. They just call themselves gay because it’s politically convenient.

  36. says

    what we’re seeing is an angry reaction from far too many males who, clearly, have only been able to get their own conservative families off their backs by saying “I didn’t choose to be gay!!” and now they’re afraid that their families are gonna say “NO! YOU DID! SEE!? CYNTHIA NIXON SAID SO!”

    the problem, boys, has nothing to do with with Ms. Nixon said. The problem is that your families are intellectually-stunted and have bought the conservative non-argument that “choice” = “justifiable to be hated against.”

    buck up and address the real issue.

  37. TJ says

    When JASON posted earlier in the thread and stated, “Nuff said,” I was going to post that we should hold him to that, i.e., he’s said enough. Forever. Alas, reading through the rest of the posts allowed him more than enough time to go back on his word. But that’s just the kind of “man” he is.

  38. says

    ignore JASON/RICK. same dude, same issues, same nonsense. his anti-woman stance is borne of his father’s detesting having a gay son.
    fact. every time a gay suicide is reported Jason’s father sighs and says “that should have been jason”

    thats’ why he’s so angry at women and other gay men and liberals. he blames them for his father not loving him. ignore JASON/RICK. he’s not worth it. as his father well knows.

  39. Zell says

    My problem with people who “hate labels” or say that we should be able to define for ourselves what other people see us as is that it isn’t realistic. Labels are how human beings make sense of the world. You may prefer to be labelled a platypus, that doesn’t mean that other people will, or should, agree with you. Ms. Nixon may label herself as a lesbian, I label her as a bisexual. Period. She can call herself whatever the hell she wants, and it won’t change my mind. The issue people are having is that she is taking her own experience and trying to make it fit everybody else. She may say that’s not what she’s doing, but it is. So I’m going to add my voice to those telling her to shut her mouth.

  40. sara says

    She’s a totally dishonest person. She’s a bisexual but doesn’t want to be known as that because it gets no respect. To me that’s similar to people who look totally white but are really hispanic but don’t want to admit that because some people don’t respect that & may think you’re an illegal alien. It’s called passing & she’s trying to pass for gay. To me her comments & answers have descended to ridiculous heights.

    Also her answers does add merit to those parents who think their kids are going through a phrase & they’re only choosing to be gay & they could choose to be not gay with a little prodding. She’s like a spokesperson for EX Gay camps.

  41. says

    she’s nothing like a spokesperson for ex-gay groups. she’s not saying there’s anything wrong with being gay.

    those parents don’t want gay kids because those parents are bigots, not because “a choice” means something negative.

    people CHOOSE to be religious.

    wake up people.

  42. RandySF says

    @littlekiwi: I don’t doubt that there are some people out there who actually are heterosexuals in terms of their physical attractions but that they choose to be gay for other reasons and I would say that’s a “choose to be gay” situation.

    I think even that her point “That it shouldn’t matter if someone chose it or not” is valid… But what bugs me about this is that it doesn’t apply to her at all. She didn’t choose to be gay. She chose to be in a gay relationship but is a bisexual woman who hates the word “bisexual.”

    The distinction is fairly important, not just because it’s true but also because she’s stating something that in nearly all cases is false. She’s stating that people can choose to be gay who are not. While an extreme minority of people can, the vast majority, including miss Nixon, do themselves extreme harm by trying to go against their sexuality for one reason or another.

    It’s very disappointing that she seems incapable of understanding that.

  43. Paul R says

    The only point she has that makes much sense is that bisexuals are often hated. Bisexuals often hurt people because they cheat on them with the other sex. I know tons of hetero-flexible people, but I’ve learned not to sleep with them. It would be great if everyone were bisexual but it can make for complicated situations, which is why I avoid it.

  44. Bobby says

    It does make me a little uncomfortable about the ammo she’s giving the right wing nut jobs but the bigger part of me says good for her and good for anyone that doesn’t let someone else define them.

    She is allowed to feel any way she wants to feel and we should be encouraging that, not ridiculing.

  45. says

    no, she’s stating that SHE, with her attractions to both males and females, has chosen a gay relationship and identity.

    she’s in a gay relationship. she chooses to identify as gay.

    she didn’t choose to be bisexual. she IS bisexual. or, throwing labels aside, experiences attractions to both sexes/genders.

    but she’s chosen Gay as her identity.

  46. says

    For those who don’t understand why Cynthia is being “badgered” for saying what she said.
    GET A CLUE. She set us and all the young queerlings back DECADES when she spouts the nonsense of “my homosexuality was a choice”. Her idiocy is just another excuse for the far right..the evangelicals and the homophobes everywhere to say “gay is bad”, “You chose it”…change back. Stop being so F@#%ing PC and realize her words are dangerous!

  47. just_a_guy says

    Let’s face it: Most bisexuals live straight lives, and call themselves straight. That usually works out just fine for them if they are bisexual and prefer the opposite sex, which is most common.

    For those bisexuals who fall in love with someone of the same sex, the problem isn’t the gay community that they fall back on for identity. The problem is the bisexuals who live straight lives who HATE gay people and who consider “bisexuality” to just mean that someone like them wants to be heterosexualy married but to fool around from time to time with the same sex. Why can’t people be honest about their myriad attractions and ok that they won’t be acting on them because they will be forever loyal to their life’s love because that’s who they care about and are committed to? Probably because bigotry, the Republican party, and “Christian” hate still has too heavy an influence on everyone’s everyday lives.

    What’s more, falling back on “we would be straight if we could” as some in the gay community too quickly do—even if if it IS true for the majority in the gay community, and it is—IS ceding the argument to the far right haters. The far right haters see gay as less-than and an unfortunate immoral existence, to be poopooed, shat upon, and discounted and avoided at every cost.

    Ms. Nixon is not the enemy. She’s one of us lgbta folk. The enemy is the Republican party, and the “religious” fundamentalists. Oh, and those straight people out there who hate lgbts, even if their hate is only subtly expressed through opposing marriage equality. It’s still hate, folks.

    (And never mind that some lgbt folk claim to oppose marriage equality, when in reality that stance just illustrates that they’ve been so erotically or otherwise beaten down that they see their own dignity reliant on them considering themselves somehow properly third-class semi-humans.)

  48. RyanInSacto says

    @Little Kiwi: Fine, then I choose Dolphin as my identity. From now on, I will only be posting comments using dolphin song as my language.

    Snark aside, I’m usually on the same side of arguments as you are but I find myself disagreeing with you this time. I look forward to future posts on subjects on which we can agree again!

  49. E says

    My initial thoughts after reading her original statement yesterday were along the lines of: “I understand where you’re coming from, but I wish you had kept it to yourself”, and that is where I continue to stand today.

    I understand that the far right will make any excuse to hurt our cause, regardless of what Ms. Nixon says, but we won’t win those people over to our side anyway. The people we should care about are the 1% who are sitting somewhere in the middle, balancing the pros and cons of GLBT rights.

    Right now, our “approval ratings” across the country are dancing somewhere around 50%. If something like marriage equality were put up to a popular vote in a state like New Jersey, as Gov. Christie has intimated, then a victory there could rest on a very fine margin of voters.

    Many would argue that such situations are dictated by the chaos theory, leaving the outcome to the whims of fate. However, when a public figure comes out and says something along the lines of “my homosexuality is a choice”, it can change capricious minds and ultimately bend the outcome against us.

    Just to make my point clear, I can say I’d be cheering Ms. Nixon’s statement if our “approval ratings” were closer to 60%. That, however, is not the case, and I cringe at the thought that what she said may have lost us some hesitant quasi-allies. It could ultimately hurt us more than we know.

  50. Jeff says

    @little kiwi: “but she’s chosen Gay as her identity.”

    For now. And good for her. I could not care less which orientation she chose (this week, this year, this decade).
    The point is she’s free to choose one BECAUSE she IS bisexual.

    I am not. I AM gay. I was BORN that way.

    It is EXACTLY as if some ambidextrous person was saying, “Write with whichever hand you want! Don’t label yourself! Be free!” It’s fine and dandy for someone who can write with both hands, but it doesn’t apply and doesn’t work for the VAST majority of us.

  51. RandySF says

    @littlekiwi: That’s not what she’s saying at all or else the whole “Don’t let the conservatives have the last say” argument makes no sense. If she’s separating gay identity from gay sexuality then there’s no reason to bring up the c-word into the conversation. There are very few conservatives who are trying to say that bisexuals can’t choose to have gay relationships.

    If she had said “I’m bisexual and I choose to be in a gay relationship” not a single person would have a problem with it. She instead is adamantly saying “I chose to be gay.” That’s clearly not the same thing at all but she clearly means the former when she’s saying the latter.

    Hell, if she had said “I choose to identify as gay” it would have been an accurate statement. What she is instead saying is provably false and validates a psychologically unlikely and harmful common belief that being gay is a choice.

    It is disappointing and she should know better.

  52. Linda says

    I very much agree with RandySF. And I think there are two issues here. One is the ethical issue, and one is the reality issue. Ethically, one’s sexuality does not have to be justified, period, since it harms no other person in society. The other issue is biological reality. She is denying biological reality using an ethical argument. Not valid, and as GeoffM said, dangerous.

  53. Devonte says

    She thinks I effing CHOSE to be like this?!? To be discriminated against, bullied, shamed? I wished I was never like this but I couldn’t deny who I was. I never wanted to be like this. If there ever was a choice, I would never have made this choice. I would’ve gone with the normal route.

  54. Gus says

    The part of Cynthia’s argument that doesn’t stack up for me is the bit where she refuses to let bigots define her sexuality and judge her choices, then refuses to use the term bisexual because of the way it is defined and interpreted by bigots.

  55. endo says

    “She thinks I effing CHOSE to be like this?!?”

    Ugh. No. She’s speaking for herself, not for everyone. Why is this so complicated for people to understand?

  56. Fenrox says

    You know, the best way to comment on a story like this is to not overextend yourself, if you do that, you will appear just as stupid as the person you deride.

  57. Javier says

    The whole bisexuals “get no respect”, for me, does seem to ring true in some aspects.

    As a bisexual man your gay friends say “no you’re not” and you’re straight friends say “no you’re not”… it’s nerve racking.

    Specially with the question, “I know your bi, but which do you prefer?” Why ask? Because you want to put someone in a category that is just right for you.

    Why is the middle not okay? Whether it is a choice or not would depend on the individual.

    The bottom line is that I have the right to love a man or a woman as I see fit. I don’t hurt anyone else in the process because obviously if they want to be with me… it’s because they want to be with me.

    Let sex be sex, let love be love, and let’s allow people the right to marry and love the man or woman of their dreams.

    If they are happy, and they are not hurting anyone… why not be happy for them?

  58. jason says

    Maybe Little Kiwi wants to have sex with Cynthia Nixon. He can blog about it and then turn it into a spiel of personal empowerment….

    As for darling Cynthia, typical female if you ask me. It’s all about choice to them. It’s got this eerie “I have the right to choose to abort my baby” air about it. Go away, sister. We need neither you nor your ilk in our rights movement.

  59. says

    So when I was 4 years old there was this really beautiful kid playing in the school yard, he was in my class I can still see him……I knew, oh, I knew !

    Nothing bi about that , I guess.

    I have no idea what this lady is on about !

  60. says

    People do not “choose” their sexual orientation. That choice was made by God before we were born. I will not celebrate an ignorant statement just “because she has the right to identify as she wants”. A lot of hetero-bigots go around calling themselves true Christians, but I don’t accept their falsehood. Same difference here! Cynthia Nixon’s lack of pride in her identity is showing. She’s got some work to do.

  61. Shelly says

    Jason, do you EVER have a thought that you haven’t repeated verbatim a thousand times and which doesn’t relate to how much you loathe women?

    This trollbot has flunked the Turing test.

  62. jason says


    Nobody cares about you. Your criticism of me is like water of a duck’s back.

    Stop playing the female victim card, sis. If you want equal rights, equal criticism is what you’ll get.

  63. George M says

    Side question Jason
    Did you follow Santorum comments recently about abortion? he said when a woman is raped they need to make the best out of the situation and accept the gift God is giving them.
    My question to you is this and I know off topic, do you agree with that? Do you believe a woman who was raped should / must keep the baby?

  64. Guy says

    My being Gay is not a choice. I was born Gay. Cynthia is Bisexual and chooses to be with a woman not a man.

    Sometimes, people need to keep their mouths shut. Celebrities especially. They get attention and cause problems for the rest of us.

    So much for seeing Wit.

  65. jason says

    George M,

    I believe that a woman who is raped should keep the baby and give it up for adoption if she so wishes. That’s my belief. The only time I support the right to abortion is if the mother’s life is physically at risk.

    The baby isn’t to blame for the horrible circumstances in which it was conceived.

  66. Sonneillon says

    … This woman does not make any sense at all. The reason people dump on bisexuals, besides all the stereotypes that we’re untrustworthy, unfaithful, and indecisive, is that they think we have a choice, and if we have a choice we should obviously choose to maintain only heterosexual relationships. So you’re avoiding the bisexual label because you don’t want people dumping on you about it, but you’re also claiming being gay is your choice, which is the reason they’re dumping???

    Lady, do what makes you happy, but Odin’s Beard, don’t try to push your warped understanding of fairly straightforward labels on the rest of us.

  67. says

    “I don’t agree with you. I think those “gay” men who have had sex with women are at least marginally bisexual in their orientation. They just call themselves gay because it’s politically convenient.”

    Sorry, Jason, I’ve had sex with women, and I was gay then, and I’m gay now. No marginally bisexual. I know you’d love everyone’s sexuality to conform with your narrow little view of it, but human beings are more complicated, that’s why we’re human. And we, including Cynthia Nixon, are quite capable of defining our sexuality for ourselves.

  68. jason says

    The problem with the concept of bisexuality is that it has been trashed by women. By the types of women who kiss other women for Girls Gone Wild. By the types of women who have sex with women in adult porn movies directed by straight guys. By the types of women who sing I Kisssed A Girl. By the type of women who claim to be bisexual while clinging longingly to their strictly straight boyfriends or husbands.

    Let’s make it absolutely clear: it is these types of women who have trashed the concept of bisexuality.

  69. Hugh says

    I’m glad she at least cleared it up, but she’s obfuscating the issue. Her initial statement was “I chose to be gay” and it’s pretty straightforward. I took it as she somehow, through sheer force of will shed the capacity to be attracted to men and exclusively be attracted to women. I’m not crazy when I say this, right? Unless “choose” and “lesbian” have some other meanings I’m not aware of.

    Now she’s saying she’s bisexual but chooses to identify as gay b/c bisexuals get no respect. WHAT?? Pretty hypocritical, considering she was preaching about not caving to bigots.

    She can define herself however she wants, but when she gives an interview to a major newspaper and gives a statement as blunt as that, she’s gotta know that she’s opening a can of worms. You can be a hippy and say “it’s all about love” or “labels mean nothing” but that’s about as productive as saying “you shouldn’t kill, cuz it’s bad”. We’re fighting for rights while gay kids are dying, and tripe like that has no bearing on reality.

    Her choosing to say what she did is like going to your worst enemy’s funeral and opening with “Wasn’t he such a prick…” Your opinion is valid as any, but certainly tactless considering the timing.

    At best she misspoke and couldn’t get her point across clearly; at worst she deliberately made a simple statement contentious by omitting simple truths about herself.
    For her sake, I hope this wasn’t just a publicity stunt.

  70. anthony says


  71. Jon says

    Love Kiwi’s comment (and the Buddies reference!) and the truly passionate debate that follows. I have always believed that my sexuality included an element of choice. I believe sexuality is, at least in part, a societal construct, and what I call myself and who I love are – also at least in part – informed and influenced by society. There are indeed men who might have simmering desire for other men but who are utterly unable to express this desire, even to themselves, and who may even make good and relatively not-effed-up husbands to their wives. I’m sorry, but I do believe that these men are not “gay” in the true sense of the word. They have chosen not to be gay, just like I chose the opposite – to be open and honest about what I feel inside. In other words, the choice Nixon refers to (I think) is not the choice of who we desire. It’s the choice of how we define ourselves, who we love, and how we live our lives.

  72. Maciste says

    The reason Cynthia refuses to identify herself as bisexual is because she believes the term has no respect. Why didn’t she elaborate on this? The term bisexuality is ridiculed because it’s **always** claimed by attention seeking women who want to appear edgy or want to get attention from straight males.

    Madonna said she’s bi and has had not-so-open relationships with a few women and yet we always see her her married to a man or we always see her with a 24 year old Brazilian man. Madonna prefers to be the target of ridicule for dating young men that could be her sons than be seen dating a woman of any age. Is she truly bi?

    The same can be said with the other two dozen other female starlets who said they’re bisexual: Drew Barrymore, Angelina Jolie, Anna Paquin, Christina Aguilera, Evan Rachel Wood, Fergie, Megan Fox, Lady Gaga, etc. All married to men or always seen dating men.

    Cynthia doesn’t want to be lumped with them which is understandable.

    Bisexuality in men IS totally different than women, including Cynthia’s case.

  73. daws says

    Strange. She’s a bisexual but doesn’t like the label so she’s either straight or a lesbian depending on who she’s with at the time. Because being straight or a lesbian is more popular/respected than being bisexual.

    She’s not going to let the bigots/haters define her sexuality but in fact they’ve already done that by making her feel self-conscious about her bisexuality.

    I think Cynthia should think on this some more because it’s too twisted.

  74. classychazy says

    I think more then half of all woman are bisexual it is in our nature to love and nurture others. Any woman who say’s she has NEVER looked at another woman and found them attractive is a liar!

  75. Max the Communist says

    To all my fellow bisexual, pansexual, and fluid queer activists, thanks for being strong enough to fight the fight and demand full equality and dignity for everyone across the Kinsey scale. You’re willing to stand up to what Cynthia just can’t face or stand up to, you’re willing to confront the biphobia and fear of fluid sexuality. You helped to make possible the fact that we even talk about fluid sexuality at all.
    And I want to thank all my LGT and straight friends and allies who have supported us over the years, who don’t “dump on” us, who helped to spread the education and understanding that sexuality can’t be stuffed into little boxes.
    Cynthia doesn’t want to look at her own internalized biphobia. Cynthia, you’ve got to start with loving yourself, girl, and understanding that all the myths and misinformation about bisexuals are not you. If you don’t learn that, there’s no amount of hiding under another label that will help you.

  76. GregV says

    I think a lot of bisexuals underestimate other people’s capacity to grasp bisexuality.
    The problem is that I (like millions of other people) have known a lot of people who called themselves bisexual but are not, or who called themselves NOT bisexual but are.
    In one example among many, a guy told me not two weeks after telling me he was bi, “No, I never was bisexual; I’m gay. I thought the word “bi” just sounded more acceptable to people, so I pretended I was bi.”
    In other cases, I’ve been told, “I’m bi, but I tell everyone else except you that I’m straight, because they just wouldn’t understand.”
    And now this is the third category. She’s really bi, but she says she gay because, even though that’s inaccurate, she thinks that pretending to be gay will afford her more respect than using frank and accurate words.
    To the extent that bisexuals do run into quite a few people who belittle them (with words like “Come on, you’re gay!” or “No you’re not; you’re straight but just want attention”), all of the above examples, INCLUDING CYNTHIA’S are feeding into the problem.

    People often don’t believe bisexuals because they’ve encountered both real and fake bisexuals who can’t be believed.

    Don’t give into bigotry, Cynthia. Be who you are (a bisexual who is in love with a gay woman) and don’t be ashamed. Anyone who is worth your time will understand, and as for the others, at least you will have put a tiny chip into their foundation of ignorance about bisexuality.

    As long as you pretend to be gay (or straight) to placate people who don’t understand bisexuality, you contribute to the momentum of those misunderstanding that you claim to despise.

  77. bruce says

    Even after thinking over her statements for a second day, now, I still come to the conclusion that Cynthia Nixon is not aware of what the definition of the word “choice” is.

    She is showing that she is, quite frankly, stupid.

    Even worse…she is supporting all of the right-wing idiots who already hate us but “say” that they don’t “hate”.

    Hopefully her days in the spotlight are almost over.

  78. sara says

    ClassyChase & others, your statement about everyone being attracted to both sex & if they’re not, they’re lying is quite annoying. You are not the all knowing authority on human sexuality. Good for you if you can swing both ways but please refrain from shoving your sexual orientation on others & specifically on women. There are many gay & straight women who are gay or straight with no attraction whatsoever to the other sex.

  79. classychazy says

    @Sara I am straight I have been married over 20 years and all I was saying was woman are more loving, nuturing, and accepting. This allows them to be more open to loving more then just one sex. I am not shoving anything on you! This is my opinion I am intitled to it. I think I am seeing that bi hatred everyone has been talking about from you. Now that is just sad.

  80. Draek says

    Everyone will have an opinion on what she has to say.

    I have mine.

    She is completely being irrational in wanting to NOT call herself Bisexual, and in the end she is hurting more than anything by speaking out at all. If I was her, I would have kept my mouth shut.

    She’s still a complete idiot, and I don’t care how anyone tries to rationalize her being “smart” and “right on”.

    Gay people don’t choose to be gay, period. End of story. If a heterosexual person chooses to act like a gay person, it doesn’t mean they are gay, it means they are acting.

    After all, she is an actor…

  81. sara says

    I have no hatred of bi people at all. None. But I do dislike that comment, whether it was made by a straight, gay, bi woman or man, that the majority of women are so fluid that they can go from one sex to the other with no problem. I think that’s the case for bisexual women but definitely not for all women. What I find objectionable is calling gay or straight women LIARS if they don’t feel that attraction.

    Cynthia Nixon has made similar statements before in an interview where she said she thought everyone was bisexual.

  82. classychazy says

    @Sara I did not include men in my original comment. I can not speak for a man, because I am not one. My sister is bi and she teases me all the time about being hardcore straight. When I tell her I have been attracted to a few woman she thinks I am joking, but I am not. It has only happened a couple of times, but it has happened. Now did I act on it no, because I am a married woman, but if I had not been married I don’t know. My point is woman are more likely to be bi due to our own nature and instincts.

  83. Casey says

    “Another hyper-selfish narcissist — it’s all about HER. Did she ever think that she was in this thing called life with other people as well?”

    I actually thought what she said was good because she was talking about HERSELF. She didn’t use any generalizing “YOU” language like MOST foolish celebs who talk about their life, she’s not acting like this is true for everybody. Jeezus.

  84. simon says

    What she said is just redundant. You can say a robot driving a car thinks he has a choice turning left or right though everything was pre-programmed. Of course some words have ambiguous meaning. It is just a waste of time.
    Somehow she and some people think she is saying something important.

  85. FunMe says

    She needs to STOP being a pretentious b**** and just stick to doing what she does: acting.

    She wants to be with a woman. Fine. A man. Fine. Both at the same time. Fine. But STOP saying being gay is a choice!!!!

    You are a bi-sexual plain and simple Cynthia. Now shut up!

  86. says

    First, this article is incorrect when it claims Cynthia dismissed homosexuality as a choice. She stated that for her, gay was a choice. Gay is an identity label, a human construct and it is always a choice. Homosexuality is, however, a sexual orientation. The two are not synonymous.

    Second, she did not cede the right to self-identify. I myself choose to identify as bisexual. My rights are not curtailed nor is my sexuality invalidated because of my choice in identity.

    Third, for those who repeatedly assert that people in a same-sex relationship are gay, it is time for a reality check. Bisexual people do not undergo some magical “sexual orientation transformation” because they have a partner with the same genitalia. Sexuality is constant. I am bisexual. I marry a man. I am still “bisexual”. I am in a “same-sex relationship”. I have not become gay. Today’s “gay science” clearly has its share of flaws.


  87. Joetx says

    “If she had said ‘I’m bisexual and I choose to be in a gay relationship’ not a single person would have a problem with it. She instead is adamantly saying ‘I chose to be gay.’ That’s clearly not the same thing at all but she clearly means the former when she’s saying the latter.

    Hell, if she had said ‘I choose to identify as gay’ it would have been an accurate statement. What she is instead saying is provably false and validates a psychologically unlikely and harmful common belief that being gay is a choice.

    It is disappointing and she should know better.”


    Excellent comment on the topic, RandySF.

  88. marna says

    So is she bisexual, or did she CHOOSE to be bisexual. Her “gayness” means her “gay relationship” not that she is homosexual. What a mess, if she’s not smart enough to see how her subtle points can be twisted (she does a good enough job twisting them herself), then she should just STFU!

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