Bisexual | Cynthia Nixon | Kevin Sessums | News

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.

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  1. Cynthia Nixon is a Hollywood idiot. Nuff said.

    Posted by: jason | Jan 24, 2012 3:10:31 PM

  2. Kiwi she's explicitly DENIED that she's bisexual because "we get no espect."

    NOW she gets no respect from me!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 24, 2012 3:12:10 PM

  3. I love her in that HOT CHIP video.

    Posted by: endo | Jan 24, 2012 3:12:35 PM

  4. One does not "choose" to fall in love. Love happens to you. That's where she lost me.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Jan 24, 2012 3:12:56 PM

  5. 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!

    Posted by: chauvist overload | Jan 24, 2012 3:13:35 PM

  6. 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.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 24, 2012 3:18:41 PM

  7. 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..)

    Posted by: BobN | Jan 24, 2012 3:19:11 PM

  8. @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...

    Posted by: Jeff | Jan 24, 2012 3:19:18 PM

  9. 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.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jan 24, 2012 3:20:50 PM

  10. 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.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 24, 2012 3:21:39 PM

  11. 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.

    Posted by: RyanInSacto | Jan 24, 2012 3:22:00 PM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: Mark Ramsey MD | Jan 24, 2012 3:23:42 PM

  13. 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.

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Jan 24, 2012 3:26:38 PM

  14. 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.

    Posted by: jason | Jan 24, 2012 3:27:55 PM

  15. 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.

    Posted by: Linda | Jan 24, 2012 3:29:06 PM

  16. 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.

    Posted by: Francis | Jan 24, 2012 3:31:44 PM

  17. 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.

    Posted by: Zlick | Jan 24, 2012 3:32:00 PM

  18. Wow. Making everyone, including one's self, look bad at the same time take a certain talent.

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 24, 2012 3:38:08 PM

  19. 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.

    Posted by: borut | Jan 24, 2012 3:39:56 PM

  20. 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.

    Posted by: Francis | Jan 24, 2012 3:41:46 PM

  21. I was unaware that the bi's were that into scat! You learn something new every day!

    Posted by: me | Jan 24, 2012 3:43:54 PM

  22. 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.

    Posted by: jason | Jan 24, 2012 3:44:00 PM

  23. 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.

    Posted by: Wavin' Dave | Jan 24, 2012 3:44:13 PM

  24. LOL.
    So flustered, I misspelled Streisand.
    Now I'm doomed.

    Posted by: Wavin' Dave | Jan 24, 2012 3:45:24 PM

  25. Anyone who thinks Ms. Nixon is stupid or "just a Hollywood celebrity" is completely ill-informed and pulling it out of their sorry ass.

    She is smart, articulate, and right on.

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 24, 2012 3:47:04 PM

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