I wrote last week about Sex & the City star Cynthia Nixon telling the NYT recently that she “chose” to be gay. I was somewhat critical of Nixon in a few posts. The story keeps gaining traction. AP does a pretty job covering it now as well. They also note a few more reasons her argument is risky, shall we.
Among the activists most horrified by Nixon’s comments was Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen, whose organization monitors and tries to debunk programs that claim to cure people of same-sex attractions with therapy. Besen said he found the actress’ analysis irresponsible and flippant, despite her ample caveats.
“Cynthia did not put adequate thought into the ramifications of her words, and it is going to be used when some kid comes out and their parents force them into some ex-gay camp while she’s off drinking cocktails at fancy parties,” Besen said. “When people say it’s a choice, they are green-lighting an enormous amount of abuse because if it’s a choice, people will try to influence and guide young people to what they perceive as the right choice.”
Nixon also did an interview with the Daily Beast, which may not earn him any kudos among bisexuals.
Q: You’ve been very vocal and political about marriage equality and helped lead the successful fight for it in New York. So congratulations on your own marriage. But before you met and fell in love over seven years ago now with Christine—who, through a sperm donor, gave birth to your son Max Ellington almost a year ago—you were in a 15-year relationship with Danny Mozes, whom you first met in high school. You had two children with him—Samantha, who is now 15, and Charles Ezekiel, who is 9. You’ve been quoted as saying about these two relationships in your life: “In terms of sexual orientation, I don’t really feel I’ve changed … I’ve been with men all my life and I’d never fallen in love with a woman. But when I did, it didn’t seem so strange. I’m just a woman in love with another woman.” I’m a bit confused. Were you a lesbian in a heterosexual relationship? Or are you now a heterosexual in a lesbian relationship? That quote seemed like you were fudging a bit.
CN: 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.
Q: But it is the “B” in LGBT.
CN: I know. But we get no respect.
Q: You just said “we,” so you must self-identify as one.
CN: I just don’t like to pull out that word. But I do completely feel that when I was in relationships with men, I was in love and in lust with those men. And then I met Christine and I fell in love and lust with her. I am completely the same person and I was not walking around in some kind of fog. I just responded to the people in front of me the way I truly felt.
Fine. And that has absolutely nothing to do with “choosing” to be gay. It’s sounding more and more like Nixon thinks “entering a gay relationship” is the same thing as “choosing to be gay.” She chose to act on her already-existing gay yearnings (or yearnings that at least existed the moment she met her current girlfriend) so she thinks that’s “choosing to be gay.” This is why I kept harping on the imprecision of her language. She most certainly has the right to define herself. And just like with the “ex-gays,” when she and they say things that make no sense, and potentially harm us and our movement, we have the right, and the obligation I’d add, to call her out on it. Especially when she had fair warning that this was a problem, and in the initial interview with the Times seemed almost as if she wanted to poke a stick at people who thinks she’s out to lunch on this. Well, we poked back.