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25 Jan 2012

Cynthia Nixon's 'gay by choice' remarks spark online debate

Former Sex and the City co-star Cynthia Nixon has sparked a backlash after saying that (her) being gay is a choice – a viewpoint that many in the gay community oppose.

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Actress Cynthia Nixon, who came out as gay in 2004 and has a son with her partner Christine Marinoni in addition to two children from the former's previous relationship, told the New York Times in an interview about her new Broadway play Wit, she had been subject to a backlash after telling a gay audience: "I've been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better."

Cynthia Nixon and her partner Christine Marinoni

The 45-year-old was quoted in the Times article published on Jan 19 she was pressured to retract a statement that was in a speech she had given recently "because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice", she said.

She said: “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.

Preempting critics, she added: “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. 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 realise 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.”

Her comments have drawn criticism from some quarters including gay celebrity blogger Perez Hilton who wrote on his website: “We totally hear her out and true, we cannot define her ‘gayness,’ but it wasn’t a choice for us. We were BORN gay. And millions of gay people around the world feel the same way.”

Gay activist and political blogger John Aravosis who also disagreed with her choice of words suggested she used the term "bisexual."

"If you like both flavours, men and women, you’re bisexual, you’re not gay, so please don’t tell people that you are gay, and that gay people can "choose" their sexual orientation, ie will it out of nowhere. Because they can’t," he wrote in AmericaBlog Gay.

“And when you tell the NYT they can, you do tremendous damage to our civil rights effort. Every religious right hatemonger is now going to quote this woman every single time they want to deny us our civil rights. Thanks.”

In an interview with the Daily Beast posted on Tuesday, Nixon who has notably been an outspoken advocate for gay rights and marriage equality says that she doesn't like using the word "bisexual" to describe herself.

“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.”

Tracy Baim, Publisher and executive editor of Chicago-based LGBT publication Windy City Times defended Nixon’s remarks in a Huffington Post column In Defense of Cynthia Nixon: Why 'Born This Way' Doesn't Matter.

Baim highlighted while “there are some who advocate a ‘nature made us this way’ argument to help us accept ourselves, others still try to get gays to suppress their sexuality, or transgender people to suppress their gender identity, no matter how they got that way.”

She also warned against basing the quest for gay civil rights on the 'nature' argument saying: “I also do not believe we should base our quest for civil rights on an argument that we ‘can't help ourselves’ because of our genes. This is a very dangerous and slippery slope. There have been fictional books and films made about this topic: if there is a gay gene, should it be eliminated, or a child aborted, if it's found? Science fiction isn't usually very far removed from science.”

She added: “I don't think Nixon is wrong to "choose" how she defines her own life. If the right wing does use her words as a way to attack our community, I don't think it will be any more vile than what they already do. They try to ‘cure’ us and deny our civil rights no matter what the basis of our true selves. We have a common enemy here, and it is not Cynthia Nixon, or those like her who come out as proud in their own unique identity.”

Nixon was in a relationship with Danny Mozes – who she first met in high school – for 15 years and had two children, Samantha, 15, and nine-year-old Charlie, with him before beginning her current relationship with long-time partner Christine Marinoni.

She is currently starring as a woman undergoing cancer treatement in the Broadway play "Wit." Nixon herself discovered she had an early stage of breast cancer in 2006.

Reader's Comments

1. 2012-01-25 19:32
Thanks, Cynthia for setting the gay rights movement back about ten years and providing ammo to opponents who think we all just sat down at age 13 and decided to be gay.
2. 2012-01-25 19:53
She may "not like" using the word bisexual, because of prejudice, but that's obviously what she is. As well as a dumbass, as they say in the States.
3. 2012-01-25 19:58
Did you know gay sodomy is already legal in Singapore by the repeal of 377 in 2007?

I learned something interesting from Wiki the other day. 377A only came into force in 1938, yes, 1938, not 1860s, and criminalised sexual activity between men other than anal sex, which was covered by 377…377A does not cover sodomy. The Victorian English law on which it's based has never covered sodomy. When 377 was repealed in 2007, it repealed criminalisation of sodomy for everyone. Leaving 377A to cover purely gay sex other than sodomy. So technically, so long as you do nothing except anal sex, it must be legal.

So all the talk of straws up noses in the parliamentary debate - totally irrelevant.
4. 2012-01-25 20:17
She is entitled to her point of view. The idea that all 'gays' have to line up and parrot the same line about 'it's not a choice' is rather feeble. You can do what you want as long as you don't hurt others and if some else thinks it's against some law of nature they can get f.
5. 2012-01-25 20:28
Everybody has a different view point on life, be it religion, politics, and of course sexuality. It's important to respect that and not impose a particular way of thinking on the others.

Contrary to Cynthia Nixon, I can't say my being gay is a choice, it just is that way. As a child, it was still undefined, but as I grew up, I came to realise it was something 'different'. But then, I was used to being different: an Asian boy in a western country, I prefered artistic actitivities to soccer, I prefered classical music to pop music. If being gay caused some issues for other people around me, I never saw any wrong in it (in spite of my being bullied, humiliated on a daily basis) It was just a fact of personal preference. And I had to fight and stand up for it. I felt that no one was entitled to dictate his view on me. And in life, what we feel is right and good for us leads to the way we conduct our lives. I believe that at some point we have to take responsibility for who we are and what we are, stop victimising ourselves.

I totally respect the fact the she thinks that way. That's her personal experience, and people have no right in telling her how and what to think or say - in doing so, we are acting like those homophobic people who reject differences. Everyone is different.

Many may disagree with me (and indulge in their anger) but I guess it's time to stop getting so touchy about that issue. If that's what we are, then we do not need to justify and explain anything. What matters is the way we live. It's not even a question of being a 'proud to be gay' activist, but to be a happy, contended human being.

Voilà. Have a great year of the Water Dragon. Let's love one another, even (especially) with our differences!!!

A"
6. 2012-01-25 20:42
Perhaps she should have said - I've lived both life-styles, and I prefer or am more comfortable with my gay life-style (or words to that effect).

There are thousands of gay people who "choose" a straight life-style as a result of family, social or personal reasons. In their hearts - are they straight? No, but they choose a straight life-style, get married, have children and raise their families.

I chose to live a gay-life style because I am gay. I could have done as others have done and chosen to live a straight life-style. But I didn't have to - no family pressure, no social pressure no employment pressure. I've been lucky. Thousands aren't so lucky - they have to make a choice.

As intelligent beings, in fact we do get to make choices even if we do not always like the choices we make.

Personally, I would not welcome self-confessed bi-sexual people under the "gay umbrella" at all. They are another life-style altogether, sort of on a parallel with "open relationships". That's my choice and opinion.

Comment edited on 2012-01-25 20:48:18
7. 2012-01-25 21:07
At last a woman who is speaking about the richness of her experience and confronting the American habit to categorize people into little boxes.
8. 2012-01-25 21:24
I think that "habit" is fairly universal, #7, not confined to Americans. Human beings have a psychological need to compartmentalize. It's how we order things in our minds.

I don't think anyone is bothered by this woman feeling that it was a "choice" for her, and she actually went into detail and provided a bit more contextual clarification. But all that matters is what headline fodder she provided ("Being gay is my choice"), and it affects more than just her and provides fresh ammo for those who would seek to curtail rights for ALL gays and lesbians, the ones who chose it and those who had no such choice. THAT'S the problem.
9. 2012-01-25 21:47
I choose to be gay, and I'm completely gay all my life. I'm not bisexual, and I'm not less gay than any other gays. Unlike some who are gay because "they can't help themselves", I'm perfectly happy to be gay. I am out and proud, and actively campaign for gay rights. As a materialist, I believe the gay identity is not biological but socially constructed, and I want to and choose to put myself into this "little box". Anyway, it doesn't matter why a person is gay, and it doesn't even matter whether a person is gay, what matters is whether the person supports and concretely campaigns for gay liberation, including marriage equality, anti-discrimination laws, affirmative policies, protesting against homophobic comments and behaviours, etc.
Comment edited on 2012-01-25 21:50:07
10. 2012-01-25 22:01
I have a suggestion for the new Fridae. The current set up for discussion is far too limited and controlling. Give readers back a space to post articles and news that interests them, which we used to have, and space to discuss on whatever topic we want. Ban homophobic trolls of course.
11. 2012-01-25 22:07
@9. What b.s. You may choose to identify as gay, but you don't choose which gender you are sexually and emotionally attracted to. Even if you are attracted to both, that in itself is not a choice. I suppose in that case you you could suppress one or other, but you would still be bi, biologically.

You can't choose to be heterosexual if you have no physical attraction to the opposite sex. You can only pretend, as many do of course, especially in Asia. I suppose if you are a real masochist and want to experience a lot of prejudice, alienation from your family, and potential prosecution, you could as a heterosexual pretend to be gay, and have sex with people you are not in the least attracted to, but why would anyone want to do that?
Comment edited on 2012-01-25 22:17:05
12. 2012-01-25 22:13
This comment has been removed by a hitlerite Fridae administrator. Comments should be relevant to the article published. Any feedback or suggestions can be sent to webmaster@fridae.asia.
Comment edited on 2012-01-26 01:46:58
13. 2012-01-25 23:23
but actually her point of view is not wrong. it's right at her case. she's gay by choice. while that's not the case for me -born gay- i belive some of us IS gay by choice.

if we gay people, demanding other people to accept us, because of difference, why not accept difference among ourself.

proof of nature itself embrace differences is colors.
14. 2012-01-26 00:04
i dont know why people argue so hard about this, she said "I was straight before and now I'm gay" if you interpret it as "gay is a choice." ok so what!? is this a bad choice? Those fucking homophobes won't give a shit about this, they just hate any homos no matter how we became gay or born as gay.

It's not that "oh so you guys can't change yourself so ok you win, you have rights to marry." even if gay is a choice, no one can say to you "hey, change your orientation so that I can respect u."

The correct one is, "I'm a human and I wanna get married so I must have it." that's it. Does it really have to go through so much debates?
Comment edited on 2012-01-26 00:13:24
15. 2012-01-26 02:00
I don't blame her. After all, she's bi. To her, it's not much of a big deal if she chooses being with a guy or girl. But for people who are exclusively straight or gay, the idea of sleeping/dating with some of the same/different gender can make a whole world of difference. To bi people. even if the whole world goes on a witch hunt to kill all gays, it probably didn't matter that much to them, since they can still happily fall for the opposite sex and appear straight.

Pardon my ignorance, but why are the bi and transgender even part of the community as "LGBT"? Everyone seemed to be fighting a different fight, but by us fighting together, it's assumed that we all shared the same inclinations in every aspect. As least, that's what I thought that's what the populace would view us. Particularly the bisexuals... I didn't realise they were discriminated. Technically speaking, people might not even know they are bi, since they could date the opposite gender anyway, and life goes on for them... They have a choice to avoid being discriminated, and yet still have a great life.
16. 2012-01-26 04:40
What a silly cow.

I also don't quite get the 'I can't help who I am - I was born this way' argument, as that also implies that there's some genetic pre-coding about it. Rather, I'd say that sexuality is just a part of individual identity; just as we all always accept that people are naturally 'gifted', or have individual abilities or talents.

If someone can be an master artist, writer, philosopher, scientist etc, why not just be gay etc as well? People are more, much more than just the sum of their parts; more than just how they were raised, and what their circumstances are; more than a checklist of things to 'explain' and calculate Who they are, and Why they're that way.

I can't think of a better word than just to say that it's down to each individual's Soul, or Spirit - their unique identity, which is more than just genetic sequencing or elements of their lives.

I don't 'choose' to be my sexual orientation, and I don't claim that I was born this way, either - it's Just who (and what) I am. Choice, and genetic coding, have Nothing to do with my identity, and the concept of 'self'.

Anyway, Cynthia's just another pampered star, somewhat divorced from reality by all accounts; 99% of famous people never seem very clever, etc...
17. 2012-01-26 08:56
Gay is not a medical problem or fixable. How do we know we have recessive genes in our birth? They're undetected.
18. 2012-01-26 09:10
i love you Cynthia Nixon, and i love your acting on SEX & THE CITY. whatever you may choose, you have no wrong with it. if u would like being gay, it's okay cynthia. BECAUSE YOU WERE BORN THIS WAY ! love your self and your set
19. 2012-01-26 09:35
I don't want to participate in this discussion at all, because obviously the framework in which I understand the society is too different from everybody else here. So I will just answer one question because it's for me. Yes, I DO choose my gender. I choose to be male.

I believe, gender is a basic human right. It's completely up to an individual to decide what gender identity the individual wants to adopt, male, female, both, neither, in between, fluid, etc. The state, society, community, scientists or psychologists have no right to interfere.

Last year Australia legalised gender change without operation. That's a progress. But still, one needs a medical document from a doctor to change gender. This requirement must be removed as well. The limited progress last year gives us hope that, as long as people continue campaigning, it's possible to achieve genuine gender liberation one day.
20. 2012-01-26 10:10
She may not like the term but she is by the definition "bisexual." So, yeah, if you are bisexual you can choose to be in a relationship with a man and "choose" to be straight or in a relationship with a woman and "choose" to be a lesbian.
21. 2012-01-26 10:55
As an out & proud TOTALLY gay man, my initial thoughts on Cynthia are "what a fool".
However on reflection, she's just a BISEXUAL IN DENIAL.
She speaks of the richness of her relationships in the past with men - proof if ever it was needed.
She seems totally committed to her wife (which is great) and asserting herself as gay is in no doubt an attempt by Cynthia to validate her current relationship.
I don't want to wish it upon her but if she became single again, I could imagine her being equally committed in a hetero. relationship.

Good on her, I wish them both much happiness.
It's just a pity that the ratbag religious right bigots will cease upon her comments and regurgitate them back at us in hatred.


22. 2012-01-26 11:00
if kinsey's research in the 50s is correct, then there are very few "absolute" hetros or homos, we all find someone in our lives of the same and opposite sex what we are attracted too. (this is why guys in their 40s can 'come out') we all exist on a scale between homo and hetro, most of us don't act on the one that doesn't agree with our identity. For me i'm 95% gay, i still can do sex with women under the right circumstances but it doesn't' happy often. i'm much more comfortable with guys. Cynthia probably is somewhere about 50/50 therefore that is a very true statement of her experience. for me i didn't choose being gay, i am gay, but not quite 100% sorry.
23. 2012-01-26 12:16
#19, by not ever having elected to have gender-reassignment surgery, you may have chosen (by default) to REMAIN male, but I assure you, you didn't choose to be BORN male.

If, however, you were actually born female and later, DID choose to become male, then please disregard my first sentence. :)

24. 2012-01-26 12:29
It seems many gay people included still believe that same-sex sexual attraction/activity is wrong or sinful or a wrong choice to make (if indeed one has a choice). The debate as to whether same-sex attraction is a choice is really moot if one feels homosexuality is no worse or better as heterosexuality.
25. 2012-01-26 13:13
she didn't even say she'd made a choice, just that she'd changed over the course of her life. the LGBT stalinists should lay off her. do we all have to speak perfect LGBTspeak and think perfect LGBT thoughts?
26. 2012-01-26 13:32
Could she mean she prefers to remain gay and in a gay relationship (rather than ...)? Either way I think she is right. And I have nothing against 'that' that if it is a conscious choice to her to choose being gay ... it is her prerogative, no?
27. 2012-01-26 14:02
This is just her thinking, maybe she doesn't like to use word "bisexual", but she should to know that sexual orientation is not a choice who can choose everyday easily.
28. 2012-01-26 14:33
I love this article!

First off, kudos to Cynthia Nixon for sticking up for herself about her sexuality! She doesn't have to identify as being "bisexual" if she doesn't feel it fits her. Labels have their purpose but they don't define us. We define ourselves the best way we see fit, and not by someone else's opinion. And any intelligent person knows that sexuality isn't black and white. And neither is skin colour. Think about it.

As for the nature vs. nurture, give me a break! I could have tall parents and possess the genes to *potentially* grow up tall. But guess what? If I don't get enough nutrition in my childhood (lack of calcium and/or whatever else makes me grow vertically), I won't end up being tall! Simple! Same goes with sexuality!

And never mind all the labels. It all boils down to respect and equality! Marriage is a union between two human beings of consenting age. Period. That's it! (I know that opens up the possibility of incest, but if it means all gays can get married just so a much smaller percentage of people want to marry their siblings or first cousins, then so be it!)

If we let the radical right wingers have their way, women would not be allowed to vote, people of different races would not be able to date or marry, all gays (or anyone perceived to be anything other than "straight") would have been "eliminated". Seriously!

I'm all for the "gay movement". I definitely do not take for granted all the rights I have as a gay man. But it's not about being gay or choosing to be gay or having something gay up my a**. It's about respecting who I am as an individual person, as someone who chooses (yes, it's my choice!) to be with the person I'm with. End of story!

Now go play nicely! xD
29. 2012-01-26 15:13
Why is it that gays will cite the Kinsey report's range of sexuality to promote acceptance of homosexuality, but then can be so vicious against a man or woman who declares they are bisexual or have come out later in life after having experienced a variety of relationships?

I like what she said: "...you don't define my gayness for me." Just as the straight world doesn't define her (or mine or your) sexuality, neither does the gay world.
Comment #30 was deleted by its author on 2012-01-30 15:27
31. 2012-01-26 16:58
I'm confused..... I'm very confused.............................
32. 2012-01-26 17:07
You see, i think more than Cynthia's words, the reactions towards them is what really gave them relevance. I think we should already be beyond a stage where a person's statements can make us feel insecure in the public eye. She has all the right to her view, and if the anti-gay crusaders want to use her words for the wrong reasons, at least pitty them at how desperate they've become.
33. 2012-01-26 19:55
" Lack of knowledge is nothing , but stupidity is incurable," as this French writer wrote many years ago. That's all I can possibly think of writing , after reading about Cynthias' diatribe , and others' comments supporting those inane views. With friends like Cynthia or those who condone her views , who needs enemies ?
Comment #34 was deleted by its author on 2012-01-26 19:58
35. 2012-01-26 21:30
I think some person within groups also don't understand life also. For some people it is as simple as playing both sides and going hey guess what i like being gay or bi or str8. Other people it a feeling or instinct that they are gay,bi,TS or str8 end of day we all the same.. and for person or groups of GLTB community to make comments and create hate mail. Should be ashamed as we trying to promote equality and understanding yet we not understanding this person way or many other peoples way of how they became sexually the way they are.
36. 2012-01-26 22:15
i really really like her..she is good..god bless them..
37. 2012-01-27 00:36
I think #6 and #7 said it the best.
Also I agree with her. Also to gay people saying she is Bisexual lets not start with that crap. Try more forward thinking. Could you imagine if we just said Transgenders were just "a really butch woman" or "wannabe girl". So lets calm down with that crap.

Second who says that sexuality has to be gay, straight, or bi. I think we have come to the realization that in some ways sexuality can be a choice. I associate myself as a Gay person because instinctively I am just attracted to guys, but there are some girls who I have had sexual relations with and would consider dating. Does that make me bi? Does that mean I am confused? No it just shows there is more to the term "sexuality" and that the human element can play a huge role.

Bottom line: I understand how it can hurt the movement, but don't let other people suffocate you and force you to think in such a linear way.
Comment edited on 2012-01-27 00:37:45
38. 2012-01-27 06:42
Choice for her - just not a choice for most of the rest of us (well 99.999999999999999999999% anyway )

But what a good choice she has made!!
39. 2012-01-27 07:53
She is beautiful.
40. 2012-01-27 08:35
Some would think being bi would give them the best of both worlds. However, (good or bad; depending on your point of view), many gays don’t have the luxury of choosing their sexual orientation; they were born to be who they are without having a choice in the matter.
One can see where Ms Nixon has the luxury of a "choice"; she is bi-sexual. While exercising her legal rights to free speech in her country, wretchedly it has given way to some people in this world, an incorrect impression that all gay people have the same “choice” as Ms Nixon of being straight or gay.
People with high profile positions generally chose their words carefully before commenting to the general public, especially on these types of sensitive issues as it could be damaging to themselves as well as the issue(s) they are commenting on. Misconceptions can and do arise, reinforced by their choice of words, even if they believed they were well intended or not.
Unfortunately, her remarks give the "impression" that being gay is a lifestyle choice which is simply not the case. I truly wished she had cautiously chosen her words and/or clarified afterwards exactly why she can and is able to move back and forth from a gay to a straight lifestyle with no problem. She feels it is her right to say what she wants and truthfully it is her right, however, exercising her right to free speech has disappointingly impacted the gay community in an incredibly negative light.
Hopefully she will rethink her comments and explain herself in a more detailed fashion in that people who are misinformed or don’t understand why some people are gay and can’t be straight will have a better incite on the overall issue.
Like it or not, one thing for sure this issue with Ms Nixon’s statements has brought out more debate and more exposure, (good and bad), to everyone in this world. On the upside this will increased more information about different types of sexual orientation regardless if you are for or against her choice of words. Debate and public education about this issue is helpful in the overall picture to open up the despite need for better understanding and tolerance regardless of what you sexual orientation is.
Sexual orientation rights and freedom for everyone is moving forward throughout this world and that is a magnificent fact. It may seem slow to some, but thanks to people speaking out and confronting the old rules, laws, and traditions, the fundamental rights of people to be who they were born to be, is going forward and this is happening in terms of years instead of centuries. This in itself is positively brilliant.
41. 2012-01-27 09:54
ignorant bitch
Comment #42 was deleted by its author on 2012-01-27 09:55
Comment #43 was deleted by its author on 2012-01-31 23:43
44. 2012-01-27 15:48
I always think gay right is abt tolerance and acceptance of diversity. Apparently not in our own community. Ironic.
45. 2012-01-27 17:13
#8's type of mentality is what undermines the glbt movement...Its no more than an expression of bigotry comparable to that of the anti gay movment. One thing people need to realize is that there's multiple ways to interprete something, and we really shouldn't take it as black and white. flexibility in our cognitive patterns ppl
46. 2012-01-27 17:18
I don't understand why people get so upset about semantics. Choice or undeniable urge or natural behavior. What does it matter how you phrase it? The real issue is that people should be free to wherever they are on the spectrum of sexual behaviors. None should be considered more or less valid and acceptable than any other. It's just the bigots who play the semantics game and suckers who feel they have to dance to the bigots tune.
47. 2012-01-27 17:26
cool quote by Cardinal Richelieu:
"Give me 6 lines from an innocent man, and I will find enough in them to have him condemned to death."
I don't have an opinion about Cynthia Nixon, however, it is quite apparent she didn't think very carefully about the implications or consequences of her choice of words. Makes no difference to me- her actions/words have no bearing on anything in my life.
The carnival still plays on.
48. 2012-01-27 17:26
cool quote by Cardinal Richelieu:
"Give me 6 lines from an innocent man, and I will find enough in them to have him condemned to death."
I don't have an opinion about Cynthia Nixon, however, it is quite apparent she didn't think very carefully about the implications or consequences of her choice of words. Makes no difference to me- her actions/words have no bearing on anything in my life.
The carnival still plays on.
49. 2012-01-27 18:26
....... am # 49 ......
50. 2012-01-27 18:46
kudos to #5, #28, #29, #40, and #46. you guys said it best and said what i truly believed in. in this day and age, when everything you say can be used against you, i'm sure Cynthia has thought hard about what she could or should say in public. it is unfortunate that there are still groups of people who think they have the right to define her gayness. sure, her choice of words may caused various interpretations, however, why are we condemning her instead of sending her kudos for being on OUR side? yes, it is NOT a choice for many, but it is STILL a choice when you choose how to live your life and be open about it. at least she has the guts, integrity and proud for what she believes in, unlike some of us. that says a lot. and for that, she deserves a respect and she gets one from me.
51. 2012-01-27 18:53
Is this to be the only news story posted on Fridae in over a week?
Comment #52 was deleted by its author on 2012-01-28 11:42
53. 2012-01-28 11:42
yet another publicity-hungry Z-celeb????
zzzzzzzzzzzz...
54. 2012-01-28 16:29
Interesting topic.

My straight girl friend told me that we all choose our identity and who we want to be with in a relationship. However, we do not choose our orientation. She could be straight and choose to be with a woman(not that anyone would do that since there would be too many complications).

So similarly, we all choose who we end up with - man/woman , regardless of being straight/not straight but we all have to live up to the consequences.

I do agree that a lot of people will misinterpret her words and use it against the LGBT community even though I understand what she meant.
55. 2012-01-29 14:40
IN simple term is born bi !! Period.
56. 2012-01-30 01:16
Nr. 10 Tim1975: That's a great idea!
57. 2012-01-30 01:19
Amongst the cacophony of opinions, there are a few that sing sweetly of the compassion for oneself and others that gives rise to understanding and acceptances of our differences as well as our similarities. I feel grateful to those voices for singing above the noise.

To define other's experience and to chose the labels that will apply to them when said labels are in contradiction to their own understand and/or wishes we engage in discrimination. The right to pursue love (or just sex) might be inalienable, but when any of us engages in prejudicial thinking, we increase the dissonance that gives rise to discrimination and persecution against others and, ultimately, against ourselves. Define yourself as you see fit. But please let others, without fail, have that same right to do so.

And as my life-experience grows, I too have, to some extent, little or large, chosen the path of being gay. Regardless of the science of genetics, I don't believe anyone will be able to conclusively prove otherwise. My experience will remain uniquely mine and your experience will remain yours. Thankfully, no amount of prejudice will change this for any of us.
58. 2012-01-30 09:01
For a very well-presented perspective, please see the below links. And, I recommend the comments as well. It's nice to see people "knowing" less and "opening" more :-)

http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2012/01/can-you-be-gay-by-choice/
59. 2012-01-30 18:14
@56, thanks, with fridae running at 1 story a week, it would create more content for them too.

@58, interesting article.
60. 2012-01-31 09:38
For some of us it is a choice for others less so... everyone walk a different even though they may be from the same umbrella
61. 2012-02-01 00:15
Clarification from Cynthia:

“While I don’t often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have ‘chosen’ is to be in a gay relationship.

“As I said in the Times and will say again here, I do, however, believe that most members of our community — as well as the majority of heterosexuals — cannot and do not choose the gender of the persons with whom they seek to have intimate relationships because, unlike me, they are only attracted to one sex.

“Our community is not a monolith, thank goodness, any more than America itself is. I look forward to and will continue to work toward the day when America recognizes all of us as full and equal citizens.” ( Statement to The Advocate, today)
Comment edited on 2012-02-01 00:33:45
62. 2012-02-01 20:06
No bi at all in this world, just gay and straight!
63. 2012-02-03 08:15
catch up f'day the last report i read said she rescinded her statement thats its not a choice. very confused lady i would say
64. 2012-02-03 11:13
Nixon's remarks would make sense if we lived in a neutral world where there is no discrimination aganist different sexualities. But the fact is we live in a heterosexist world, where people of different sexualities are brought up heterosexual and presumed heterosexual unless otherwise declared.

So, if we are brought up straight while gay, and "trained" or conditioned or expected to feel attraction towards the opposite sex, it would seem that being gay might be a choice. The very decision to make a choice, would indictate it is what one feels more comfortable with and what one prefers, like I prefer vanilla ice cream over chocolate.

So Nixon to me, might be a gay or bisexual woman who was brought up straight, married, had sexual relations with the opposite sex and ultimately, CHOSE a life with someone of the same sex. Seems very much like a choice to me, if seen from her perspective.

Those of us who came to an understanding, an awareness or the knowledge of homosexuality earlier may not have gone through that path. I think sometimes gay people deny the feelings of attraction towards another person of a different sex.

I identify as a butch lesbian, but I remember when I was in school, I was attracted to both boys and girls. To the boys who were good or cool (to me). But ultimately I never went beyond that, because I liked girls more and had the privilege of being able to act on that, as well as the greater drive to act on that.

But I think of the thousands of men and women (like in the days of Brokeback Mountain and even earlier) who was not as lucky. I know men and women who are married with kids, and who, had they been given the opportunity to make a conscious choice, would be with someone of the same sex.

It is, to me, a journey and a process of coming out, in different times and different ages. Though I think it might have been a tad irresponsible of her to make a political statement for the community.
65. 2012-02-03 17:49
@63, see statement @ 61. Seems clear, and that's what most people understood her to mean, but the concern was that the anti- gay industry would deliberately misinterpret it.
66. 2012-02-04 06:09
It sounds more like she is bi-sexual and chooses women by choice, while bi-sexuals of course can choose which gender thier life partner is gay people can not. Which means her comments are at best misleading at worst poorly judged.
67. 2012-02-04 06:25
i think her phrase "I've been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better." really refers to her relationships rather than her sexual orientation after reading her explanation. we can still "choose" who we want to be with although we can't choose who we really are (sexual orientation). but she is right that it's her life and let's not give the bigots out there the attention they don't deserve but neither should we turn heterophobic.
68. 2012-02-24 18:16
Why can't she choose to be gay? What right do people have to dictate her identity? I feel I could have a sexual relationship with a woman if I wanted to, but I fell in love with a man, have entered into a loving, nurturing relationship with him, and only have a sexual interest in other men, so I self-identify as "gay." It is my right to do so. It is nobody else's business.

People need to grow up and accept that there's a spectrum of sexuality. Cynthia Nixon at least has the courage to be open about her own feelings. What's more, she doesn't dictate that anyone else should feel exactly as she does.

This candour already puts her streets ahead of half the people on this message board who claim she's "setting the cause of gay rights back years" in terms of tolerance and openness. No, she isn't. You are.

I'm sick to death of proponents of a fictitious gay master race telling me why I'm gay. Using genetics as some kind of excuse. You may need to justify your persecution in terms of chromosomes, I don't. I accept that millions of men don't choose to live a gay lifestyle. Most don't have a choice.

I had the luxury of choice, and I made it. I'll decide for myself what I am, and what I'm not. That, thankfully, is my privilege.

If people like me, and Ms Nixon, can't expect tolerance from other gay people, we might as well give up hoping for acceptance from the wider world.
69. 2012-02-24 23:46
Bravo Xepherus! I agree that people should stop accusing her of setting the cause back; and as much as she's entitled to tell her story, the rest of those who don't feel the same way she does should tell their own stories and not try to stop her from telling hers.
70. 2012-04-25 00:23
Good to have a good soul like Tim1975 to post #61.

I concur with #50. And reminder from #47 :)

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