Cynthia Nixon Says She’s Gay by “Choice,” Sparks Controversy
Cynthia Nixon is stirring controversy by claiming she chose to be gay. The actress, best known for the “Sex and the City” TV series and movies, faces criticism from gay rights groups after a recent New York Times profile in which she flatly says that, for her, homosexuality “is a choice.”
Nixon is engaged to a woman, Christine Marinoni, with whom she has a child. She previously spent 15 years with the father of her first two children, Danny Mozes.
In the Times piece, Nixon talks about the backlash she encountered when she went from a long-term heterosexual relationship to her current partnership. “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,” says Nixon, who adds, “And for me, it is a choice.”
She continues, “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.”
Many gay rights organizations have taken issue with Nixon’s statements, arguing that by calling her sexuality a “choice,” the actress undermines the community’s characterization of homosexuality as an inherent genetic trait. “Cynthia did not put adequate thought into the ramifications of her words,” Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen told the Associated Press, explaining, “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.”
Other critics have said that she should label herself as a “bisexual” rather than gay.
In the Times profile, Nixon is adamant about her position. “I am very annoyed about this issue. Why can’t it be a choice? Why is that any less legitimate?” she asks. She continues, “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.”
What do you think of Nixon’s statements and the ensuing controversy?