Former Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon made waves in a recent interview, in which she claims to be openly gay “by choice,” sparking a firestorm of controversy among gay rights activists.
“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,” she told the New York Times.
“I am very annoyed about this issue. 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,” she continued. “I also feel like people think I was walking around in a cloud and didn’t realize 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.”
Nixon is currently engaged to longtime partner Christine Marinoni, but was previously married to a man for 15 years. She has three children, one with Marinoni and two with her ex-husband, Danny Mozes.
Among the activists shaken by Nixon’s recent comments is Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen. According to the AP, Besen worries that Nixon’s comments could force people into programs that claim to cure individuals of homosexual attractions.
Blogger and Activist John Aravosis also took Nixon to task on his AMERICAblog Gay page.
“I think Nixon is using sloppy language to describe her fluidity. I think she's defining ‘gay’ as a lifestyle, to use the verboten word. She's defining ‘gay’ as being paired with someone of the same gender, not simply being attracted to someone of the same gender (or having 51% of your attractions being to that gender). So she ‘chose’ to be gay because she ‘chose’ to act on an errant desire she had for a particular woman, and now lives a ‘gay lifestyle’, lives as a woman with another woman. That's not choosing to be gay any more than a gay person who chooses not to date or have sex,” he wrote. “If you like both flavors, 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, i.e., will it out of nowhere. Because they can't.”
The actress has been making the media rounds recently to promote her Broadway play Wit, in which she plays a cancer patient.