Opinion Brief

Cynthia Nixon's 'gay by choice' backtracking

The actress says that, while sexual orientation isn't a choice, as a bisexual, she did have to decide whether to be with a man or a woman

After actress Cynthia Nixon told The New York Times in January that, for her, being gay was a choice, she faced a harsh backlash from gay activists, for whom the biological inevitability of homosexuality is a key political tenet. In an attempt to clear the air, the former Sex and the City star — who was once married to a man, but now is coupled with a woman, Christine Marinoni — issued a statement to The Advocate. "While I don't often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual," she said. "I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have 'chosen' is to be in a gay relationship." Will the backtrack defuse the anger?

The damage is done: Nixon's comments bolstered the idea that sexual orientation is "a choice," says Jessica Grabert at Cinema Blend, a notion that gay rights supporters "have spent countless hours of their own time debunking." And she only made matters worse with a subsequent interview in The Daily Beast complaining that "everyone likes to dump on bisexuals." It was "like watching someone dig themselves a hole and being completely, utterly helpless to stop them." Let's hope she's done explaining now.
"Cynthia Nixon backtracks, says bisexuality is not a choice"

Actually, Nixon deserves an apology: The "whole kerfuffle" was unfair, says Audrey Ference at The L Magazine. Nixon never was the "heretic" she was made out to be, and "some of the supposedly pro-LGBTQ folks' responses have been so shitty and awful, it's hard to imagine that they care" about Nixon as anything but a way to "help the cause." Nixon had no need to apologize, but the people who bullied her for failing to "keep to the party line" do.
"You don't get to tell Cynthia Nixon about her sexuality, even if you mean well"

Let the whole thing drop: Nixon made herself pretty clear the first time around, says Luke Malone at Jezebel, but now that she's clarified her position even her critics should be able to move on. Not that they will: As she suggests, "the whole debate has been ceded to bigots."
"Cynthia Nixon assures concerned parties bisexuality isn't a choice"

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