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Cynthia Nixon’s comments prove we still don’t know how to talk about sexual identity

Friday, January 27, 2012

The LGBT blogosphere has been wrestling with comments made by actress Cynthia Nixon (immortally Sex in the City‘s ”Miranda”) to The New York Times that she chose to be a lesbian:

Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni


“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.

“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.”

She doubled down in an interview with the Daily Beast, but in a way that helped clarify where she’s really coming:

“I don’t pull out the “bisexual” word because nobody likes the bisexuals.

“Everybody likes to dump on the bisexuals… 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.”

The negative reaction from gay blogs seems understandable, but perhaps unwarranted. Undoubtedly, as the gay community argues in courts across the country that homosexuality is immutable and ex-gay therapy is harmful and ineffective, having a prominent celebrity and activist say she “chose” to be gay is a little off-message. But I think it’s pretty clear that’s not what she meant, and so the real problem is that even within the gay community, we still have a very shallow understanding of sexual identity.

The bottom line is that there is a big difference between sexual orientation and sexual identity, even if it usually goes unnoticed. In other words, the language a person uses to describe how they identify does not have to perfectly align with what their natural attractions actually are.

The Williams Institute estimates that about 3.5 percent of the population identify as LGBT, but as many as 11 percent of Americans report having same-sex attractions. I think Nixon’s comments make it pretty clear that she did not choose her attractions to women — nor her attractions to men — she merely chose to identify primarily as a lesbian.

Of course, the other factor is persistent biphobia (and inherent at its root, sexism) in both the straight and gay communities. Cathy Renna has highlighted that women’s sexuality is much more fluid than men’s, which makes E.J. Graff’s observation that most of the comments against Nixon have come from gay men fairly unsurprising. The impulse is still to fit people into neat little boxes, and some — again, often men — refuse to believe bisexuality even exists.

By the way, science says it does. As Tyler Lewis has pointed out here before, this problem extends into the media, allowing for very few authentic portrayals of bi men. Nixon’s comment that “nobody likes the bisexuals” speaks for itself.

If the LGBT movement is fighting for the right of all people to own their identities free from discrimination, we should be better role models for celebrating that ethic.

© Think Progress.
This article was published by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

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90 more reader comments:

  1. Who would subject themselves to such hate willingly? Why yes, apparently we must choose this path, and therefore deserve this (sarcasm). Hate is pointless and wrong… acceptance is a must.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:11pm
  2. I then think she would fall into the category of bisexual..

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:11pm
  3. I kind of understand where she is coming from, but,what an awfully selfish statement to make when so many young people are suffering!

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:13pm
  4. Yeah thanks Cynthia THAT was helpful……..

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:13pm
  5. I see your point. I went to college with Cynthia. I think she is conflicted, if she said that.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:13pm
  6. i think she’s ignorant if she said that.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:14pm
  7. educate, promote voting awareness and change the world

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:15pm
  8. I completely understand. I really don’t see why people have to be this or that, one or the other. I have no defined sexuality, I like what I like. I don’t want someone labeling me because I don’t label myself. And that is how I identify sexually….. I don’t lol

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:16pm
  9. Why is this still a problem!? She said that “[SHE] choose[s] to be gay”. Key word SHE! I dont believe that she meant that EVERYONE chooses to be gay. SHE wants to be, so for HER it IS a choice. For others however, being gay is biological.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:17pm
  10. she has no business saying what she said, nobody can chose being gay, that’s the case every single one of us in the lgbtq community have been living untruthful lives.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:17pm
  11. She should just own that she’s bisexual..I know how she feels though

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:18pm
  12. George Langpiel Myburgh for President :)

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:18pm
  13. She just thinks she chose it now…I think later in life she will come to the realization that it is not a choice.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:18pm
  14. I adore Ms Nixon but with that said I can see the Republican ad in November, with either Newt Or Mittens face saiying, “See WE TOLD YOU IT WAS A CHOICE!” Enough to make me vomit!

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:18pm
  15. If you like men and women, that makes you bisexual period.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:21pm
  16. @ Rebekah for open minded people like you it’s NOT a problem but what this does for the right wing nut jobs of your country (and mine) is to back them up when they say it’s a choice and we are not born this way. What she did is irresponsible.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:21pm
  17. Simple…..QUIT THE LABELING Crap, were all humans, we live, we love, and who the hell cares who, cause life is too damn short, and love sometimes is fleeting and short, so if u have it and cherish it, love that is, so if a oppsite sex does ya, nice and u love the same sex thats good too, all it boils down to is enjoy this life and don’t make it hell for someone else

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:24pm
  18. I understand what she was trying to say, whether I agree or not is irrelevant, but what the issue is is she chose poor wording to describe what she meant and therefore, deserves the backlash she got. I don’t like labels either and really, I bet she is more pansexual than bisexual based on the way she described her ability to love, but someone in the spotlight like her needs to be wiser and pickier about the words they chose to convey a message because it easily blows up in your face if it is misconstrued. This exploded big time in her face and her words, even though clarified, will be used against the LGBT community by anti-gay zealots and that is really what the bigger problem is. People look at headlines and first news reports and take them as facts and in many instances don’t notice or aren’t aware that a retraction, explanation or clarification has occurred. Why anyone in the LGBT community would talk about their sexuality to press and not have it in a tight formed response so their is no ambiguity as to what they mean so anti-gay individuals can’t use it against us is beyond me. Cynthia is an educated woman and I just don’t think she really thought of the best way to communicate her sexuality before she spoke.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:26pm
  19. Why are we giving HER so much energy… as if her comment is so important be all end all. I don’t get it.. CHOOSING TO ACT on your sexuality is the only choice you have.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:27pm
  20. Now I have blogged about this before and many wont like this because they will go into defense mode. I am a lesbian but I am a willing one. I CHOOSE to live my life how I FEEL comfortable. No…I didn’t CHOOSE to only be sexually attracted to only women but I did CHOOSE to act on what felt right. Some ppl CHOOSE to fight the natural feeling and others go with it. So in my book it IS a choice to a certain degree. The argument of nobody chooses to be hated or threatened for being gay doesn’t stand for me because if you were scared or not happy being who you are and acting how you FEEL, then you could CHOOSE to act differently to fit society and fight ur desires like a lot of ppl do. I CHOOSE to do what feels natural to me

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:30pm
  21. #TeamCynthia!! We all like what we like. Stop trying to force us into boxes & categories. She CHOSE to be with her current partner. Period. Who knows what she will CHOOSE next, if this relationship doesn’t last. I think THATS her point.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:31pm
  22. thats so anne heche years ago ….she should do her thing and be happy and realize that when she claims her gayness she uses her amplified celebrity voice to cause doubt on either from ignorant people that don’t understand gayness to begin with

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:32pm
  23. For those of you saying “stop the labeling” is ridiculous . Its not a label, a label is being a rocker, being trendy, etc . If you’re into men and woman , makes you bisexual. If you like men then you’re gay, of you like woman only you’re a lesbian. If you like the opposite sex then you’re hetero, it’s the definition of the sexualities .

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:32pm
  24. Who says it can’t be a choice? Whether it is or isn’t on an individual basis (and I think it usually isn’t) has no bearing on whether it’s wrong.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:32pm
  25. I am a monogamous bisexual woman. Everyone I have loved and has loved me is by mutual choice. I cannot say, however that my bisexuality ITSELF is a choice. That is biological.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:35pm
  26. Toni, Choosing to be gay is way different than choosing to have sex. Tim Gunn proved that the other day…he is gay and has been celibate for 29 years. You can’t choose your sexuality but you can choose whether to act on it or not. The Mormon church loves celibate gays who also choose not the be in a relationship. LGBT or heteros choosing to be celibate has no baring on their sexuality…so even for you, your sexuality isn’t a choice but performing sexual acts and/or being in a relationship is/are a choice(s).

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:36pm
  27. actual i think the term used for her is pansexuality Pansexuality, also referred to as omnisexuality,[1] refers to the potential for sexual attraction, sexual desire, romantic love, or emotional attraction towards persons of all gender identities and biological sexes.[2][3] Self-identified pansexuals may refer to themselves as gender-blind—that gender and sex are insignificant or irrelevant in determining whether they will be sexually attracted to others.[4] The Oxford English Dictionary writes that pansexuality “encompasses all kinds of sexuality; not limited or inhibited in sexual choice with regards to gender or activity.”[5]
    The concept of pansexuality deliberately rejects the gender binary, the “notion of two genders and indeed of specific sexual orientations”,[6] as pansexual people are open to relationships with people who do not identify as strictly men or women.[7] Pansexuality can also mean the attraction to a person’s personality, rather than their physical appearance or gender.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:40pm
  28. you’d think she’d “choose” a hotter girlfriend!!

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:40pm
  29. Why is this an issue?? It’s an issue because the argument on the right is that we all CHOOSE to be the way we are, so that gives them all the fire they need to try and deny our AMERICAN rights. Sorry Cynthia but you ARE a person with power, due to your career and noteriety and on this issue you seriously dropped the ball. You gave the HATERS another stick to use pick up and beat the LGBT community with. I’m hoping that wasn’t your intent, but that is exactly what you have done.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:40pm
  30. @ Nicole, you are saying what I am saying in DIFFERENT words….and it all goes back to that word CHOICE. Feeling like women are who I should be with doesn’t stop me from maintaining the appearance and actions of a heterosexual woman. I CHOOSE to be involved with women on NOT just a sexual level but on a deeper connection. The CHOICE factor is there.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:43pm
  31. @Roxann Pansexuality is still not the proper term for her. If shes bisexual than okay. But “pan” is too broad a term for her. I’m pansexual myself and it involves being alot more open-minded than she seems.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:50pm
  32. Toni, We are definitely agreeing to disagree on this because we aren’t saying the same thing at all, even with different words. Even if you choose to be with men because you wanted to conform to society or didn’t like yourself or whatever that doesn’t change your sexuality, that just means you chose to go contrary to your sexuality and put up with it (many people do this and are miserable) but just because they chose to go contrary to their sexuality doesn’t mean they changed their sexuality or that their sexuality is a choice, they are just denying their sexuality. A closeted gay man married to a woman and having kids is no more heterosexual than a guy in a homosexual relationship with another man…your sexuality is what it is, it isn’t changeable and it isn’t a choice.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:54pm
  33. -_-

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:56pm
  34. good for her… i feel like i was born this way and always been gay and i made the choice to fight society and be me, so for me it’s BOTH, born this way and choice! :)

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:57pm
  35. Why couldn’t she have just said she was bisexual but chose to date a woman. Her words are extremely conflicted. You cannot chose to be gay, you can chose to date women though. Coming from a pan, she is not as opened minded as she is leading. She should have explained it differently. I agree, this did not help. In this time, you have to define yourself in labels. I do not like doing so either but you do know that fundamentalist bigots will use this against the whole community, whether she said herself or not.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:57pm
  36. If she really said that then it makes you wonder if she really is a lesbian or only doing it for publicity. Either way, if she really said that, she’s an idiot for sure.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:58pm
  37. Freud said everyone was latently bisexual..Key word latently..Marriage inequality is gender discrimination.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:00pm
  38. Ok I’m going to try and explain the damage Ms. Nixon made with her statement. My 16 year old neice called me yesterday to tell me that she identifies as bi sexual. She told her parents and her uncles and felt great about doing that. She then got on FB and saw Ms. Nixons statement and then called me and told me she was confused because she read on FB that being gay, trans, bi is a choice. The danger comes when we start letting our young people believe that sexuality is a choice, because it maked SOME of them feel they may have made the WRONG one. There is no choice in sexuality, and that is a FACT. The young generation of gay, bi, trans people need to know this without all the BS that Ms. Nixons’ statements have caused.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:00pm
  39. But then again, maybe she meant it was a choice to embrace it and not hide it? I don’t know.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:00pm
  40. .sad that we have to worry that ignorant people will not distinguish what she means for herself and not in general, although i can see an Anne Heche like comment would be misunderstood coming from a celebrity voice ….we all have a right to live our lives and be happy

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:01pm
  41. its her choice and for her it was a choice so quit hating!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:08pm
  42. so does this mean that she really isnt attracted to women but is forcing herself to be with one because of her choice????…..how does this even make any sense?

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:10pm
  43. @Diana Martinez, sorry but I don’t see alot of people HATING on her on these posts. We are simply saying that someone with Ms. Nixons power needs to be more careful with her words.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:14pm
  44. Diana, You can’t choose your sexuality, you can choose whether or not to act on it, and I believe that is what she meant to say but the damage has been done purely because of poor word choice. If she truly thinks it is a choice and my assumptions as to what she really meant are wrong, then she is in denial and really needs to see a therapist to help her identify who she is and cut through whatever confusion she has.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:15pm
  45. No one should be confused or unsure about something just because a celebrity is fucked up in the head.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:19pm
  46. All it proves is that there’s more than one way to queer it up – blessed be.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:25pm
  47. I’ve known women who’ve chosen to be lesbian, but don’t know of any men who’ve chosen to be gay. The ladies I know have been in relationships with men, but obviously not fulfilled, they met lesbian women and allowed themselves to be seduced, and never looked back. You could argue that they were always lesbian, but its too black and white. If they’d met another man who’d pressed the right buttons they may have remained straight, their words, not mine. I think sexuality is a choice for some, it really is all about who you fall in love with, and something we’d all agree about is that there is no control whatsoever in that regard!

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:30pm
  48. Like it says, there is a difference between sexual orientation and sexual identity. A naturally gay person can choose to be celebate for religious purposes, or can choose to force himself or herself into a heterosexual marriage that will always be incomplete. A naturally bisexual person (like Cynthia Nixon) can choose to be gay or straight. I choose neither. I don’t care what’s between someone’s legs so much as I care what’s between their ears. I have loved men. I have loved women. I am in love with a man, even though I am more attracted to women. There is a reason the LGBT world is associated with a rainbow: shit isn’t just black and white. There are a whole hell of a lot of shades in between.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:37pm
  49. Dale, That just means they were likely bisexual all along and just realized they had the proclivity towards women when the opportunity presented itself. A truly identifying straight person isn’t interested in the same sex or sexual acts with them and vice versa. I am pansexual, so this has never been an issue for me but my BFF is bisexual, first married to a man but with women since and she could easily be with a man again if she wanted and she once identified as hetero because of the stigma of being anything else, but her sexuality really has always been bisexual.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:40pm
  50. “I don’t pull out the “bisexual” word because nobody likes the bisexuals.”

    Really? Well thank you for that positive message. Good to know where I stand.

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:48pm
  51. Cassie, In agreement, in essence, a persons sexuality is what it is but their only choice really is who they want to be with, what they may want to act on or what they may deny. Total agreement about the rainbow too because in actuality there are 4 factors I see involved: biological sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression. I am a female, genderqueer, pansexual who is androgynous married to a female, woman, lesbian that is femme. Confusing, I know and thus, why I hate labels…I am, and always have been, just me!

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:53pm
  52. You guys that think it is a choice make me sick, I can garuntee you it was not a choice for me.. Ever since i was little i was different and i was NEVER attracted to a woman i even tried to force myself to sleep with woman to change the course it did nothing but make me feel dirty and further alienate me.. If you have desire for both sexes it makes you bisexual so please don’t put your public opinion out there for others to pick on a particular group of the LGBTQ and if she was seriouse about this lifestyle she would know how damaging it is for a statement like that expecially when we are in this political situation we are in right now. And yes we do identify as lesbian, gay, transgener, bisexual, and queer because we are all different from each other because some of us do not find both sexes attractive I find one attractive that makes me gay, If you find guys and girls attractive then you are bisexual.. end of story thanks for shopping at the quickie mart!

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 12:02am
  53. I think her girlfriend is plenty hot! Getting sick of hearing that women’s sexuality is somehow “more fluid”. Knowing as many bisexual males as I have, this just doesn’t seem right – seems like a way to disrespect lesbians. She should just come out as bi – no problem there. That, she didn’t choose.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 12:03am
  54. fuckin dumb cunt, go back to being a nobody, quit trying to grab spotlight now that your 15 minutes is over…

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 12:31am
  55. Boo!

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 12:36am
  56. ^^ someone notify Gerald on how sexuality and sexism intersect. He fails.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 12:42am
  57. dislike her PERIOD!…i don’t date BI…no thanks….

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 2:15am
  58. ~__~

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 2:26am
  59. When I meet a guy that I like enough, I’ll CHOOSE to date him and see if things work.
    When I meet a girl that I like enough, I’ll CHOOSE to date her and see if things work.
    It’s not that outlandish to understand that some people out there DO, in fact, have the chance to choose. So just back up, and let it go, because whether or not whoever Cynthia Nixon is can choose to like men or women, her choice doesn’t affect you in the slightest.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 2:38am
  60. I think the statement–imho–It doesn’t matter how we got here–swim, walk, boat, plane…the point is we’re here…For me, I’ve always known…lived in a stereotypical “straight” life b/c it wasn’t accepted in my home, school, life in general…
    I know others who started out in a same sex relationship who “chose” to be with a man after that relationship, and vice versa…
    I truly believe some people choose, some people don’t–but I don’t really care how or why a person identifies themselves they way they do…it’s most important to me that I’m truly happy with the person who I’m sharing my life with…not when/how I got happy…

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 2:49am
  61. Well then she’s not gay. Simple as that! Why does everyone have to get their knickers in a knot?!

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 3:16am
  62. People who don’t want to label their sexuality are probably just ashamed to stand up for themselves and what they really are. I’m proud of what I am. I’m proud of my label.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 3:19am
  63. For a community that’s all about equality and no judgements, we sure seem a lot more like a judgmental, hating community right now. We preach about letting people be who they are, so sit down, shut up and let this woman be who she is. She doesn’t need to be attacked by the very people she is trying to side with. She’s gay. Who cares how or why she got to this point.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 4:38am
  64. What the moron fails to realize it that she’s obviously BIsexual and not a lesbian. What she has “chosen” is to be with a woman…nothing like setting back work that the rest of us have been doing….I think she needs to have her mouth stapled shut before she says something else equally as stupid….She was barely tolerable in the first place (her acting is terrible) but now she lacks even a modicum of respect….

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 5:22am
  65. The whole debate over whether sexuality is a choice or something we’re born with is mute and underscores the gay community’s attempt to defend itself against anti-gay individuals and groups. Who cares if it’s a choice. Who cares if we’re born this way. Why does that matter at all? It doesn’t. It’s only an argument against haters.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 6:20am
  66. You cannot choose your sexual orientation. You can choose whether or not to come out.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 6:28am
  67. Can someone let her know we won’t be requiring her services any longer, lol

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 6:50am
  68. Of course sexuality can be a choice; I really don’t understand how in this day and age that’s still a debate. (Frankly, some of the comments here have just been ignorant and disappointing.)

    But here’s the thing – sexuality should be protected BECAUSE it can be a choice. We are rational, thinking, loving humans. We have freedom of speech and association. Exercise of those rights should always be protected.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 6:51am
  69. and this affects my life how ???

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 7:18am
  70. Don’t we identify as being part of the lgBt community?

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 7:33am
  71. Those of you who think women can’t *choose* to be gay should maybe read some Monique Wittig. And how sad that we’re still having this argument.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 7:41am
  72. I could care less about where Cynthia Nixon’s sexuality or decision to practice said sexuality lie. After all, it is her personal life. BUT, when you are in the public eye, it is best to be mindful of the things you say so that your truest intent and perception of your message is conveyed positively in such a brow-beaten era. It’s merely a matter of tact.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 8:02am
  73. Zack, I think you have you headline backwards.

    It’s not Ms Nixon’s comments that prove that we still don’t know how to talk about sexual identity – it’s the over-the-top haterade reactions to them that prove it.

    It’s amazing how hypocritical people here seem to be – We demand that nobody can understand how WE think better than OURSELVES, but then insist that we know better than Ms Nixon what she thinks.

    For her it’s a choice (it was for me as well); maybe for you that’s different, but that doesn’t chance HER reality. Just maybe she knows more about her own sexual identity than you do.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 8:09am
  74. I had friend who would say the same thing because she had only previously dated men. She felt like she choose to look past her then girlfriend’s gender but she wouldn’t identify herself as gay. Idk i would have said she was bi and there is nothing wrong with that. Maybe Cynthia should have chosen better words.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 8:30am
  75. AMEN Kem Ellis!!! Cynthia…ur an idiot!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 8:35am
  76. She is owning her own sexuality, she’s asking people not to make assumptions about her or project identities on to her that are not her own, that she does not accept or identify under. She doesn’t have to be straight, gay, or bi to love the people she loves or to tell the world about it. Some people are pansexual, some choose not to regulate thier identities by any language we are familiar with. We are not the identity police, no one in the LGBTQ community can tell anyone else who to be or how to be who they are. We are all still too scared to let people be themselves. As for all those kids who are in schools, being bullied, being targeted; her comments aren’t going to do them much good or harm, no matter how they are taken. The fact that some popular celebrities are being open about their “gayness”, however they choose to present it, will incur the hate of the people who already are strongly opposed, and should imbue them with the respect of people who are for, and in this way it changes nothing; they will however gain visibility and make gay people and being gay less scary to those undecided or uninformed by being something familiar and strange all at once.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 8:53am
  77. I remember recognizing that I was a lesbian ever since I was young. That being said, even if I did have the opportunity to consciously choose my orientation, I would still choose to be exclusively with women. I don’t think what Cynthia Nixon said was necessarily out of confusion–rather, I think it proves her solidarity with women and the lesbian community.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 9:40am
  78. I did NOT choose my sexuality. I CAN choose to act on it. See the difference.

    If you can’t… Well your retarded.

    We are already fighting for LGBT rights on so many level. That was a crude and unnecessary comment made by Nixon. It helps nobody but herself. It was SELFISH.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 10:11am
  79. Oh my god, did any of you idiots even read the damn article? She worded it badly, and admitted that, leave her the fuck alone. What she meant was that her orientation is bisexual, but that her preference is lesbian (“gay is better”), so that she will choose to ignore her smaller attraction to males (whether it’s a temporary choice or not remains to be seen). A LOT of bisexuals who aren’t completely in the middle of the Kinsey scale do this.

    Orientation=Genetic
    BUT
    Preference=choice.

    If none of you idiots got that from reading the article, when it’s something you should already know as members of the LGBTQ community, then we’re all fucking doomed.

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 11:59am
  80. Jake, that’s YOU.

    Your experiences are your own; they’re not Ms Nixon’s.

    And really, ‘retarded’?

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 12:34pm
  81. I think she’s great, and is speaking the truth. Not all queer people believe we were born that way, and that’s okay. I really hate the idea of demanding our rights on the basis of “We can’t help ourselves.” EVEN IF WE MADE A CHOICE, we should get our rights!

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 1:52pm
  82. of course being gay is a choice: i can either choose to be who am i, or choose to be who i am not

    Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 7:31pm
  83. She’ll pull an Anne Heche before you know it…

    Posted on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 10:18am
  84. Zack Ford, the columnist who wrote this article, you go on writing about “biphobia,” and sexual identity as being different from sexual orientation and blah, blah, blah. Well Zack do you think the average homophobic joe the jerk, and mary the moron are going to do research about human sexuality, hell no they’re not. They will just take Nixon’s remarks at face value and conclude that being gay and lesbian is just a choice and nothing else. Its my guess that Nixon loves the dick and loves the carpet, she’s BISEXUAL, no matter what kind of spin you choose to put on it. And being gay is not a choice.

    Posted on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 11:44am
  85. Sexual identity is about just that. Identity, how one personally sees themselves. Yes, a celebrity saying it was a choice to them may be a detriment to equality but in the end is it not a big step for LGBT folk? Someone being totally open about their own sexual identity is not a bad thing. She chose what felt right to her, chose to be seen as lesbian rather than bisexual. Did the rest of you not choose what felt right to you?
    Long story short, I applaud her and people (including LGBT folk) need to learn that sexual identity is not just black and white.

    Posted on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 11:56am
  86. I suppose if you are bisexual, you can choose but if you gay or lesbian you definitely can’t. Poor choice of words, either way.

    Posted on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 1:32pm
  87. No one chooses their sexual orientation. Period. Gay or straight or somehwere in between. It is how we are wired from birth.

    The only choice we make is how we live our lives, in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship.

    Posted on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 2:29pm
  88. Parataxis,

    Sadly, retarded was the perfect word for this.

    ALL of our goodwill from straight allies, judges, and politicians come from the fact that they believe (and rightfully so) being gay is immutable, unchangeable, and untreatable.

    ALL of our anti-gay folks share the same beliefs as Ms. Nixon.

    From the amount of coverage this thing is getting, I’d say that her comments have already done damage to our goals.

    It’s one thing when an anti-gay politicians start spouting off their nonsense, it is another when one of our own starts the same thing.

    If being gay is a choice. Then this so called minority group does not need any rights at all. After all they just made the wrong choice.

    Posted on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 3:18pm
  89. I have to say as a bisexual that chooses to follow my attraction to woman I have to say that you dont understand what she is saying. She is saying that she is attracted to both men and woman and that she chooses to be with woman not that being gay is a choice, we all know that being gay is born in us but some times being bisexual is a choice, one that I follow my self. I am about to get married to a wonderfull man and I love my girlfriend just as much as I love my soon to be husband and that is a choice on my part.

    Posted on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 3:43pm
  90. How about we start everybody as bisexual then they can gravitate to whomever fits best for them? Such freedom might scare the straight people silly. (I think we’re strong enough to handle it, though.)

    Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 7:04pm