Cynthia Nixon and Her Choice


Cynthia Nixon and her fiance, Christine Marinoni.

Actress Cynthia Nixon says she’s gay by choice. And a lot of gay people are mad at her for it. (Actually, Nixon now says she’s bisexual be genetics, but chooses to be in a committed same-sex relationship.)

Now, take a deep breath: this is not a post to bash homosexuals, nor is it going to be a diatribe about morals (though I will explain my frame of reference). It’s a plea for someone to help me with my understanding of the trials homosexuals face. I’ve tried to avoid writing a post about this, but I just can’t. It boggles my mind, and I’m being sincere.

As a Christian, I believe that homosexuality isn’t the norm for sexual relationships. But neither is multiple divorce, premarital sex, adultery, porn or any of the other stuff that some “Christians” do. God made us male and female to be committed to one another for a lifetime, and any violation of that falls outside of His plan. Our current cultural acceptance of some of those violations as acceptible is just our own attempts to mask our sinful preferences rather than deal honestly with a powerful subject.

And while I’m at it, you know what else is sin? Lying, cheating, lusting, envying, and just about every other disagreeable human behavior you can think of. So long story short, we’re all broken and no one is any better than anyone else.

But back to Cynthia Nixon: why should it matter if she chooses to be gay? Or bisexual? Why the uproar over her choice?

I just don’t get it.

I mean, as hard as the homosexual community has worked to gain mainstream acceptance for their members, why suddenly turn on one of their own so viciously? I get that there is a lot of hatred wrongly directed at the GLBT community, and I know that they want to protect themselves. Such mistreatment is wrong. But the way that first story reads, it’s as if anyone who chooses to be gay is somehow outside the walls of acceptable gayness.

I’m drowning here, I realize it. I’ve probably enflamed a million different groups with what I’ve typed, but I just can’t fathom why a group who works so tirelessly to gain fair treatment for all of its members is publicly slamming one of said members. As Nixon herself said, “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.”

If our goal as a society is truly equality for all members, then what is genetics for some and choice for others shouldn’t matter, should it?

What am I missing?

Please help me understand. I am truly struggling with this story and what it says about our society in general.

6 thoughts on “Cynthia Nixon and Her Choice

  1. Here’s my rambling summary of the issues at hand. Bigoted people like to use the “you can choose to be gay or not to be gay” argument to deny gay people rights and justify violence, bullying, firing gay employees just for being gay (still legal in over 30 states), denying custody of their own children to gay parents, etc. By their “choice” argument, if you don’t want to be discriminated against (or in some cases, experience physical violence), choose to be straight.

    So, when someone who is famous and in a gay relationship gets to talk to the press and says it’s a “choice,” a lot of gay rights activists groan because society at large is just in the last two or three years coming around to the fact that maybe some people are born gay and maybe they still deserve rights to their jobs and children and physical safety.

    It’s a semantics issue, but it matters quite a bit, in that those same people who believe it is ok to treat someone unfairly because of who they love, can now say “See! Love someone different! We knew all along that you can choose not to be gay.” Words are dangerous and the fine line between “I chose to be gay” and “I am bisexual by birth” makes a difference in how those who do not believe that “our goal as a society is truly equality for all members” treat people unlike themselves.

    I find it a shame that anyone has to speak so carefully to be treated fairly in America and with kindness and love. To me, that is the larger issue.


    1. Amy – I think what you’ve said makes sense. In fact, one of my current students pointed out the same line of thought.

      I also agree with the larger issue you raised–our inability as Americans (or just as human beings) to treat other people with dignity and respect. I guess that is what stunned me about this story: many of the LGBT people I know are so accommodating and kind as to be a breath of fresh air. Perhaps I’m guilty of a different kind of stereotype, but within that community is the last place I expected a fight. But as you said, given the larger social context, so much is riding on the words being used.

      As always, I appreciate your thoughtful (and brilliantly written) response.


  2. To me, it is an example of when people with a cause develop an agenda. Similar to the people working to the feminist cause attacking women when those women also happen to believe in conservative lifestyles. Being in the electronics business, I would also compare it to musicians becoming obsessed with how cool and fancy their equipment is, and forgetting about the creative musical expression that the equipment is there to empower, simply as a tool. What I’m pointing to is that there are some people who want the world to view sexual preference as an obligation defined by something we can’t change, such as genetic design. Those people believe that freedom of choice is harder to defend and thereby a threat. Just my two cents.


    1. Freedom of choice is harder to defend, especially when many people disagree with our choices. The question is, can we allow people the freedom to choose (and for us to disagree with said choice, if we choose) with dignity? I know that God allows us the freedom to choose, and to receive the consequences of our actions, so there’s precedent there. Good two cents, Mr. Roos!


  3. Well, I was going to reply, but I think Amy said it perfectly. Bravo Amy!! To add to that though, I would venture to say to some extent being homosexual is a choice, but not how most people think. I choose to live my life as true as I can. I choose to be happy. I live my life as a proud lesbian, because it is the truth and I will not lie about who I am.

    Imagine a world for a moment where homosexuality is the accepted norm, not the exception. Would you as a straight person live a homosexual lifestyle in order to confirm to society’s standards? Or would you defy everyone and live a heterosexual lifestyle? Would you being “straight” be a choice or a truth of who you are?

    Jason, thank you for posing the question. For without questions, truth and understand can never be achieved.


    1. Hanna – I was hoping that either you or maybe Christi would reply, and I am grateful for your insight. My goal really is to understand, because my goal is Truth. Thanks for your courage.


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