Cynthia Nixon (who, let's face it, will always be thought of as Sex and the City's red-headed lawyer Miranda Hobbes, just as Bob Denver will always be remembered as Gilligan and not, say, Maynard G. Krebs), courted controversy recently with remarks she made to Alex Witchel in The New York Times Magazine. Responding to a question about those who doubt the legitimacy of her relationship with partner Christine Marinoni (who she began dating in 2004 after having two children with photographer Danny Mozes), Nixon said:
"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."
Whether you agree with Nixon's viewpoint or not, her candor is refreshing. Those who believe that sexuality is fluid won't take issue with what she says. But others, like AMERICAblog's John Aravosis, think she's choosing her words unwisely; that what she's trying to say is that she's bisexual, and "doesn't quite get that most people aren't able to have sexual romantic relationships with both men and women because they're just not into both genders." Aravosis also writes, "Every religious right hatemonger is now going to quote this woman every single time they want to deny us our civil rights. Thanks."
But Nixon appeared to know exactly what she was saying. She continued:
"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. 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."