Monday, January 30, 2012

Cynthia Nixon Is Not Gay (Yep, I said it.)

NOM Poster Child Cynthia Nixon
Last week actress Cynthia Nixon, once the darling of the equality movement, since coming out a few years ago, has endured a shit storm of criticism in the last week over remarks she made in an interview with The New York Times magazine. 
"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. "
Cynthia, dear, you just defined gayness for all of us. It's only fair that we return the favor.  

Studies have shown that sexual orientation in women is more fluid than it is for men.  I get that.  Our community gets that.  So why don't you get that? You are not gay, you are bisexual, omni-sexual or pansexual. Or maybe you're one of those enlightened individuals who shuns labels altogether and just "falls in love with the person" and that's totally cool. Just don't use my label, because whatever you are, you are not gay.  

Gay people don't choose to be gay, therefore, you are not gay. 

Sure, I get the whole thing about how it doesn't matter if it's a choice or not. Even if it was a choice, we live in a nation that respects and protects the right of the individual to choose how they want to live, blah, blah, blah. I've used that argument countless times with closed-minded, uneducated homophobes who deny the growing body of scientific evidence to the contrary. These people just aren't comfortable with themselves and anything or anybody that falls outside their narrow world view.  

These are the same people who teach their home-schooled kids that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, that humans lived side by side with dinosaurs like on The Flintstones and who believe that Sarah Palin would make a great president. We consider these people to be irrational, out of touch with reality and without a shred of credibility. I see no reason why we should see you in any different light just because you're a celebrity.

Wayne Besen, founder of Truth Wins Out, the group whose mission is to expose the lies and damage done by the ex-gay movement said in a statement,  "Cynthia did not put adequate thought into the ramifications of her words, and it is going to be used when some kid comes out and their parents force them into some ex-gay camp while she's off drinking cocktails at fancy parties," Besen said. "When people say it's a choice, they are green-lighting an enormous amount of abuse because if it's a choice, people will try to influence and guide young people to what they perceive as the right choice."

This year we hope to see a ruling in the fight to overturn Prop 8. I think it is completely within the realm of possibility that you, Ms. Nixon, will be called as an expert star witness for the pro-H8 side. Yes, my dear, your irresponsible statements could be used to do irreparable damage to your own community. If you think you're in the middle of a shit storm now, just wait until David Boies and Ted Olson start their cross examination. 

So on behalf of the Gay and Lesbian community, you are hereby fired as a celebrity spokesman. Your services are no longer required. Turn in your keys and your membership card.  Security will pack up your desk and escort you off of the premises. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.


In the aftermath of the controversy surrounding her statements to The Times, The Advocate contacted Nixon on Monday for a clarification. Here is what she had to say:
"My recent comments in The New York Times were about me and my personal story of being gay. I believe we all have different ways we came to the gay community and we can't and shouldn't be pigeon-holed into one cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering. However, to the extent that anyone wishes to interpret my words in a strictly legal context I would like to clarify:
"While I don't often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have 'chosen' is to be in a gay relationship.
"As I said in the Times and will say again here, I do, however, believe that most members of our community — as well as the majority of heterosexuals — cannot and do not choose the gender of the persons with whom they seek to have intimate relationships because, unlike me, they are only attracted to one sex.
"Our community is not a monolith, thank goodness, any more than America itself is. I look forward to and will continue to work toward the day when America recognizes all of us as full and equal citizens."
While it is gratifying that Ms. Nixon has clarified her remarks, it's what you say before somebody presses you to explain yourself that tends to have the most resonance.

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  1. "Gay people don't choose to be gay, therefore, you are not gay." Ms. Nixon was speaking about herself and only about herself. She can define herself however she wants to. If you said, for me it is not a choice, or for some people being gay is not a choice, then I could agree. But to say that anyone who says they choose to be gay is therefore not gay is an asinine statement.

  2. I stand by my statement. Nobody chooses to be gay. Even Ms. Nixon corrected herself and now says she is bisexual.


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