Published on January 23rd, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Cynthia Nixon Says Being Gay is a Choice, Other Gay People Get Mad
Well, thank you, Cynthia Nixon (Miranda from Sex and the City), for an interesting thing to think about of the day.
Comments from the once straight, now gay actress on whether gay is a choice have riled the gay community anew, because one of the biggest excuses used to deprive gay people of rights is the contention gay people could just as easily decide to be straight, go to some kind of gayness-aversion camp, emerge as straight as the day is long and stop forcing everyone to talk to their kids about equal rights and other embarrassing things.
Wherever a person may stand on their opinions of the origins on homosexuality in any individual human, repeating the “gay is a choice” line is considered tantamount to saying gay people should be rounded up and placed in camps, such is the intensity of the debate about gay rights in America. So it was pretty shocking someone who identified as gay repeated the line, as Nixon did during a recent speech. Jezebel quotes the actress in the New York Times, where she recounts:
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.
However, it’s Nixon’s qualifier that makes the statement a bit more interesting. She posits that by countering the statement gay is a choice, that it lends credence to examination of someone’s true gayness, which is a compelling idea. Nixon explains:
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.
While I still personally think that being gay is something you’re mostly born with, Nixon makes an interesting point- the danger, of course, is that many with agendas will run with the “lesbian celebrity says being gay was a choice!” headline and ignore Nixon’s qualifying comments. Do you think that Cynthia Nixon’s statement is a concept America isn’t quite ready for yet?