Gay fans might have applauded Cynthia Nixon's decision to come out in 2004, but her remarks in a controversial new interview might now leave them feeling a little incensed.
Asked about skeptics who question the legitimacy of her relationship with longtime partner Christine Marinoni, the "Sex and the City" star, who is currently promoting her new Broadway show "Wit," told The New York Times:
"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."
Nixon then went on to note:
"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."
Prior to her relationship with Marinoni, an education activist, Nixon was involved with English professor Danny Mozes, with whom she has two children.
America Blog writer John Aravosis was among those to criticize Nixon's choice of words. "It's not a 'choice,' unless you consider my opting to date a guy with brown hair versus a guy with blonde hair a 'choice,'" he writes. "It's only a choice among flavors I already like... every religious right hatemonger is now going to quote this woman every single time they want to deny us our civil rights."