Can we all just calm the fuck down about Cynthia Nixon?
The internet is fucking blowing up over Cynthia Nixon’s New York Times interview in which she says, for her, being gay is a choice.
“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.” Her face was red and her arms were waving. “As you can tell,” she said, “I am very annoyed about this issue. 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.”
A lot of bloggers and commenters are quite angry with what she said. John Aravosis writes in AmericaBlog Gay:
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.” It’s only a choice among flavors I already like. And if you like both flavors, men and women, you’re bisexual, you’re not gay, so please don’t tell people that you are gay, and that gay people can “choose” their sexual orientation, i.e., will it out of nowhere. Because they can’t. And when you tell the NYT they can, you do tremendous damage to our civil rights effort. Every religious right hatemonger is now going to quote this woman every single time they want to deny us our civil rights.
Here’s what I have to say:
CALM THE FUCK DOWN.
Guess what! Cynthia Nixon never said it’s a choice for you—it’s a choice for her. She is an autonomous human being who is allowed to define and describe her own sexual identity and experiences any way she sees fit as long as she is not silencing others who are trying to do the same.
But you know who is trying to silence other people, John Aravosis? You. You have written on a gay politics blog that someone who identifies as gay is not allowed to do so because you disagree.
Fuck you, John Aravosis. Every religious right hatemonger is going to remain a religious right hatemonger. That’s what hatemongers do. They hate. Do you really think what she said to The New York Times will matter to them? (Do you think The New York Times matters to them?) They don’t care if we were “born this way” or if it’s a choice. They will hate us regardless because they are hateful people. What these people use to marginalize the queer community and deny us of our civil rights has absolutely nothing to do with anything any queer person (celebrity or not) says and everything to do with them being hateful.
It’s bad enough homophobes and hate groups are trying to tear queer people down without us doing it to ourselves. People like John Aravosis and internet commenters (never a respectable group of people, I know) are hurting the GSM community with their arrogance and intolerance more than Cynthia Nixon’s interview ever could.
PLUS people are completely missing her point that it shouldn’t matter whether queer people chose to be queer or were “born this way”, no one has the right to treat a group of people like shit simply because they don’t like them.
[I have a lot of thoughts about the “born this way” and the “it’s not a choice” rhetoric anyway but I’ll get into that another time.]
So for everyone else still freaking out:
“you don’t get to define my gayness for me.”
It’s that simple.