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Old 01-26-2012, 02:34 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by nathan1977 View Post
In a Queer Theory course I took in college (granted, it was introductory, so we didn't get into higher levels of thought on the subject), one of the notions presented that I agreed with was the notion that sexuality exists on a spectrum. As a result you have strongly hetero people, weakly hetero people, bi people with a tendency towards hetero, bi people with a tendency towards homo, etc. As a result, I'm not threatened by the notion that sexuality is an ever-evolving thing. There are gay people I've known who have shifted towards heterosexuality, and straight people I've known who have, over time, shifted towards homosexuality. This doesn't seem controversial to me, based on a perspective on sexuality that seems to make sense.

I understand however that this can be fuel for the fire of those who think that sexuality is only a choice -- completely ignoring the environmental, chemical, biological (?) factors that can also influence one's sexuality (to say nothing of issues like trauma, abuse, etc that can also affect one's sexuality).
Kinsey Scale
The most popular "instrument" for that issue, although there are others.
This one, one of the oldest, is criticised for giving a bi-dimensional (and not a multi-dimensional) picture of sexual orientation.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:42 PM   #47
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There are gay people I've known who have shifted towards heterosexuality, and straight people I've known who have, over time, shifted towards homosexuality. This doesn't seem controversial to me, based on a perspective on sexuality that seems to make sense.

was this true across the genders?

because i think that has a lot to do with what's going on here.

1. Ms. Nixon is likely bisexual who has fallen in love with a woman; thus she is in a gay relationship

2. Ms. Nixon is fully free to define herself however she chooses

3. Ms. Nixon seems to find her own personal truth is more important than the movement she appears to be a part of, in that she must know that her words will be used against the movement as a whole; but then again, anyone who would read her comments and say, "ah-ha! you see? it *is* a choice!" isn't likely to be terribly LGBT-friendly to begin with.

4. however, much of the LGBT movement has constructed it's argument that it isn't a choice, and the evidence backs them up: people really can't change their sexual orientation.

5. it feels stupidly apologetic to have to say, "but i can't help it!" in order to justify a claim for equal civil rights; in a rational world, people should be able to love whomever they fall in love with. Ms. Nixon's stance is likely too advanced for a sexually childish society, and she should know this. we've just hit the mainstream with "born this way" notions -- is now the time to complicate this?

Slate said this:

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But I’m not really interested in guessing at what Nixon’s “true” sexual identity is—that’s her business, and labels are always only approximations at best. What does interest me, however, is the alternate political model that her comments suggest. She asks why choosing one’s sexual orientation is any less legitimate than being theoretically “born this way,” and in so doing, Nixon questions why we depend on biology as a measure of worth as opposed to creating a society where the sexual relationships between consenting adults need no justification at all.

It’s a compelling thought, a world where grown-ups don’t have to explain away their sexual activities by way of what amounts to an unavoidably apologetic “I can’t help it.” Still, many critics will argue that appealing to biology is the only way to protect against the attacks of the religious right—if God made me this way, surely you can’t hate me. But I have to agree with Nixon that depending on biology cedes a great deal of control to bigoted people; after all, much of Christianity is based on the idea of resisting sinful bodily desires. If homosexuality is truly genetic, why not just ignore it, like good old heterosexual lust?

6. men and women appear to have differently-wired sexual responses, likely resulting in a higher percentage of women who identify as bisexual and a higher percentage of men who are exclusively gay (or straight); generally speaking, crude physical indicators appear to have much more power over the male sexual response than the female

7. the "was-bian/has-bian" Anne Heche model of being with a woman, and then with a man, is virtually non-existent amongst the gay men i know. gay men have had sex with women since there's been a closet, which is to say forever; some gay men even graciously have sex with women (usually at the women's insistence, seriously, i know two men who have had sex with close female friends who were feeling sexually deprived) even when they are fully out of the closet (it's not difficult to find a man to have sex with, including self-identified straight men who have sex with gay men or other straight men); i dont know of any gay man who would exclusively choose a woman over other gay men.

Cynthia Nixon is right, but she's not helping. she's coming from a place of enormous privilege and comparatively little cost in coming out, and this does seem somewhat disrespectful of the decades of men and women who have lost everything by coming out. we're working for a world in which everyone has the ability to live like Ms. Nixon, but we aren't there yet.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:46 PM   #48
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There are certain characteristics of ourselves that we cannot change. They're called structural pilars of the identity. One of those, among others, is sexual orientation.

Yeah, Ms. Nixon dated men and now dates women.
Did that make her heterossexual in the past and homossexual now? NO!
She most probably had sexual erotization by women since she can't even remember, but that was triggered later by stimulus, whether internal or external.

Crap people like Doctor Phil will probably say the opposite I wrote, but ask anyone at APA what they think about it...
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:18 PM   #49
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Or she was just always bisexual

Or she was just in love with Christine so much that she just chose to be with her. I don't know if they're married, or if she was ever with any other women. My impression was that she split with her long term boyfriend (don't think they were ever married but I think they did have a child together) and that Christine was her first relationship with a woman. I don't know if she's ever talked about that.

If she was always bisexual then she's not changing anything. Even though she doesn't want to use the bi term.

I don't know, I find it very interesting. It does make my head hurt a bit .
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:51 PM   #50
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Crap people like Doctor Phil will probably say the opposite I wrote, but ask anyone at APA what they think about it...
Depends on when you asked them. Prior to 1973 they had a very different position.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:58 PM   #51
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Depends on when you asked them. Prior to 1973 they had a very different position.
What do you believe?
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:50 PM   #52
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Depends on when you asked them. Prior to 1973 they had a very different position.


do you think i'm objectively disordered?
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:46 AM   #53
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The only people who "have a choice" in the matter are bisexuals--by definition. Cynthia Nixon is a bisexual. She even admits so, regardless of whether she thinks the term is denigrated and, thus, is reluctant to self-identify as one.

So what's the deal here? I remember the "fury" over the transgendered male, but anatomically female who got pregnant. If the parts still work, of course you can get pregnant. I just think people like to be scandalised.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:50 AM   #54
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6. men and women appear to have differently-wired sexual responses, likely resulting in a higher percentage of women who identify as bisexual and a higher percentage of men who are exclusively gay (or straight); generally speaking, crude physical indicators appear to have much more power over the male sexual response than the female
This. So many men find this hard to understand but I have seen it a million times.

I have two women friends who say exactly what Cynthia Nixon is saying. One of them has been in a relationship with a woman for 20 years. She defines herself as neither gay nor bi, only that she had always been in love with men (emotionally and physically), until she fell in love with one particular woman.

Another woman friend always identified herself as gay until she fell madly in love with a man and they were together happily for many years, and broke up only recently when she learned he was seeing another woman. This scenario seems less common, but I have seen it a few times.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:57 AM   #55
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The only people who "have a choice" in the matter are bisexuals--by definition.
I haven't personally known more than a couple out/self-identified bisexual people, but I'm not sure they'd all necessarily agree they "have a choice" in some meaningful way that straight and gay people don't? If you're bi and the person you're deeply in love with right now is someone of the same sex, well, then that is what it is, isn't it? You could choose not to pursue that particular person of course, but in principle so could anybody. And even setting aside that kind of deep present attachment to someone, I was under the impression that many (not all) bisexual people experience themselves as going through phases in their attractions, really only "into" the same sex during some periods in their lives, really only "into" the opposite sex during others. I do personally tend to assume Nixon really is bisexual, but I still find the "gay by choice" self-description somewhat odd and contradictory despite assuming that.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:58 AM   #56
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I feel like I should also add that this afternoon I hit the "anger" stage of grief over my stolen car, and the internet is taking the brunt of it.

Sorry if I'm coming across as combative.
I'm sorry, I've been in packing/moving hell and had not heard about your car. That seriously sucks.

Didn't sound combative to me at all - just making perfect sense, as usual.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:31 PM   #57
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Thanks. Cynthia Nixon probably stole it.

That bitch.
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:16 PM   #58
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"I'm not a car thief. It was my choice to take this car"

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Old 01-29-2012, 06:49 PM   #59
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Cynthia Nixon is a bisexual. She even admits so, regardless of whether..
Just to point out, very poor choice of wording. Use of the word "admits" in this context is unhelpful at best, and implies that there is something shameful about bisexuality, as though it were akin to admitting to a crime, for example.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:02 PM   #60
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3. Ms. Nixon seems to find her own personal truth is more important than the movement she appears to be a part of, in that she must know that her words will be used against the movement as a whole; but then again, anyone who would read her comments and say, "ah-ha! you see? it *is* a choice!" isn't likely to be terribly LGBT-friendly to begin with.

4. however, much of the LGBT movement has constructed it's argument that it isn't a choice, and the evidence backs them up: people really can't change their sexual orientation.
That isn't really what she meant by the comments. By virtue of outing herself, she is already doing more for the LGBT movement than most mainstream actors, so it just seems wrong to attack her. Particularly on the basis of this:

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Originally Posted by Irvine511
Cynthia Nixon is right, but she's not helping. she's coming from a place of enormous privilege and comparatively little cost in coming out,
If Cynthia Nixon is coming from a place of enormous privilege and comparatively little cost in coming out, then how is it - as you're well aware and have yourself pointed out on previous occasions - that so many gay actors are still in the closet - some of them with even higher profiles and more bankability than Cynthia Nixon?
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