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Old 01-25-2012, 07:53 PM   #1
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Cynthia Nixon Says She's Gay By Choice

She's not saying everyone is, just that she is. And that she was not gay all along and with men just because she was in denial or for whatever other reason. I get what she's saying (about defining it for herself, not the part about being gay after being straight and being with men) but on the other hand I am confused and I can definitely see why other gay people would be upset by it.

Cynthia Nixon: Is sexual orientation a choice or is it biology? - latimes.com

By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog

January 25, 2012, 11:47 a.m.

Former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon says she is gay by “choice” – a statement that has riled many gay rights activists who insist that people don’t choose their sexual orientation.

Here’s what Nixon, who recently shaved her head to play a cancer patient in a Broadway production of “Wit,” told the New York Times Magazine:

“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.”

The question of whether sexual orientation is subject to nature or nurture – or some combination of both – has been hotly debated for years. If it is not an immutable characteristic, that would imply that a gay person could be somehow transformed into a straight one. In other words, homosexuality could be “cured.” Which in turn implies that being gay is some sort of illness.

Hence, the offense taken to this point of view.

Nixon seemed to anticipate the controversy her remarks might generate. She also told the New York Times:

“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.”

As expected, this did not go over smoothly with everyone. Writing on AmericaBlog Gay, John Aravosis wrote that Nixon “needs to learn how to choose her words better, because she just fell into a right-wing trap, willingly. When the religious right says it's a choice, they mean you quite literally choose your sexual orientation, you can change it at will, and that's bull.”

So, what’s the scientific evidence that sexual orientation is either a biologically determined trait or an actual choice?

A Spanish study published in 2009 in the journal Investigacion Clinica summarizes the evidence for genetic influences. Based on research comparing identical twins, fraternal twins and even siblings who were adopted, scientists have determined that 27% to 76% of the chance that one is gay is determined by DNA. The genetic influence appears to be greater for men than for women, according to the study.

Other stuff is probably happening in utero that influences one’s sexual orientation. As a review article published last year in the journal Endocrinology explains, exposure to atypical levels of testosterone and other steroids in the womb is probably responsible for some people being gay. Another review article, published last year in Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, makes the same point:

“The evidence supports a role for prenatal testosterone exposure in the development of sex-typed interests in childhood, as well as in sexual orientation in later life, at least for some individuals. It appears, however, that other factors, in addition to hormones, play an important role in determining sexual orientation. These factors have not been well-characterized, but possibilities include direct genetic effects, and effects of maternal factors during pregnancy.”

One of those prenatal influences may be the number of males who have previously inhabited the mother’s uterus. It may sound strange, but Canadian researchers have found that “having one or more older brothers boosts the likelihood of a boy growing up to be gay,” as I explained in a 2006 Los Angeles Times story. As I wrote at the time, “The so-called fraternal birth order effect is small: Each older brother increases the chances by 33%. Assuming the base rate of homosexuality among men is 2%, it would take 11 older brothers to give the next son about a 50-50 chance of being gay.” Those findings were reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In addition, my colleague Shari Roan wrote about a fascinating controversy surrounding treatment for a rare condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The disorder can cause girls to be born with genitals that look male, making it hard to tell the baby’s gender. One treatment is to give women hormones during subsequent pregnancies to reduce the risk for siblings. But doctors have found that this approach has an unusual side effect:

“The treatment might reduce the likelihood that a female with the condition will be homosexual,” Roan wrote. “Further, it seems to increase the chances that she will have what are considered more feminine behavioral traits.”

This is all just the tip of the iceberg. But the scientific consensus seems to be that there is indeed a biological basis for homosexuality – though it’s not necessarily 100% determined by either genes or by environmental factors.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:20 PM   #2
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She may say (and believe) being an idiot is a choice.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:22 PM   #3
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She may say (and believe) being an idiot is a choice.
So I assume you think she's an idiot for saying that
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:47 PM   #4
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So, when exactly did Cynthia Nixon decide to be gay?
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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What she said could really harm the gay rights movement. Not by much, I hope, but it would fuel anyone who is anti-gay, such as Focus on the Family or Rick Santorum. I could see either one of those, or other everyday people, using Nixon as an example that people choose to be gay and no one is born that way. Way to go, Cynthia!
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:01 PM   #6
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So she likes men and women, but decided to go after women? Does that not make her a Bisexual who prefers women over men? How is this news? Or course, had she worded it like a rational human being, she wouldn't be getting the press.
I assume she isn't dating women despite not being attracted to them. What she says doesn't even make sense. If she's saying she chooses to be gay... that means she is unattracted to women, but chooses to have relationships with them (????) She might just be an idiot
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:02 PM   #7
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Or course, had she worded it like a rational human being, she wouldn't be getting the press
You think she said all that just to promote her play?
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:07 PM   #8
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I think she said it because, who has mentioned Cynthia Nixon's name in the past several years?

Either that or she just doesn't understand what part of the 'choice' anyone is referring to
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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I dunno. I know some people will try and use this as indicative of all gay people, but fuck them.

Cynthia Nixon feels like she made a choice. Maybe she's bi and chose to go one way. Maybe she didn't. Maybe she, like many others, believes sexuality isn't a static thing, and that sometimes there is a choice involved.

Cynthia Nixon only speaks for Cynthia Nixon, and she's not saying otherwise. It's not her responsibility to make bold, grand statements on behalf of an entire community of people.

"you don’t get to define my gayness for me.”

Good for her.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:17 PM   #10
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The interview with the Daily Beast is a current interview

For me that would be defined as bisexual, relationships with men then choosing to be with a woman. So she chooses a label (not that she has to) according to who is being dumped on at any given time?

Cynthia Nixon on Bisexuality: 'I Just Don't Like to Pull Out That Word' - International Business Times

"In an interview with the Daily Beast, Nixon explains why she avoids using the label, but doesn't exactly deny that she is indeed bisexual.

"I don't pull out the 'bisexual' word because nobody likes the bisexuals," Nixon told the Beast's Kevin Sessums. "Everybody likes to dump on the bisexuals."

"But it is the 'B' in LGBT," Sessums reminded her.

"I know," Nixon said. "But we get no respect."

"You just said 'we,' so you must self-identify as one," Sessums probed.

"I just don't like to pull out that word," Nixon replied. "But I do completely feel that when I was in relationships with men, I was in love and in lust with those men. And then I met Christine and I fell in love and lust with her. I am completely the same person and I was not walking around in some kind of fog. I just responded to the people in front of me the way I truly felt."
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:18 PM   #11
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YOU MUST DEFINE YOURSELF, CYNTHIA NIXON!!!!!!!!!

I mean, honestly.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:20 PM   #12
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Well said, Cori.

I've personally always felt actions can be chosen, feelings can't, so that pretty much explains why I think homosexuality has much more "nature" to it than "nurture".

But then again, I don't know what goes on in other people's bodies/minds, and there's that whole "we're all a bit of both" idea some people present, so...who knows. Choice or not, matters none to me and it's still nobody's business anyway.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:21 PM   #13
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Maybe she's bi and chose to go one way. Maybe she didn't. Maybe she, like many others, believes sexuality isn't a static thing, and that sometimes there is a choice involved.
But the mere fact that she likes women and men means that she is bi. Otherwise she's saying that she dates women in spite of not being attracted to them.. makes no sense whatsoever.
It would be like me saying I eat sushi because I chose to, not because it tastes good. Well, my taste buds say that I do think sushi tastes good, so why try to deny that? She makes zero sense. (horrible analogy, I know couldnt think of a good one)
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:22 PM   #14
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it's still nobody's business anyway.
She's the one who brought it up
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:22 PM   #15
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My point is that she's saying she doesn't want to define herself as bisexual, for whatever reason, and I think that needs to be respected.
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