For those who know of actress Cynthia Nixon (Miranda from Sex and the City), you may know she’s been in love with (and planning to marry) her partner of seven years, Christine Marinon. Prior to this relationship, Cynthia has always been in relationships with men.
Cynthia is taking a lot of heat this week for speaking frankly about saying how her being gay was her choice. This has the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) community in an uproar because it stands against everything they are fighting for with conservatives who say they can “fix” who they are – implying there is something wrong with their sexual orientation.
Some would argue I fall in to the “B” in the GLBT world. I’ve been with women, men, and my last boyfriend was a “T” (born female and transitioning/identifying as male). I am currently single and to be honest, am really only interested in dating men now. Is this my choice because I’ve had relations with people of the same sex and one transgendered person in the past? Not really. I am simply attracted to whomever I am drawn to – and who I like is men. Did I chose to have those “B” and “T” past relationships? Yes. But the connection never really fit because I wasn’t being true to what I knew all along; I like men (and the biology they’re born with a.k.a. penis). Does this make me straight? Was I really a bisexual in the first place, or just an open-minded woman exploring all areas of sexuality in search of what felt right for me? Label me what you like. I’m good with either.
I have many gay male friends. Some of whom have slept with women. And just like me, they dipped in the lady pond to test the waters, but it just didn’t feel right. Other gay male friends shutter at the thought of sleeping with a woman (“eeeeew, gross!”). They just simply aren’t attracted to them – in exactly the same way a straight man or woman couldn’t ever imagine being intimate with someone of the same sex.
One of my dear friends (who happens to be a gay man) was even engaged to a gal before he ‘came clean’ with himself and decided to tell the word he was actually attracted to men. He didn’t chose it. He tried to hide it (by choosing a woman) because he thought that’s what society and his family wanted. In the end, he realized he was living a lie and suffering a slow death inside. Did he chose to be gay in breaking off his engagement? On the contrary, he chose to honor his truth – his sexuality – something none of us has any control over.
This subject matter sparked a heated debate with a friend recently. I opened up my mind and tried to listen to his argument that being gay is really a choice. No matter how many rounds we went, I simply could not land on his side of the fence. In the end we respectfully agreed to disagree.
This article (in addition to the most recent argument I had with my friend) did help me open my mind more, realizing that perhaps some people in the gay community do have a choice (bisexuals like me, and Cynthia Nixon, perhaps – because we are attracted to a broader spectrum of human beings). It was an interesting thought, but one I didn’t believe covered the entire GLBT community.
The bottom line, like Brian Earp (Oxford Centre for Practical Ethics) says in his article about this subject is this:
“People should be able to have consensual sex with whoever they want. Identity labels are irrelevant. Mind your own damn business.”
So where do I stand on the issue? I still believe that we don’t have a choice in who we are attracted to. Our body, mind and souls are attracted to whomever we are drawn to. And you can’t fight chemistry, no matter how wrong certain groups/people think it may be.
Live and let live, people. As long as no one is hurting anyone. Live and let live. Love is far too precious to try and figure out the “WHY”.
If you are lucky enough to find LOVE, enjoy the “WHO”, whomever that person may be.
5 thoughts on “Is being Gay a choice?”
Thank you so much for being a staunch LGBT supporter. I agree that it's all about being able to "choose" who we love. Choosing who you love does not mean you CHOSE to be gay or straight or even trans. It just mean you're exercising your right to live a happier and more fulfilled life…and isn't that what ALL people want?
Wow Christine, this is a very thought-provoking post. I think that perhaps it is a choice for some, but being born attracted to the same sex is as natural as being attracted to the opposite sex. When it comes to dating based on whom you are attracted to the most… for some reason I have to wonder if we were meant to be that evolved. I mean there are creatures that shift to whatever sex it needs to in order to survive… is that something that is encoded in our dna as well?Great question… wish I had more to contribute on the subject..!
A good article. For the LGBT folks to be bashing Cynthia Nixon because she isn't towing the line demonstrates that the organization is as much extremist as any right-wing Christian one. The bottom line is that there are no absolutes, no one size fits all. For some it is not a choice. For others it is.As for your Brian Erpe quote, I would point out that consensual sex between siblings is frowned upon by most everyone, gay, straight, or otherwise. So the issue is not as clear as the supposed opposing sides want everyone to believe. 😉
So what it really means is that that the GLBT community has a great range of personalities and behaviors within it, just like the straight community, educational community, senior community, football community, decoupage community etc.
I agree with you; live and let live. The mind is too complex for us to suppose that we know how it works ALL the time. If in a few people sexual orientation is a choice, so be it. The only reason the LGBT crowd is all up in arms about Cynthia is that they have been radicalized by the attacks from the right.