Cynthia Nixon and her finance, Christine Marinoni
Imagine a hypothetical scenerio in which a well-known pastor from a culturally influential church suddenly came out and admitted that he did not believe the Bible to be inerrant or even inspired. What would the reaction of the orthodox Christian community look like? How quickly would we close ranks, talking about the importance of community and foundational beliefs?
If you can imagine this moment and if you can grasp the cultural stakes that are up for grabs, than perhaps you can begin to understand the magnitude of Cynthia Nixon’s recent decision to announce that she is “gay by choice.” Within the broader LGBTQ sub-culture,  this is a defection from “orthodoxy” that provides all manner of fodder for those that wish to repress the influence of homosexuality on the wider culture at large. And as a former star of the widely acclaimed, post-feminist Sex and the City, Ms. Nixon could not be a more public figure.
My purpose here today is not to enter the fray through offering any ill-formed opinions of my own. Rather, my purpose here today is to allow Ms. Nixon to speak for herself, thus raising questions that are worthy of open discussion.
“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. As you can tell, 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 I said, it’s an enormous declaration. And there are so many things to unpack in a statement like this that I almost hesitate to open the can of worms. Nevertheless, this is an important issue for both those within the church and those outside of it. And when a well-known member of a marginalized community makes a announcement of this magnitude, we absolutely should sit up and pay attention because it has the potential to reveal a great deal about who we are as a society and what we believe to be true.
So what do you think of Cynthia Nixon’s decision? Was it the brave act of a woman committed to walking her own path, in spite of what the majority of her sub-culture believes to be true? Or was it the selfish and/or naive act of a woman who willfully threw an oil drum of jet fuel on the bonfire of a culture war? It’s an interesting question to be sure, particularly in a postmodern culture that idolizes the value of community, but still worships at the alter of Modern, radical, individualized autonomy.
 LGBTQ is the acronym for the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer community.