Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm Not Quite Sure How I Feel About This



I have admired Cynthia Nixon ever since she came out, and partly I get her point (i.e. not letting bigots define the terms of the debate) but I also understand why many people are upset by this...

Via World of Wonder

“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.”

I also know that with my understanding of both gender studies and feminism that to some degree we should be able to choose whom we love. I imagine that there is a particular percentage of the population that being gay could be a choice - and I'm not simple meaning people who consider themselves bisexual or possibly Sophie B. Hawkins.

But still...

I still admire Ms. Nixon, but I think her comments given the current state of politics, the current state of gay people in the world, and the current state of gay teens in the US, I think her comments are ill-timed and quite thoughtless.

7 comments:

JamTheCat said...

She's ignoring the fact that the bigots HAVE framed the debate and our side is in the defensive, so her comments are ignorant, at best, considering how many gay kids are killing themselves because they're being told what they're feeling is wrong and they're deliberately being that way.

It's like Mark Wahlberg idiotic comment that if he'd been on one of the planes that hit the WTC on 9/11, he'd have beaten them back. At least he realized it was dumb and apologized.

These are the comments of actors who no longer have contact with reality or the meaning of what they're saying.

becca said...

i adore ms. Nixon but I don't know that I believe the train of thought that you choose who you fall in love with. I think love happens naturally and you can't force yourself to love someone you don't so i'm not I totally agree with what she is saying but that being said she has every right to her opinion and her view.

tamayn said...

I understand the spirit of what she's saying but the danger really lies in how people will twist this.

We can all choose whether or not to sleep with men or women, that's true enough. The problem is when it comes to living honestly with ourselves. I could be in an emotional relationship with a woman, but I would never be sexually attracted to a woman.

In a reality where we're not arguing to justify our existence, who cares how or why you are gay. The fact is that there are gay people in the world. We can choose to ignore them or tell them they can change, but the simple fact is they exist.

Writer said...

Kyle, I guess my problem is that I assumed that she the actress would be as thoughtful and intelligent as the character that I grew to admire. :\

Writer said...

becca, but she has to realize that there are young men and women out there - teens - who may look up to her who are dealing with feelings of helplessness and shame thanks to this heterocentric society that we live in, and such comments may further isolate these teenagers who may then decide that there is only one path for recourse...denial of their identity, at best, suicide, at worst.

Writer said...

tamayn, I completely agree. And I think this is ultimately the issue. We live in a world where a very vocal and hateful minority choose to not accept reality on a broad range of subjects. And this is quite quite dangerous. We are here. Deal with it!

Kyle Leach said...

JP, I understand where she is coming from, and I can respect her, though I'm not sure by doing this she is re-framing the debate.

Although I know I have always been GLBTQ, if given the choice to change, I would not. I know many, many people who would take that way out of their lives. That always makes me as sad as can be. I look at our people and even even with all the flaws, I see such wonders and magic, other people really have to try for. For many of us that magic just seems to come naturally.

For me being a queer/fag/fairy isn't just about my attraction to men, my attachment to male genitalia and bodies, or male on male sex/intimacy, it is so much more than that. It took me such a long time to feel special about myself and our people, I couldn't give that up now if I wanted to. We are special, as all life is, and we shouldn't let anyone convince us otherwise.