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Cynthia Nixon on Why She Identifies as 'Queer'

Cynthia Nixon

Nixon, who stars in the upcoming Ratched, explained the evolution of the words she uses to label herself. 

One of the stars of the upcoming Ratched on Netflix, Cynthia Nixon, has proclaimed "queer" as the identity that fits her best.

"I could call myself a lesbian, gay, bisexual. But none of them seems really particularly right," Nixon said in an interview with Attitude. "To say 'queer' means, 'I'm over there, I don't have to go into the nuances of my sexuality with you.'"

The actress, who rose to popularity on Sex and the City, has been with her wife, Christine Marinoni, for 16 years after splitting with partner Danny Mozes. Over the years, she has explained her identity in a few ways.

"I feel like 'queer' is an umbrella term, and it includes my formerly straight self too," she said.

"Falling in love with my wife was one of the great delights and surprises of my life, but it didn't seem like I became a whole new person, or like some door had been unlocked," she said. "It was like: 'I have fallen in love with different people in my life and they've all been men before. Now this is a woman and she is amazing.'"

With Tony and Emmy awards to her name, Nixon has also always been an ardent activist for various causes including LGBTQ+ rights and the environment. In 2018, she ran against Andrew Cuomo in the New York gubernatorial race.

At this juncture, Nixon, whose son Samuel is transgender, has called for LGBTQ+ people to stick together in the face of opposition from conservatives.

"It's a really peculiar thing, how much they [the right] try to separate us as a community," she said.

"But [after same-sex marriage was legalized] we saw a great divide in our own community too, between those who thought, I got my wedding ring, I can pass my money on to my spouse and not pay taxes, so I'm good, I'm done, as opposed to We have so far to go for so many members of our community, we are still so far from the promised land, we're so far from having our full civil rights."

In 2012, Nixon, who had identified as bisexual, went on the record and confirmed that bisexuality is not a choice after taking a lot of heat for saying it was her choice to be in a "gay" relationship with Marinoni. She previously stated:

"My recent comments in The New York Times were about me and my personal story of being gay. I believe we all have different ways we came to the gay community and we can't and shouldn't be pigeon-holed into one cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering. However, to the extent that anyone wishes to interpret my words in a strictly legal context I would like to clarify:

"While I don't often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have 'chosen' is to be in a gay relationship.

"As I said in the Times and will say again here, I do, however, believe that most members of our community -- as well as the majority of heterosexuals -- cannot and do not choose the gender of the persons with whom they seek to have intimate relationships because, unlike me, they are only attracted to one sex.

"Our community is not a monolith, thank goodness, any more than America itself is. I look forward to and will continue to work toward the day when America recognizes all of us as full and equal citizens."

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