Cynthia Nixon, who has dated both men and women, says she believes that while "bisexuality is not a choice" she has herself "chosen to be a gay relationship," clarifying earlier remarks she made to The New York Times about her sexual orientation that had sparked some criticism online.
The 45-year-old "Sex and the City" actress, who recently shaved her head to play a cancer patient in the new Broadway play, "Wit," and fiance Christine Marinoni last year welcomed a baby boy, their first child together. Until 2003, she was in a relationship with a man, Danny Mozes, for 15 years. They have a 15-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son together.
"My recent comments in The New York Times were about me and my personal story of being gay," Nixon said in a statement recently published in the LGBT magazine The Advocate. "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," she said. "I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have 'chosen' is to be in a gay relationship."
Nixon had told The New York Times in an interview published on January 20: "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," she said. "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."
Nixon's comments spurred writer John Aravosis to pen a column titled "Actress Cynthia Nixon says it's a choice to be gay. And she's wrong" on his website AMERICAblog Gay, which fuelled an online debate about the issue.
Nixon told The Advocate: "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."
Nixon had also discussed her New York Times comments in an interview with the website The Daily Beast, saying: "I don't pull out the 'bisexual' word because nobody likes the bisexuals," she said. "Everybody likes to dump on the bisexuals ... We get no respect."
"But I do completely feel that when I was in relationships with men, I was in love and in lust with those men," Nixon added. "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."
She and her fiance announced their engagement in May 2009.
"Christine and I are getting married by Gene Robinson, the gay Episcopal bishop from New Hampshire," Nixon told The Daily Beast: "We're very thrilled about it."
New Hampshire is one of six states that recognizes same-sex marriages. Gay marriage is also legal in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa as well as in Washington, D.C.
CYNTHIA NIXON'S CANCER HISTORY
"Wit" opened officially on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on January 26. Nixon plays Vivian Bearing, a poetry professor who undergoes experimental treatment for cancer. Previews began on January 5. The show is set to close on March 11. (Get tickets on the show's official website)
Nixon is herself a survivor of breast cancer. She was diagnosed in October 2006, several months after she won her first Tony for her role as Becca, a woman whose 4-year-old son has died in a car accident, in the Broadway play "Rabbit Hole."
Nixon told The Daily Beast that she underwent a "very small" lumpectomy and radiation treatments for six and a half weeks and has taken the anti-estrogen drug Tamoxifen for the past five years.
"We'll see if they take me off of it this spring," she told the website.
Nixon last performed on Broadway in March 2006, when she starred in "Rabbit Hole." Nicole Kidman played her role in a 2010 film. Nixon made her Broadway debut in a revival of the play "A Philadelphia Story" in 1980 and has also appeared in productions of "The Heidi Chronicles," "Angels In America," "The Last Night of Ballyhoo" and "Indiscretions."
Nixon played Miranda, a high-strung, heterosexual lawyer on the HBO series "Sex and the City," which ran between 1998 and 2004, and in its two film adaptations. The actress won one Emmy for her role and another for a guest performance on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."
Last year, Nixon appeared on the Showtime series "The Big C," playing the friend of Laura Linney's main character, Cathy, a woman who battles skin cancer. Nixon also recently starred in the film "Rampart," which is based on an LAPD anti-gang unit scandal that occurred in the 1990s.
(Pictured above: Cynthia Nixon appears in a promotional photo for the Broadway play 'Wit.' / Credit: Samuel J. Friedman Theatre