• Nick Step

It is so delightful that Cynthia Nixon, an actress most famous for playing Miranda on Sex and the City—a franchise whose most recent film had such bad sexual politics that it caused the Stranger’s Lindy West to renounce modern womanhood—can have ignited, over the course of one New York Times Magazine profile, a good and necessary debate about being gay: Is it a choice? Does it matter? It’s always puzzled me that the gay rights movement so strenuously pushes the argument for innateness, given that there’s nothing particularly fierce or self-respecting about a political claim that means, essentially, “I can’t help that I’m this way.” Nixon, who dated men before starting a relationship with her current partner, Christine Marinoni, objected in the profile to gay activists trying to “define my gayness for me”—she says she’s drawn flak for her modulating midlife sexual orientation. “I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here,” she said, “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.”