On the most recent survey I filled out, I picked Queer over Bisexual because queer has a broader meaning, but I still prefer “heteroflexible” as the best representation of my place along the sexuality spectrum at this particular point in time. I’ve talked about how checking sexual orientation boxes is difficult for me before (here), and I unsurprisingly really really can’t stand it when people try to invalidate other people’s sexual identities–or any other identity, because by the simple virtue of not being me, you (hypothetical rando trying to tell me about myself) cannot say who or what I am or am not. Fact of life. Get over it.
Anyway, evidently Cynthia Nixon, the woman who played Miranda on Sex in the City (which has become one of the shows I will watch whenever it is on television), told the New York Times that her identity as gay is a choice, and various factions of LGBTQQIA communities freaked the fuck out. She tried to explain later that she chooses to identify as gay because she doesn’t like the way Bisexual sits, and they were like, ‘Oh so you’re bi and just denying.’ Pause. People. Explain to me how persons of various sexual identities who have banded together in order to demand public visibility and acceptance can render her identity choices and preferences invalid? 1) you are perpetuating the very same things you’re fighting against. 2) NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, YOU CAN’T TELL HER WHO SHE IS. You just can’t. It doesn’t work like that. If she had implied that everyone’s sexuality is a choice, which she expressly said she was not doing, you could raise the issue that that viewpoint is problematic for any of 2987904734 reasons. You can’t say fuck your opinion of yourself, Cynthia Nixon, this is what you are because we said so. No.
“Simply slapping a label that says “bisexual” onto Nixon — or me, or anyone else who falls outside a clearly delineated gay/ straight dichotomy — and expecting that to be the end of the conversation is reductive, simplistic, and insulting to everyone whose sexuality is somewhere in the gray area.” –Lindsay Miller, Thought Catalog
In fact, I think that trying to do this is absolutely antithetical to the recognition of sexuality as a spectrum. Anyone who is working towards that goal should celebrate sexual identity as an individual process of self-acceptance and definition, rather than a forced matching to societal standards (even as those standards become more “progressive”). Let her identify how she wants and me identify how I want and everyone identify however they want because they are who they are and that’s just how it is.