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Cynthia Nixon On Why She Identifies As 'Queer'

cynthia nixon

The Ratched star has been notoriously private about her identity.  

Actress Cynthia Nixon confirmed she identifies as queer in a new interview with Attitude magazine.

The revelation comes two years after she was first asked if she identified as queer. At the time she was mum about, telling a reporter simply, "It's personal." Now, she says that she's had time to reflect, explaining that lesbian, gay, or bisexual never seemed "particularly right" for her.

"To say 'queer' means, 'I'm over there, I don't have to go into the nuances of my sexuality with you,'" said Nixon, who began dating her now-wife, Christine Marinoni, in 2004, after splitting from her husband of 15 years. "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."

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

Discussions about gender identity and expression have been a hot topic at Nixon and Marinoni's dinner table. Her eldest child, Samuel, identifies as transgender. Nixon has also been actively protesting on the streets against white supremacy and police brutality, having attended the Queer Liberation March in June as well as the Black Lives Matter protests.

"I feel like there are certain issues that the right wing seizes on again and again," she said. "They won't let go of abortion. They seem to have let go of a lot of the anti-gay rhetoric and antigay actions, but as they have sort of accepted gayness, they have focused on trans people, and on immigrants and on people of color."

Nixon famously ran to be the Democratic nominee for governor of New York in 2018. This month, she is returning to the small screen in Ryan Murphy's new Netflix series Ratched (premiering September 18), opposite Sarah Paulson's Nurse Mildred Ratched.

In the series, Nixon plays Gwendolyn Briggs, a lesbian who is not out publicly and who begins a close relationship with Mildred.

"It's a really peculiar thing, how much they [radical conservatives] try to separate us as a community," she said. "But [after marriage equality] 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.'"

"Trans people are a case in point, but also young, queer people of whatever stripe who are still, were being, tossed out of their homes and are living on the streets, many engaging in sex work to survive," added Nixon, who formerly supported Bernie Sanders as president but is now fully on board the Biden/Harris train.

"I'm really hopeful that we will all turn out in November, because we have to. We have to do it for our country and we have to do it for our planet."

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