Choice and the Sissy

Miranda always was the troublemaker.

Let’s face it: Carrie had all the emotional complexity, Charlotte had all the sweetness, and Samantha had all the fun. Miranda just had a briefcase full of neuroses.

So maybe it’s fitting that Cynthia Nixon put her foot in it in the New York Times by stating that she’s “gay by choice.” Ironically, as the lawyer in the group, I think Miranda would have been a little more careful in choosing her words.

In the Teabagger era, when estate taxes become “death taxes” and people who kill abortion doctors are called “pro-life,” words are pretty much a life-or-death issue. Now, Nixon made it clear that she was speaking only for herself—but the language, I’m afraid, belongs to all of us. She isn’t “gay by choice”: she may be in a relationship with a woman by choice, but that’s a different thing. The truth is that if you have a choice of which sex to sleep with, you aren’t gay at all: you’re bisexual. And would Nixon tell us that she’s “bisexual by choice”? I think not.

One would have hoped this issue was put to bed long ago by the Kinsey scale. (Ring a bell, Cynthia?) Sure, if you’re somewhere in the middle, you have lots of choices. (As Woody Allen famously said, bisexuality doubles your chances of a date on Saturday night.) But for those of us who are a little closer to 1 or 6, there’s not a whole lot of budging. I suppose anyone is physically capable of having sex with anyone else, but sexual orientation is about desire, not aptitude.

The truth is that no one gets to choose whom they fall in love with, or whom they’re attracted to. But bisexuals do have more options when it comes to sexual and romantic partners. And, to Nixon’s point, whether it’s a choice or a biological fact isn’t really germane to the question of civil rights. Unfortunately, the courts don’t seem to see it that way. Nor does public opinion. So it’s a little dangerous to put language like hers at their disposal.

In contemporary parlance, the LGBT community is a rainbow—not a monolith. And while they are all my brothers and sisters, my colleagues in the struggle, I would not presume to speak for lesbians, bisexuals, or transgenders. And I reject the notion that a bisexual woman can speak to my experience. In the interview, Nixon says, “you don’t get to define my gayness for me.” Well guess what, Cynthia? You don’t get to define mine, either.

Frothy: A Fairy Tale

I was wiping the santorum off my dick when Mort let it slip.

Santorum is an occupational hazard for gay men. It doesn’t appear that often (most guys have the courtesy to schedule around it, if you know what I mean), but when it does, it can be quite a turn-off.

Unless you’re in love. And that was how I knew I was in love with Mort: Mort’s shit was just a fact of life now. I could deal with his shit and barely notice.

I’d fallen in love with his feet first. Actually, his feet were all I could see under the divider in the men’s room. Most guys use a simple Morse code—one or two taps just to inspire a response. But Mort didn’t stop there. No, Mort had a whole rhythm to his tapping. It was like being seduced by an invisible Fred Astaire. As I watched, those size-12 wingtips tapped out a jazz melody that echoed throughout the room. You could say he had me at ta-da.

And when one of those wingtips softly ventured over to my side of the divider and gently grazed my Top-Sider, the die was cast. I was already infatuated. By the time I finally saw his face and heard his voice, our future was set.

We didn’t see each other often—only when he was in town on one of his mysterious business trips. I figured he was married, and sure enough, he told me all about it one day. He even asked me to go to Bloomingdale’s with him to pick out a dress for his wife. She had a major event coming up, and he was the only person she trusted picking out her clothes. She would never know, of course, that the earrings—big hoops that were just the right size for cockrings—were my idea.

So everything was great for a while. Mort would call me when he was on his way into town, and I’d arrange fun stuff for us to do. Once I took him out dancing, figuring his toilet-stall rhythm would carry over to house music, but it was hopeless. Mort was all jitterbug and jazz hands. Frankly, it was embarrassing. But charming. He looked kind of cute out there, so willing to make a fool of himself.

Usually, I’d just make dinner and we’d spend the night alone. Mort could talk your ear off. He had one of those kindly preacher-like voices (albeit on the falsetto side) that make everything make sense. You think you can do just about anything when Mort encourages you. He asked me once if I thought I was really gay. My head was in his lap at the time. I looked up, wiped my mouth, and said, “Uh, yeah, why do you ask?”

“Oh, just wondering,” he said, leaning back to gaze up at the ceiling. “I hear there’s a cure.”

“Who wants a cure for this?” I asked, and went back to the task at hand.

I loved Mort. I could put up with the wife, with seeing him only once a month or so. I could put up with his two left feet, and the fact that he used his teeth a little too much (if you know what I mean). But then he crossed a line.

“Who are you voting for this year?” he asked.

I dropped a dirty Kleenex into the toilet and ripped the condom off gingerly. Over the running water—getting it warm enough to wash off any remnants of santorum—I laughed and said, “Obama, of course. Who are you voting for?”

And then he looked at me with a combination of fear and arrogance—a look I’d never seen on his face before. “I’m a Republican,” he said quietly. He squirmed a bit, like he was afraid I would hit him or something.

“You’re what?” I asked, my eye on his still-open suitcase.

I didn’t hit him. But still, that was the end of Mort. There’s only so much shit I can put up with.