From Oprah Magazine
Cynthia Nixon and her wife, activist Christine Marinoni, are a New York City-based power couple. In fact, they’re exactly the kind of people who might waltz into an episode of Sex and the City, if the show had been based in the late 2000s.
Sex and the City has been off the air since 2004, but Miranda Hobbes, Nixon’s sharply intelligent character, remains a role model for ambitious working women. Today, Nixon herself is a role model for the same population. In the years since Sex and the City went off the air, the 54-year-old actress has become involved with progressive politics—even running for governor of New York against Andrew Cuomo in 2018.
Nixon’s work as a politician is intertwined with her relationship with Marinoni. The couple began publicly dating in 2004, the same year that Sex and the City ended, and married in 2012. Nixon and Marinoni share a passion for creating change in society. Marinoni is a prominent activist of LGBTQ rights and has worked for New York’s Department of Education.
Here’s what you need to know about the accomplished change-makers.
Cynthia Nixon and her wife met in 2001, while campaigning for an education non-profit.
Knowing what we know about the couple, Marinoni and Nixon’s policy-based meet-cute is highly on brand. Nixon met her future wife in 2001, while they were both fighting for smaller class sizes in New York’s public school system via the Alliance for Quality Education, an education non-profit that Marinoni helped found. At the time, Nixon’s two children with then-partner Danny Mozes—Samuel, now 23, and Charles, 18—were enrolled in New York’s public school system.
Christine Marinoni is the first woman that Nixon ever dated.
According to Advocate, Marinoni and Nixon bonded more during Nixon’s split from Mozes in 2003, and began dating in 2004. “It wasn’t something in me that was waiting to come out,” Nixon told Advocate in 2010. “It was like, this person is undeniable. How can I let this person walk by?”
Prior to falling in love with Marinoni, Nixon said she had not been romantically involved with a woman. “I have been with men all my life and had never met a woman I had fallen in love with before,” she told the Daily Mirror, per CNN. “But when I did, it didn’t seem so strange. It didn’t change who I am. I’m just a woman who fell in love with a woman.”
Nixon previously identified as bisexual, but today uses the term “queer” to describe her sexual identity. “To say ‘queer’ means, ‘I’m over there, I don’t have to go into the nuances of my sexuality with you,'” Nixon said in a 2020 interview with Attitude.
“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,” she continued. “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.’”
Marinoni became involved in LGBTQ advocacy after her friend was the victim of a hate crime.
While speaking to City and State New York, Marinoni sketched out her own career trajectory. Marinoni was born on Bainbridge Island, off the coast of Seattle. Soon after moving to Park Slope, Brooklyn, in 1995, Marinoni came out as a lesbian, and opened up a coffee shop that catered to the LGBTQ community.
When one of the baristas was the victim of a hate crime, Marinoni and her staff organized events to bring attention to the event, and the inequality that LGBTQ people face. Ever since, Marinoni has been a vocal advocate of LGBTQ rights.
Marinoni is also passionate about education advocacy. She helped establish the Alliance for Quality Education in New York in 2000 (for which Nixon eventually became a spokesperson). Marinoni also worked as a neighborhood organizer in the Bronx, and studied economic development at Columbia University. Later, Marinoni worked for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office as a senior adviser for community partnerships. She resigned from the position in 2018 to work on Nixon’s gubernatorial campaign.
After a “long engagement,” the couple was married in 2012.
The couple got engaged in 2009, at a rally to support gay marriage in New York. “It’s time already,” Nixon said, flashing her ring to the crowd, per People. Nixon, a lifelong New Yorker, vowed to wait until she could get married in New York. “I’m enjoying being engaged very much. I don’t mind a long engagement, which this one is surely turning out to be,” she said, People reported.
The couple leveraged their position in the public eye to join in fight for marriage equality, visiting the New York state capital frequently. “Cynthia and I did some lobbying in New York state and we went up a few times to Albany and met with legislators and talked to them about passage of gay marriage in New York City,” Marinoni told City and State New York.
A year after gay marriage was legalized in New York in 2011, Nixon and Marinoni got married on a city rooftop. Nixon wore a pale green gown by Carolina Herrera; Marinoni, a suit.
Their son, Max Ellington, was born in 2011.
Nixon and Marinoni welcomed their son, Max Ellington Nixon-Marinoni, in 2011. After giving birth to Max, Marinoni took a break from work to be a stay-at-home mom, raising Max and his older siblings, Samuel–who goes by Seph—and Charles.
“I couldn’t actually envision being happily married with kids. I thought, I’m never going to get that. I think it’s amazing that I got that. It’s huge,'” Marinoni told the New York Times in 2018.
Max recently turned 9, and celebrated his birthday in quarantine.
Nixon was “excited” to play a queer woman in Ratched.
In Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix series Ratched, Nixon plays a queer woman in politics—sound familiar? Her character, Gwendolyn Brooks, falls in love with Sarah Paulson’s Mildred Ratched, and introduces her to the underground LGTBQ social scene in the ’40s.
“These kinds of lesbians who are part of American history who have been all but erased in our movies and TV shows—Ryan is working to put them back in the narrative,” Nixon told GLAAD. Ratched is garnering praise for casting queer actors to play queer characters, and increasing on-screen representation.
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