Cynthia & Chris: butch/femme couple engaged!

I’m a week late on this news (but what can I say, this isn’t a news blog): Cynthia Nixon announced last week at the New York City Action=Marriage Equality rally that she and her girlfriend, Christine Marinoni, are engaged.

After hearing this, I did some searching for some photos of the couple, because, well, they’re butch/femme! (At least in adjective, if not in identity.) And they are so fucking cute together! I get touched in a different way when I see dykes who have gender that is similar to mine … I just recognize them and it really makes me happy.

It got me thinking a little bit about the celebrity world, and why it isn’t a bigger deal that Cynthia Nixon is gay – she’s a major star of Sex & the City! The film only came out last year, it should still be relevant. Reminds me that the 2009 After Ellen Hot 100 list just came out, and I was frustrated that there aren’t more a) butches or genderqueer folks (I count 5), and b) women who are actually out and queer, instead of women whose characters are gay on tv. I know this is kind of another topic, and I’ll follow up on this later (eventually).

Congratulations on the engagement, I wish you two the best.



[ Largest image from The Insider. Thumbnail image sources, l-r: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ]

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

10 thoughts on “Cynthia & Chris: butch/femme couple engaged!”

  1. Ladycakes says:

    The AfterEllen Hot 100 is voted on by its readership, but I know I put in my vote for my favorite butchy ladies!

  2. Gray says:

    They are so cute together!

  3. Wow. They look amazing together. It IS always nice to see ourself reflected AND with a family!

  4. What a beautiful and charming couple they are! Thanks for sharing the great news, Sinclair. I've been out of the loop, so this is a wonderful way to learn of their engagement!

    It is curious how little attention Chris and Cynthia have received about their butch/femme (by appearance) relationship. It so clearly runs in the face of the more androgy L Word type queer "public" relationships among Hollywood types… Cynthia and Chris are New Yorkers, I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

  5. genderkid says:

    Short butches rock. And I look forward to reading your future posts on the topic of queer women in the media.

  6. Geasa says:

    Good luck to them.

    I think you would have to find out, how much press attention she got before she came out.

    I know in the UK there is some evidence that it could harm, or restrict a male actor’s career to be open about it. Is there any facts about it damaging a woman’s career?

    Are we going to see the first ‘Sugarbutch Butch Top 100’?

    Love the blog, by the way.

  7. LFQ says:

    I love what she says about whether or not they share clothes and also her response to the question about whether she sees Christine as the “male figure” in the relationship. Out of all the interviews I have read I think this is the only one where gender is touched upon…


  8. D says:

    Hey there Mr S.

    You brought up an interesting phrase about labels in this post:

    “they’re butch/femme! (At least in adjective, if not in identity.)”

    As a woman that’s constantly described as femme, and does not identify as femme, I’d like to pose the question, how do you discern the difference?

    On a personal level, I get tired of being called femme, or especially femmey, behind my back. Or the worst, “she’s femme, she just doesn’t know it”. I think self-identified femmes rock! And am totally behind the idea, it just doesn’t fit for me, and it makes me feel reduced to my appearance, clothing choices, etc.

    Can you share some thoughts on this please?


  9. black and blue says:

    The day after your workshop here someone I work with brought up Cynthia/Chris.. my (male, church-going) co-worker was trying to be tactful, but was, let's say, "confused" (ignorant) about what butch is all about- i.e. "why is she dating a woman who looks like a man and not just dating a man, etc."

    I (politely) gave him a lesson in gender id, which he honestly appreciated, it was nice that my lesson was well organized and succinct b/c you were here..

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I especially love the family picture. The kids are obviously happy…

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