What You'd Never Guess About Cynthia Nixon's Marriage

Cynthia Nixon became an iconic part of the zeitgeist of the early 2000s thanks to her role as Miranda Hobbes in "Sex and the City." Clearly, her character and the franchise in general have not lost their charm. We've seen her revisit the spirited New York lawyer in the two "Sex and the City" movies and again, in the 2021 HBO reboot "And Just Like That." Clearly, no one can get enough of it (unless you're Kim Cattrall, that is).

But Nixon has done so much more than play Miranda. She played Gwendolyn Briggs in "Ratched," a fascinating retelling of the early life of Nurse Ratched, the antagonist in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Nixon also played the poet Emily Dickinson in the 2016 film "A Quiet Passion," per her IMDb credits, so we know she's got range.

While Nixon's career has been a success, she's also had a remarkable personal life, especially with her wife, Christine Marinoni. Their relationship is a testament to love and the ways in which a couple supports each other, both in their respective careers and as a family.vNixon's obviously still in love. In a 2017 interview with The Guardian, she was asked what was the best kiss of her life. "There have been a lot," she began, "but there was one time my wife kissed me in the car underneath an overpass in 2005 that I always think of." And when Nixon was asked where she'd "most like to be right now," Nixon answered, "In bed with my wife." Get it, girl.

Cynthia Nixon's life before Christine Marinoni

Cynthia Nixon is a born and raised New Yorker, which makes her spot-on portrayal of "Sex and the City" character Miranda Hobbes that much more convincing. She grew up on the Upper West Side and began working as an actor at the age of 12, per Time. While many know Nixon best for her television and movie roles, her first and longest lasting love is theater. "I'm a total theater junkie — whether I'm working on a stage or sitting in a seat," she told the Daily Beast in 2012. "I am always looking for a great play and a great part to do."

While Nixon was earning her chops both on stage and in front of the camera, she began a relationship with Danny Mozes in 1988. The pair broke up 15 years later, according to Time. They share two children.

After Nixon began dating Christine Marinoni, the "SATC" star was asked frequently in interviews about how she identified. "I do completely feel that when I was in relationships with men, I was in love and in lust with those men," Nixon said in the Daily Beast. "And then I met Christine and I fell in love and lust with her." There you go. 

Who is Christine Marinoni?

Prior to meeting Cynthia Nixon, Christine Marinoni might not have been a household name — and judging from her penchant for staying far from the spotlight, she's more than happy to keep it that way. The lady loves privacy. In fact, she told The New York Times that she calls herself "shy" and had quite a challenging time in her early relationship with Nixon, when paparazzi were trying to find out who the star's new lover was. "They were looking for some blonde bombshell, or who knows what," Marinoni said.

In many ways, Nixon and Marinoni were an unlikely match. The latter "had never subscribed to cable TV" before meeting the "Sex and the City" star, The New York Times noted. Then and now, Marinoni doesn't love being the center of attention. "I now know how to step in or out of the spotlight, and I choose generally to stay out," she added. 

She did, however, put her passion to good use in a way that still allowed her to keep relatively private. Marinoni's parents were teachers, and she followed the family tradition, even taking a job in the New York Department of Education. She also helped to institute the Alliance for Quality Education, a foundation that focuses on "working to end the systemic racism and economic oppression in New York's public schools." Clearly, Marinoni gets behind worthy causes and has been a life-long advocate. No wonder Nixon fell in love with her. 

How Christine Marinoni got into advocacy

Christine Marinoni's interest in advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community ramped up after someone she worked with was attacked. Marinoni spoke with City & State in 2017 and explained why she felt so called to act. "In 1995, shortly after I came out, I opened a lesbian coffee shop/bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn," Mainoni began. "A couple years into the coffee shop, one of our bartenders was a victim of a hate crime leaving the premises." In response, she and the community around her organized events and petitioned for stronger police presence.

"Then the Matthew Shepard killing happened and we were also the same folks who had organized the marches in Park Slope, and were kind of the key organizers for some of the work that happened then," Marinoni added, noting how the tragic event only increased their desire for change.

All of Marinoni's ardent lobbying ended up leading to her personal happiness as well. Since same sex marriage didn't become legalized in New York until 2011, as The New York Times noted, Marinoni spoke about how she became even more invested once she fell in love with Cynthia Nixon. "Later, when I had been dating my now-wife for many years, I wanted to be able to marry her," she said. "So she 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." Nothing is a worthier cause than love.

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How Cynthia Nixon met Christine Marinoni

Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni wouldn't have met had it not been for their mutual commitment to advocacy. They connected in 2001, according to Advocate, when Nixon was already a superstar thanks to her role in "Sex and the City." They met through the Alliance for Quality Education, which, as we saw previously, Marinoni helped found.

Nixon put her clout behind the organization dedicated to reinvigorating New York City's public schools with the highest quality education, with a particular emphasis on smaller class sizes. In fact, on the foundation's website, there's a specific section called "Cynthia Nixon & AQE," so clearly she was an influential member of the organization and "served as spokesperson for AQE for 17 years." Nixon herself went to public school in New York and she put her children in the public school system as well, so she's obviously a believer in the system. 

Nixon and Marinoni grew close and in 2003, when Nixon separated from partner Danny Mozes, Marinoni played the part of a supportive friend, per Advocate. Then, sure enough, the pair started dating in 2004. While this wasn't new territory for Marinoni, it was for Nixon, who told Radio Times in 2017, "I had never dated a woman before or even kissed a woman or anything." So it was certainly a brave new world for Nixon but one that brought happiness. Apparently the underlying message for singles out there is if you're looking for a great relationship, get into advocacy work.

Cynthia Nixon talks about her sexuality

"For me, it is a choice," Cynthia Nixon said of her sexuality in a 2012 interview with The New York Times Magazine. "I understand that for many people it's not, but for me it's a choice, and you don't get to define my gayness for me." This statement was met with backlash.

Later that same year, Nixon was asked to explain what she meant when she said "choice" in an interview with the Daily Beast. "Look, I understand for political reasons why some people want to kind of squelch this idea that being gay might be a choice," Nixon explained. "But I don't feel the need to cede the definition of what a gay person is to the bigots. They don't get to define who I am."

Earlier in the interview, Nixon spoke about resisting labels. "I don't pull out the 'bisexual' word because nobody likes the bisexuals. Everybody likes to dump on the bisexuals." This response was also met with some resistance and over the years. Nixon has shifted and began to define herself as "queer" in an act more of resistance than compliance. In an interview with Attitude in 2020, Nixon explained why she chooses to identify as queer. "To say 'queer' means, 'I'm over there, I don't have to go into the nuances of my sexuality with you.'"

Cynthia Nixon felt an 'undeniable' connection

In a 2010 interview with Advocate, Cynthia Nixon jokingly described Christine Marinoni as "a short man with boobs" before talking about sexuality and their connection. "I feel like it was her," Nixon began. "It wasn't something in me that was waiting to come out. It was like, This person is undeniable. How can I let this person walk by?" While speaking of traditional expectations of lesbian couples, Nixon joked in the interview that her eldest child once said that Marinoni "would be butch and I would be femme...but really once you get to know us it's really the opposite."

The experience of falling for Marinoni was a surprise for Nixon but she also stressed to Attitude in an interview that she remained unchanged at the core of who she was. "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," Nixon explained of the happiness and stability of her marriage. That sounds like a solid foundation. 

How Cynthia Nixon's mom helped their relationship grow

While the situation was new for Cynthia Nixon, the relationship was stressful for Christine Marinoni. Since Nixon had never dated a woman, Marinoni was worried that Nixon would eventually pull away. "Christine kept waiting for the other shoe to drop," Nixon began in an interview with Radio Times, "for me to panic about what this would mean — to my career or to myself — as if somehow I just hadn't noticed that she was a woman." The big change came thanks to Nixon's mom and the significance of introducing Marinoni to her. "[S]he met my mother and that was when she stopped worrying about it," Nixon said.

Nixon's mother, Anne Knoll Nixon, was a hugely important person in her life. As The New York Times put it, Nixon's mom was the reason she became the success she is: "The way Nixon carries herself, with easy confidence and a lack of drama, seems to derive from having been the glowing center of the world for a mother who managed to do no harm."

Nixon spoke to Radio Times about her mother, but added that the loss of her mother, who died in 2014, wasn't a total shock. "My connection to my mother was so complete, and she had a really good life and lived to be a good age." 

How Cynthia Nixon's kids reacted to her new relationship

Cynthia Nixon has two children from her previous relationship with Danny Mozes: her transgender son, Samuel Joseph Mozes, who goes by Seph, and Charles Ezekiel Mozes. When Nixon began dating Christine Marinoni, she said that her son Charles got a lot of support at school as he adjusted to his mom's new relationship.

"His teachers were just so great about it," Nixon told Advocate, "because they were the first people that started referring to 'Charlie's moms,' which is so lovely, and we really hadn't done that yet." Nixon said the positive experience rubbed off on her son. "So Charlie came home one day and he said [to Marinoni], 'You're my mommy too!'" Nixon explained. 

Marinoni opted to stay at home and care for their children, according to The New York Times, which meant that she had to take some time away from her career and her work as an advocate. This gave Nixon the chance to fully pursue her unstoppable acting career and eventually, her political run (more on that later). Clearly, Nixon's children were as happy with Marinoni as Nixon was.

They announced their engagement at an equality rally

At long last, Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni announced their engagement in May 2009. The proposal itself was private, but Nixon announced the happy news in New York City at the Love, Peace and Marriage Equality rally, according to Access Hollywood, noting that she and Marinoni got engaged in April of that same year. The setting was certainly the appropriate venue to announce their big news, as New York had still not legalized same-sex marriage. Nixon showed off her engagement ring from Marinoni and said, "It's time already," according to New York's Daily News (via People). It certainly was time, and New York finally passed the Marriage Equality Act, effective on June 24, 2011, per Abrams Law.

Well into their engagement, in 2012, Nixon spoke with the Daily Beast about what they planned for their wedding. "Christine and I are getting married by Gene Robinson, the gay Episcopal bishop from New Hampshire. We're very thrilled about it," Nixon said.

In a 2008 Access Hollywood interview, Nixon opened up about their marriage plans. "I think we would definitely [get married] if it became legal in New York," Nixon said. "I don't really want to get married to get married pretend. I think we'd like to do it in a real, actual, legal way that the state would recognize." Thankfully, this was finally made possible for Nixon and Marinoni and so many other couples.

Christine Marinoni kept the pregnancy news under wraps

In addition to Cynthia Nixon's two children, she and Christine Marinoni welcomed a child together. Thanks to a sperm donation from a friend, according to Radio Times, Marinoni gave birth to Max in 2011.

Since Marinoni prefers to keep out of the spotlight, she also worked hard to keep her pregnancy private. She did so thanks to camouflaging clothing and "a bulky coat," per The New York Times. In fact, she was so successful at this that she said even their neighbors were shocked. "They were like, 'Where did the baby come from?'" she told the Times.

The road to pregnancy wasn't an easy one for Marinoni, though. She suffered several miscarriages before Max's birth. But despite this incredible desire to have a child, Marinoni told the Times that she never thought she'd have the chance to get married and have children. "I always just pictured myself like a little worker bee my entire life," Marinoni said. "But it's like this amazing gift." It was Marinoni who opted to stay home and take care of their three children early in her relationship with Nixon. In fact, Nixon joked in an interview with Advocate that it's Marinoni who prefers the more domestic duties. "Christine is the clothes shopper. I hate it," she said.

Cynthia Nixon's 'little act of rebellion'

Less than a year after the Marriage Equality Act came into effect in New York, Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni married on May 27, 2012 in New York City. Typical of the privacy they opted for continuously throughout their relationship, they kept much of the wedding details under wraps. They did, however, release one wedding photo where they stood together on a rooftop overlooking New York City, per People. Nixon opted for a green Carolina Herrera gown while Marinoni wore a dark suit with a green tie. Nixon "carried a bouquet of white peonies," according to the outlet.

Because they got engaged before same sex marriages were legal in their home state, Nixon and Marinoni had a long engagement, something Nixon addressed in 2010, according to a later publication by People. "I'm enjoying being engaged very much," the "Sex and the City" star said. "I don't mind a long engagement, which this one is surely turning out to be."

Nixon spoke about marrying Marinoni for years and explained why she chose marriage this time instead of marrying her long-term partner, Danny Mozes. "It's something my girlfriend is interested in and it was not something my boyfriend ever was," Nixon told the Mirror. "I think that to get married to her would be a little act of rebellion. It's like if you've never had the vote and then you get it you're going to run out there and vote," Nixon added. Rebels with a cause.

Christine Marinoni didn't want to use the word 'wife'

Marriage was something Christine Marinoni wanted, whereas it was something that Cynthia Nixon had to warm up to. "I always avoided marriage in the past and was always very wary of it," the "Sex and the City" star said in the  Mirror in 2008. "I felt like it was potentially a trap. People sometimes want the party, the gifts and the public celebration of this big love — they're excited about that rather than about the lifetime commitment. So I always steered clear of it." Obviously, Nixon changed her mind.

While Nixon was not on board with marriage for years, it was actually Marinoni who had a tough time with traditional labels once they wed. In an interview in 2017 with Radio Times, Nixon was asked, "Do you find it easy calling Christine your wife?" Nixon's answer was easy: "Yes!" 

But Nixon described Marinoni's slow adjustment to the term. "She protested a lot at the beginning and wanted a more gender-neutral term, like 'my spouse'. I said, 'You think I'm doing that, you're crazy!' Marriage was never a goal of mine," Nixon went on. "I was with my boyfriend for 15 years and we never got married. But it seemed like Christine and I did fight really hard for it and we had a lovely wedding [in 2012]. Why wouldn't I have done it?" So it looks like both parties had to get used to different aspects of married life.

They aren't done fighting for rights

Just because New York State passed the Marriage Equality Act, this doesn't mean that Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni are finished fighting. In fact, after same sex marriages were legalized, Nixon said there was more of an imperative than ever to get behind the LGBTQ+ community.

Nixon spoke about how right-wing policies try to separate queer couples but she also said that within the community, people need to continue acting. "But [after same-sex marriage was legalized] 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,'" Nixon told Attitude in 2020.

In fact, ever since Nixon and Marinoni got together, gay rights have been a consistent topic in interviews, especially for Nixon since she's the celebrity in the relationship. "I don't think it hurts to remind conservative people that a real American value—and a real conservative value—is live-and-let-live," Nixon told the Daily Beast. "I do think that when the people who are against gay rights portray themselves as the victim, it is very frustrating—particularly when we've had friends who have been horribly victimized for being gay." They're not done with their fight.

How they rallied for Cynthia Nixon's campaign

Cynthia Nixon famously ran against Andrew Cuomo for governor of New York in 2018 and lost. Despite this disappointment, Nixon doesn't look back on her political efforts with dismay. "I ran for office against Andrew Cuomo because I didn't think he should be our governor, and nobody else would run or could run, because if you were in politics [he was a] notoriously vindictive man. You couldn't run against him in politics... without having your career ended," she told People in 2021.

Christine Marinoni had to make some changes to her own life to support her wife in Nixon's run for the primaries. Marinoni had been working for the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, in his administration, according to City & State, as a senior advisor in the Department of Education and community partnership. However, prior to Nixon's campaign, Marinoni resigned from her position to help her wife and the campaign. Marinoni was, clearly, Nixon's greatest ally in the campaign and as The New York Times reports, after her wife's debate against Cuomo, Marinoni went to reporters and said, "She kicked a**! Clearly won. Clearly won."

It was a monumental move for the couple as well because had Nixon won, it would have marked the first time that New York State had a queer first lady. While this didn't happen, it did mark another milestone in Nixon and Marinoni's relationship: that they have each other's backs no matter what. There's a lot of love there.