It wasn’t until later in the afternoon that I learned what we all know now, that he has come out, that he is a gay American. By the way, I want to announce my truth today, ladies and gentlemen, that is I am a football-fan American. We’re going to have these different kinds of Americans, I’m a football-fan American, Jim McGreevey came out and says he’s a gay American. And there are some today who are claiming that he’s a hero, the media, particularly in the northeast. In fact, last night on WNBC Channel 4 in New York, some local politician said that he’s the Jackie Robinson of gay politics, and there’s another piece here in the LA Times — not the LA Times, I forgot, so many things here, but referring to him as the Rosa Parks of gay politics. But when I saw what this was all about, I’ll share something with you. A year ago, I would have been poking fun, I would have been laughing along with everybody else about this, about the personal aspects, the personal impact. I would have been in here and I would have been trying to come up with the funniest things I could have thought to get in on the obvious fun of this. But that would have been a year ago.
Today, I have a different perspective on McGreevey. And as I was telling Mr. Snerdley early this morning, when I saw what actually happened here and I saw without listening. I didn’t hear it at first, but I watched some of the press conference and we’ve got audio sound bites from it with his wife standing next to him, and knowing he’s got two little girls, one of them is one year old. The first emotion I felt was sympathy. I felt sorry for the guy. Because he’s been living a lie.
He’s not been who Jim McGreevey really is. He’s been living two lives and he’s been lying about both sides. Well, I don’t know lying about both sides, but he’s been lying to somebody about who he is, and it’s stressful. It’s probably oriented in trying to make as many people happy as he could. That was probably his objective, and instead of doing that, he was denying who he really is to a lot of people in his life, and to a lot of people who voted for him. And whatever political intrigue is involved here, the thing I know is that Jim McGreevey personally as a human being has a real tough road to hoe. I don’t care how he comes across on television. I’m sure that last night was very liberating for him. I mean, this is his first step, if you will, to being who he is and being open and honest with himself about who he is. It’s no accident, ladies and gentlemen, that he used the word ‘truth’ in describing something, ‘My truth is I’m a gay American.’ He’s been denying who he is his. Well, I don’t know for how long, but for much of his life, and it’s difficult, it is hard, it is debilitating, it’s false, it’s phony, and it’s unhealthy.
Whoever you are, you have to be who you are. And a lot of people are not able to be who they really are because they’re consumed with trying to make other people happy or trying to make other people avoid pain so they take all of that on themselves. McGreevey was no doubt doing this, and there was something that was a catalyst for this. Whether it was his own decision to do this or whether it was external forces, which I happen to think that gets into the political intrigue, the simple fact of the matter is that something happened here to force him to face his reality, and he’s doing it. Last night, I know his wife was standing side by side and I know his ex-wife, both of his wives are as supportive as they can be, publicly, but regardless just as a human being and as a man, this is devastating for Jim McGreevey. He may think at the moment that his career has got salvageable aspects to it, and it may. I’m not saying it doesn’t. It probably does. But at this moment I don’t care what public face he’s putting on, he’s devastated right now, and I can’t help but just feel empathy and actual sympathy for him for all of this because it’s not an easy thing to do. It’s not an easy way to have lived, and it’s a blessing to him that this has happened. For himself personally, for his life, for his future, this is a blessing that this has happened. There are going to be a lot of people that are going to try to join him and use him for their own gain. There will be a lot of people that will go against him to try to use him for their own gain, but in the middle of all that is Jim McGreevey who’s got to live his life and try to find some sort of happiness and contentment in it and it is not going to be easy no matter what public face he puts forward.
So I’m just honest with you here. This would not have been my take a year ago and I’m glad that it is my take today, especially when you look at his two little girls. I mean, you cannot help but feel sorry for them as well, or have feelings for them. The youngest one is a one year old, and this is something that they’re going to have to now deal with because of his actions, and don’t think that’s not weighing on him, either. You know, for all of the political ramifications, for all of his career, the personal life aspects of this cannot be easy, but he’s, for whatever reason, here taking the first step toward setting it all straight. And I want to be one to wish him well in his personal quest here to make this a positive and liberating an event as it can be. We’ll take a quick break and come back and get into all the other political intrigue surrounding this right after this.