Former New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey visited the Borders bookstore across from City Hall Sept. 23 to sign copies of his new book, “The Confession.”
During an impressive political career, McGreevey harbored away a secret that would shake up his seemingly perfect life like a snow globe, chock full of scandal and harsh scrutiny.
The now openly-gay McGreevey wrote about everything from his childhood to his controversial and very public declaration,
“My truth is that I am a gay American.” Also included in the book is his affair with his homeland security adviser, Golan Cipel, which caused what some might call his disgraceful resignation from office in 2004.
Hailing from Plainfield, N.J., where he and his life partner Mark O’Donnell now reside,
McGreevey visited Philadelphia with high spirits and a smile for all the fans that waited in a line to get their books signed.
The crowd was comprised more than 80 people who waited in hopes of meeting, greeting or perhaps even hearing something suggestive of an opening speech. However, much to the chagrin of those who came out, McGreevey was only there to sign books. But he was kindly willing to talk to his fans individually.
While waiting in line, gay and straight fans alike discussed the book and its impact on society’s perception of homosexuals in the office.
“I think that any time you have a public
figure, anybody, but specifically a public figure coming out nationally in politics, I would say it reaffirms people’s positions on homosexuality,” said Jeremy Cerutti, one of the many fans in line. “If you’re pro-gay rights, then this is going to have sort of a reinforcing effect and you’re going to see them probably look at the good things his coming out has done,” continued Cerutti. “And if you are anti-gay rights, then this will just reinforce your stance that homosexuality is wrong, that it’s a choice, and that it has no place in the political field,” As the crowd dwindled down and the flashing of cameras stopped, McGreevey was still talking to every last person and answering all of the questions posed.
McGreevey himself said he is still planning
to make a difference, even if he’s not behind a prestigious desk.
“I plan on doing lots of non-profit work now,” McGreevey said. “I’m interested in working with children in poverty … [and] giving back to the community.”
Jessica Bautista can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.