Jim McGreevey: Here, Queer, Used to It, and Protesting

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McGreevey's farewell address as governor, in 2004.Photo: Getty Images


Is Gay American Jim McGreevey ready to become a gay activist, too? It seems possible after his appearance at a gathering last night at the city's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center in the West Village. Irascible author-activist Larry Kramer, 71, was speaking on the twentieth anniversary of his speech launching ACT UP, the way-gay, street-theatery activist group that goaded major improvements in AIDS policies before lapsing into its current, barely-there incarnation. With predictable dudgeon, Kramer assailed Hillary Clinton, saying that, when it came to payback for her gay supporters, she "is cockteasing us, just like her husband did." He then called for "a new gay army with gay leaders, fighting under a gay flag."

The mostly middle-aged crowd was on fire, resolving to recharge ACT UP by massing this Thursday at noon at the Times Square military recruitment center to protest top Joint Chiefs chair General Peter Pace's remark Monday that homosexuality was immoral. A suited-up McGreevey then surprised the room by popping from obscurity in the back, asking Kramer to name two specific gay policy goals. Kramer demurred but suggested that McGreevey become the movement's new face. "You must know where the bodies are buried," he shouted across the room. "Who else is gay over there [in New Jersey], Governor?"

Later, McGreevey told us that he'd join the Thursday protest. But would he make posters for it? "My daughter's better at that than I am," he laughed, adding that he was too busy trying to set up a China campus of Jersey's Kean University to become a full-time activist. "But Larry Kramer is a great hero of mine," he said. "We had dinner together at Gay Men's Health Crisis last night." And while we had the guv's attention, we had to ask: Did he really write that spectacularly cringe-inducing ("boastful, passionate, whispering, masculine kind of love") line himself? Yep, he told us. But he wouldn't elaborate on the whisperingly boastful interlude. "The book is behind me," he said. "I'm blessed to have a great new partner." Spoken like a dutiful suburban husband. —Tim Murphy