Here is the full
text of New Jersey governor James McGreevey's coming-out
speech, delivered August 12:
"Good afternoon. Throughout my life I have grappled
with my own identity, who I am. As a young child, I often
felt ambivalent about myself, in fact, confused.
"By virtue of my traditions, and my community, I
worked hard to ensure that I was accepted as part of the
traditional family of America. I married my first wife,
Carrie, out of respect and love. And together, we have a
wonderful, extraordinary daughter. Carrie then chose to
return to British Columbia.
"I then had the blessing of marrying Dina, whose love
and joy for life has been an incredible source of strength
for me. And together, we have the most beautiful daughter.
"Yet, from my early days in school, until the present
day, I acknowledged some feelings, a certain sense that
separated me from others. But because of my resolve, and
also thinking that I was doing the right thing, I forced
what I thought was an acceptable reality onto myself, a
reality which is layered and layered with all the, quote,
good things, and all the, quote, right things of typical
adolescent and adult behavior.
"Yet, at my most reflective, maybe even spiritual
level, there were points in my life when I began to question
what an acceptable reality really meant for me. Were there
realities from which I was running? Which master was I
trying to serve?
"I do not believe that God tortures any person simply
for its own sake. I believe that God enables all things to
work for the greater good. And this, the 47th year of my
life, is arguably too late to have this discussion. But it
is here, and it is now.
"At a point in every person's life, one has to look
deeply into the mirror of one's soul and decide one's unique
truth in the world, not as we may want to see it or hope to
see it, but as it is.
"And so my truth is that I am a gay American. And I
am blessed to live in the greatest nation with the tradition
of civil liberties, the greatest tradition of civil
liberties in the world, in a country which provides so much
to its people.
"Yet because of the pain and suffering and anguish
that I have caused to my beloved family, my parents, my
wife, my friends, I would almost rather have this moment
pass. For this is an intensely personal decision, and not
one typically for the public domain.
"Yet it cannot and should not pass. I am also here
today because, shamefully, I engaged in an adult consensual
affair with another man, which violates my bonds of
matrimony. It was wrong. It was foolish. It was inexcusable.
And for this, I ask the forgiveness and the grace of my
wife. She has been extraordinary throughout this ordeal, and
I am blessed by virtue of her love and strength.
"I realize the fact of this affair and my own
sexuality, if kept secret, leaves me and, most importantly,
the governor's office vulnerable to rumors, false
allegations, and threats of disclosure. So I am removing
these threats by telling you directly about my sexuality.
"Let me be clear: I accept total and full
responsibility for my actions. However, I'm required to do
now, to do what is right to correct the consequences of my
actions and to be truthful to my loved ones, to my friends
and my family and also to myself.
"It makes little difference that as governor I am
gay. In fact, having the ability to truthfully set forth my
identity might have enabled me to be more forthright in
fulfilling and discharging my constitutional obligations.
"Given the circumstances surrounding the affair and
its likely impact upon my family and my ability to govern, I
have decided the right course of action is to resign. To
facilitate a responsible transition, my resignation will be
effective on November 15 of this year."