Encore Performance: Barney Frank & Jim Ready


By Out.com Editors

Now that Barney Frank has relinquished his long-held seat in Congress, his second career as a retired house husband, to Jim Ready, begins. If only the two could learn to sit still.

Photography by Fotique

Barney: When I met Jim, I thought he was attractive. I mean, I met him: He was attractive. We used to get together and talk and get to know one another, and the more I got to know him, the more I fell in love with him. What stopped me was that he had a partner who was dying, Robert Palmer, and was his caregiver. Actually, I had known Robert since before he even knew Jim; he was a bit older than me and worked in Massachusetts. We had talked, and he was the one who convinced Jim to come to the event [where we met]; he said that he had told Jim he was dying and that he thought he should meet somebody else. I thought I had met a really good guy, but we weren’t really free to do anything until January of 2007.

We started dating fairly seriously just as I became chairman of the House Financial Services Committee -- and right in the middle of the financial crisis. He used to say I was seeing more flight attendants than him. But I was just occupied with the financial crisis. Jim is a very well-informed guy who has never been deeply involved in politics, and he found himself in the middle of all of this. It would follow me home during those first years of the crisis. Most Friday afternoons I would be up in Ogunquit, Maine, at Jim’s for the weekend, and I would get a call from the Secretary of the Treasury telling me about another bank that had failed or Speaker Pelosi would have some question.

Retirement is going to make things better. We will be able to spend time together. I’m better at doing nothing than he is; he’s always around the house doing work. But that’s all right -- love is all about finding a person who you care about even more than yourself. For Jim, hell would be an endless series of New York City cabs. We went down to meet Tim Geithner, who was then president of the Federal Reserve of New York, and Jim was so carsick that while I was meeting with Geithner, he was napping on Geithner’s couch.