GAY LEADERS — Chicago mayor Richard Daley says of his new chief of education “I have utmost faith in him. I can go to sleep at night, just close my eyes. I don’t have to worry about Ron Huberman”, which is about as strong an endorsement as you can get in the embattled world of Chicago politics. Huberman is now the chief executive officer of the nation’s third-largest school system– and he just happens to be gay. Furthermore, Huberman came out while in high school, and although he’s quiet on whether he supports proposals for an LGBT-specific school in the Chicago area, his appointment is great news to LGBT and questioning youth in the Windy City.
“At 15, while attending Lyons Township High School, Huberman made a declaration that, at first, was difficult for his parents to accept: He’s gay.
“It’s always difficult for kids. It was difficult for my parents at first. But they’ve become very accepting and very supportive,” said Huberman, who lives with a partner who’s a friend from college. They reconnected four years ago.
“It has given me a great sensitivity for the need to be inclusive. If I didn’t grow up being part of a group that was viewed differently, I may not have that sensitivity. It makes me in tune to individuals, groups and others who are not fitting in and may need extra support.”
While he has an unusual perspective on the issue, Huberman refused to say where he stands on the stalled proposal for a gay high school.
To parents who might be uncomfortable with a gay CEO running the public schools, he said, “There are always those who will look to divide us. I’m focused on what unites us. What I believe unites every Chicagoan is the need to have a world-class educational system for our kids.”