(Photo: Ron Huberman. The reason a neighborhood of other proud gay men woke up and sighed this morning, “So that really was you at Sidetrack.” Credit: alfiemartin.)
UPDATE 7/25/09: Welcome to my first-time visitors arriving here via search. This is among the most popular pages here on CHICAGO CARLESS. Find more resources at the end of this post…
As all of Boystown–and all of Chicago media, for that matter–already knows quite well, former Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Ron Huberman is a proud gay man. (It wasn’t exactly a secret in that gay-friendly Chicago North Side neighborhood considering how many times the phrase has been uttered, “Did you see Ron at Sidetrack last night?”)
Today, however, for the first time, that fact was reported in citywide media. In an interview with Huberman appearing in today’s Chicago Sun-Times, City Hall reporter Fran Spielman talks with Huberman about his sexuality and the unique perspective it gives him regarding matters of inclusion and fairness. From the article:
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.”
The article also addresses the potential for controversy surrounding a gay Chicago Public Schools CEO, as Huberman was just named by Chicago Mayor Daley after the mayor yanked him away from the Chicago Transit Authority presidency, and whether–or not–Huberman supports the idea for a gay city high school.
Of course, as any media strategist will tell you, any major article like this would only appear in a Saturday paper for one reason and one reason only: an attempt to soft-shoe or bury a story. My take is the Daley administration knew this information needed to get out there ASAP to help stave off that potential controversy but they didn’t exactly want a lot of people to notice.
Of course, if Huberman had come out publicly a long time ago, this wouldn’t be an issue right now. Go read and decide for yourself.
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Michael Thaddeus Doyle
I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.