This is what PRIDE looks like!
As a lesbian academic administrator, I am so proud of these LGBT College and University Presidents that I could almost cry. Not only did they meet for the first time in history, but they did so as OUT LGBT leaders in higher education. They even released a picture (above).
Inside Higher Ed has a fantastic article about the meeting, in which the leaders of the new group describe its purpose:
...the group will focus on leadership development for those who are gay presidents or who aspire to be, professional development for gay people at all levels of academe, and on education and advocacy to promote equity and diversity.
We need this kind of active recruitment, support, and visibility for LGBT administrators in higher education. There are many issues for LGBT people in higher education: the high rates of LGBT student attrition; hostility on campus towards LGBT students, faculty, and staff; lack of comfort among colleges hiring LGBT administrators; the limited number of campuses with the full range of LGBT-supportive policies; and continuing negativity towards LGBT-related scholarship in many disciplines. There is work to do, and this kind of group can help raise awareness regarding these issues.
So, three cheers to the brave LGBT administrators who attended this initial meeting of the Queer Presidents Club! I plan to keep an eye on their development and progress. Who knows, perhaps one day I can join their ranks!