David Wain Coon, Ed.D.
Q. What does pride mean to you?
A. Over the years, having “pride” in being gay has had different meanings and significance for me depending on where I was at in my life at the time. When I first became a CEO in the California Community Colleges system 17 years ago, there were only two to three of us who were openly gay. While I didn’t fully realize the impact that may have had at the time, I was proud to be a positive role model for LGBTQ+ students. Fast forward, there are now many more openly gay CEOs, trustees, and administrators. I hope in some way my journey as an out CEO made a difference in the journey of those who are now out and proud in our system. I’m thrilled to have played a role in recently forming the LGBTQ+ Caucus within the Community College League of California (CCLC).
Q. What is your call to action around LGBTQ+ solidarity?
A. Step out, step up, lean in, be heard, and reach out to those who may need the necessary support to do the same.