Spring 2009 Fellow
Tracy Baim is the publisher and managing editor of Chicago’s largest chain of gay and lesbian publications, Windy City Media Group (WCMG). The company reaches 50,000 readers with its weekly newspaper Windy City Times, Nightspots, and other LGBT media. Baim is founding co-chair of the Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Baim is recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business 40-Under-40 leaders, received the 2005 Studs Terkel Award, and was inducted into Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1994. Recently, Baim served as vice co-chair of Gay Games VII; she also co-produced the event DVD. In 2008, she edited the first history book of Chicago’s gay community, Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City’s Gay Community(Surrey Books), a companion book to the WTTW film Out and Proud in Chicago. She also launched www.ChicagoGayHistory.org, a huge oral history site that has already included more than 260 people in video interviews. She is also the author of the novel, The Half Life of Sgt. Jen Hunter, and the book Where the World Meets: Gay Games VII.
Baim is the executive producer for the film, Hannah Free, a film based on the award-winning stage play by Claudia Allen, and starring Sharon Gless. It debuted on screens in Summer 2009. Hannah Free is about an independent spirit and the woman she calls home. It is about who defines a family, especially at the end of our lives. Baim believes that film is one way that society’s views can be changed about people and subjects, whether based on sexual orientation, gender, or race. Hannah Free was released in summer of 2010. The film continues to be screened for non-profit organizations, including: McHenry County PFLAG which screened the film in early September.
For additional information visit www.windycitymediagroup.com or www.hannahfree.com.
In October of 2010, Baim released a book entitled Obama and the Gays: a Political Marriage. She held book signings at Women & Children First and the Chicago Public Library. Baim has also been invited to speak to journalism majors by the Journalism department of Columbia College Chicago. She has also recently spoken at National Louis University, Loyola University, Elmhurst College, Western Illinois University, Lane Tech high School and the University of Arizona in Tucson. She was among a national group of LGBT bloggers, editors and journalists attending a special summit in San Francisco in March 2011.
Her 2011 books include Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow and Jim Flint: The Boy from Peoria.
In 2012, she executive produced the feature film Scrooge & Marley, a gay retelling of the Dickens' classic. See http://www.scroogeandmarleymovie.com/Scrooge_%26_Marley/HOME.html .
Her 2012 book Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America is a finalist for the 2013 Lambda Literary Awards in the LGBT Studies category.