Tracy Baim is the publisher and managing editor of Chicago’s largest chain of gay and lesbian publications. Windy City Media Group (WCMG) reaches 50,000 readers with its weekly newspaper Windy City Times (founded 1985) and Nightspots. WCMG also produces Chicago’s oldest gay radio program, Windy City Queercast and a video channel, QueerTVNetwork.com.
Baim is the author of: Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage (see http://www.obamaandthegays.com); The Half Life of Sgt. Jen Hunter; and Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow (with Owen Keehnen). Her newest book, Jim Flint: The Boy From Peoria, also co-written with Keehnen, is now available.
In May 2011, Baim marked her 27th anniversary in Chicago LGBT media, having started at GayLife newspaper in 1984. She is the co-founder of Windy City Times newspaper, which started in 1985.
Baim is founding co-chair of the Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, was recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business 40-Under-40 leaders, received the 2005 Studs Terkel Award, and is an inductee to Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Among her many awards are the 2009 Leppen Award from About Face Theatre.
In 2008, Baim 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, 224 pages), a companion book to the WTTW film Out and Proud in Chicago. She also launched www.ChicagoGayHistory.org in 2008, a large oral history site that has already included more than 270 people in video interviews. Her book Half Life was adapted for stage in 2005..
Baim executive produced a film, Hannah Free (see http://www.hannahfree.com), based on the award-winning stage play by Claudia Allen, starring Sharon Gless and on screens Summer 2009. Its World Premiere was in San Francisco June 28, 2009 at the Castro Theatre as the closing night film for the Frameline film festival. The film won dozens of awards and played at festivals around the world.
Baim is also an Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, Columbia College Chicago Spring 2009 Fellow. She was the 2010 Chicago History Museum LGBT fellow.
In 2006, Baim served as vice co-chair; Fundraising Committee co-chair and Government Relations Committee co-chair of Gay Games VII; she also co-produced the event DVD and wrote the companion book, Gay Games VII: Where the World Meets.