Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Tracy Baim  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction History Non-Fiction

Born: 1963 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Tracy Baim on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Baim was born and raised in Chicago. She attended Chicago public schools (Brennaman, Walt Disney and Lane Technical). After college she started work at Chicago's GayLife newspaper in 1984, and co-founded ''Windy City Times'' newspaper in 1985. She is the publisher of ''Windy City Times'', and live on the South Side of Chicago. and has written several books, including a photo book about the Gay Games, held in Chicago 2006; a military lesbian fiction set in Chicago; a history of LGBT Chicago; a biography of Barack Obama based from his Chicago roots; and a biography of Chicagoan Chuck Renslow.

Biographical and Professional Information

Tracy Baim is publisher and executive editor at Windy City Media Group, which produces ''Windy City Times'', ''Nightspots'', and other gay media in Chicago. She co-founded ''Windy City Times'' in 1985 and Outlines newspaper in 1987. She has won numerous gay community and journalism honors, including the ''Community Media Workshop's Studs Terkel Award'' in 2005. She started in Chicago gay journalism in 1984 at ''GayLife'' newspaper, one month after graduating with a news-editorial degree from Drake University.Baim is the author of ''Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage'' (2010, Prairie Avenue Productions). She is also the co-author and editor of ''Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City’s Gay Community'' (2008, Agate), the first comprehensive book on Chicago’s gay history; and author of ''Where the World Meets'', a book about Gay Games VII in Chicago (2007,—Baim served as co-vice chair of the Gay Games board). Her most recent books include a novel, ''The Half Life of Sgt. Jen Hunter'', about lesbians in the military prior to Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and the biography ''Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow''.Baim was executive producer of the lesbian feature film ''Hannah Free'', starring Sharon Gles (2008, Ripe Fruit Films). She was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1994 and was named a Crain's Chicago Business 40 Under 40 leader in 1995.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community
ISBN: 1572841001

Agate Surrey. 2008

Out and Proud in Chicago takes readers through the long and rich history of the city's LGBT community. Lavishly illustrated with color and black-and white-photographs, the book draws on a wealth of scholarly, historical, and journalistic sources. Individual sections cover the early days of the 1800s to World War II, the challenging community-building years from World War II to the 1960s, the era of gay liberation and AIDS from the 1970s to the 1990s, and on to the city's vital, post-liberation present.

Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage
ISBN: 1453801715

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2010

An in-depth look at the career of President Barack Obama and his views about gay-related issues, starting when he ran for Illinois senate in 1996 and ending mid-way through his term as president. Written by Tracy Baim, publisher of Windy City Times, the book also includes articles and essays by some of the most respected journalists, bloggers and activists in gay media. This book, with 570 pages and 140 images/photos, has extensive coverage, in words and images, of Obama's record on gay and AIDS issues, including detailed quotes from his speeches, photos at gay events, and answers to surveys early in his career. Essayists and writers in the book include Lisa Keen, Kerry Eleveld, Michelangelo Signorile, Phill Wilson, Chuck Colbert, Pam Spaulding, Wayne Besen, and many more.

The Half Life of Sgt. Jen Hunter
ISBN: 1456461923

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2010

In the early 1990s, prior to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the U.S. military discharged gay and lesbian servicemembers under a longstanding ban. During the first Gulf War, many of those soldiers were kept in under a “stop loss” order, only to be discharged upon their return home. Now that DADT has been struck down, this novel is perfectly timed to give a closer look at the lives of people impacted by any policies or laws that ask them to compromise who they are. In The Half Life of Sgt. Jen Hunter, long-time lesbian journalist Tracy Baim takes a fictional look at this era in our nation’s history, when gays and lesbians served proudly, but quietly, risking their lives for a country that disrespected and attacked who they were. What would happen if an out lesbian journalist met a closeted military spokeswoman? Would sparks fly? Would the sergeant risk her career for love? Would the journalist compromise her ideals for a chance at happiness? What about the servicemembers on the ground in Iraq? They faced bullets and dangerous chemicals, and some came back wounded and faced the loss of their career. See what happens in this fast-paced tale of war, pride, sacrifice, and love. This story was adapted for the Chicago stage as Half Life, in 2004.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)