Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



Chicago Sky hosts 'Unapologetically You' Pride virtual panel
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

This article shared 3125 times since Thu Jul 2, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

In honor of Pride month, the Chicago Sky held a virtual panel "Being Unapologetically You" June 23 focused on success stories from three local LGBTQ leaders.

E3 Radio Founder and CEO Anna DeShawn moderated the eent. Panelists included Chicago Reader Publisher and Windy City Times co-founder Tracy Baim, Chicago Sky Center Stefanie Dolson and LGBT Chamber of Commerce ( LGBTCC ) Director Jerome' Holston.

When DeShawn asked why everyone said yes to this panel the consensus was that it was a no-brainer to talk about being their authentic selves within the LGBTQ community, especially during Pride month.

Baim added that anytime she can help elevate sports as a catalyst for positive change she will participate. She said because of Title IX becoming law she was able to play various sports since she was a child, adding that was transformative for her.

DeShawn asked Dolson if things have changed for the better regarding out LGBTQ players in the WNBA. Dolson responded that, for her, the league and players have always been accepting in the seven years she has been playing professional basketball.

In terms of the cost of living authentically as a Black gay man, Holston said that prior to working at the LGBTCC, he did fundraising work on behalf of churches—a time when he was only out to a few people there. He added that the work culture did not lend itself to connectivity between people, which is why he did not come out to everyone there. Holston added that the disconnected work environment that impeded his ability to show up fully and express himself directly impacted his chances at a promotion despite the fact that he had raised a lot of money.

DeShawn asked Baim about being out since the beginning of her career in the mid-1980s and if that has impacted her in a negative way. Baim said yes, but not in terms of finding a job right out of college.

"I prevented it on the front end," said Baim.

Baim said her mother, who was a journalist at the Chicago Defender, told her about the publication Gay Life when she returned to Chicago after graduating from Drake University, and she started working there almost immediately. She added that her stepfather, who worked at the Chicago Tribune, told her at the time she could not be an out lesbian and work for that paper.

This reality was the catalyst for Baim to create her own career as an independent journalist and business owner for the past 36 years. She credited her parents for being so supportive at a time when most LGBTQ people were being ostracized from their families.

Dolson spoke about how easy it was for her to come out to her family and friends. She said her mother was supportive right away and her father gave her a high-five and immediately wanted to see a picture of her girlfriend. Dolson said that the fans have also embraced her and the other out LGBTQ players across the WNBA because of the inclusive environment the league has created. She added that other sports leagues can learn from what the WNBA has done for its out LGBTQ players.

DeShawn asked about this year's Pride Month in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the #BlackLivesMatter protests, adding that it has been hard for her to feel celebratory.

Holston said that other than some of the marketing he has seen, it does not feel like Pride Month because of the lack of in-person events and the loss of jobs and, especially, loved ones due to the coronavirus.

Baim added that this is a reckoning for everyone, including the LGBTQ community, of the racism she said pervades every corner of U.S. society. She pointed to the recent Spyner's Pub protest—spurred because of the lesbian owner's racist Facebook posts—as an example of the racism within Chicago's LGBTQ community. Baim said she is grateful for the activists out on the street and that Pride has taken a backseat because "we need a new normal."

Dolson echoed what Holston and Baim said regarding her feelings about Pride Month.

As for what gives them hope right now, Dolson said it is the little wins, including the young girls who reach out to her on social media to say she has inspired them. She added that her whole family, including herself, recovering from COVID-19 has also bolstered her spirits.

Baim said that despite the fact that The Reader and this publication lost 90 percent of its advertising due to the COVID-19 shutdowns, no one was laid off or furloughed and every employee got Juneteenth off as a paid holiday.

Bringing more good news, Holston said that none of the LGBTCC member businesses have had to shut down permanently despite the current challenges, adding that this development bodes well for the future.

A Q&A session followed.

This article shared 3125 times since Thu Jul 2, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Chicago Red Starslose three to free agency
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, Ill. (Dec.1, 2022) - Midfielders Danielle Colaprico and Morgan Gautrat as well as forward Rachel Hill have informed the Chicago Red Stars that they do not plan to re-sign with the club. The three became ...

Gay News

Bulls, Blackhawks lose; Lightfoot-Fire FC link
The Chicago Bulls (9-12) fell to the Phoenix Suns (15-6) 132-113 in Arizona on Nov. 30, dropping the Bulls to 12th in the Eastern Conference. Phoenix now leads the Western Conference. Devin Booker scored 51 for ...

Gay News

Chicago Sky announces 2023 schedule
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — The Chicago Sky announced its schedule for the 2023 season, the WNBA announced on Wednesday. It marks the 27th season for the WNBA and the 18th for the Chicago Sky franchise. The WNBA ...

Gay News

Chicago Bulls beat Jazz; Abreu leaves White Sox
In Salt Lake City on Nov. 28, the Chicago Bulls (9-11) beat the Utah Jazz (12-11) 114-107. The Bulls' DeMar DeRozan led the team with 26 points as the Jazz suffered their fifth consecutive loss, according ...

Gay News

Bears, Blackhawks lose big
The Chicago Bears (3-9), without starting quarterback Justin Fields, lost to the New York Jets (7-4) 31-10 on Nov. 27 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Jets quarterback Mike White threw three touchdown passes in his first ...

Gay News

WORLD Church of England, World Cup news, court rulings, Justin Trudeau
The Church of England is defending the scrutinized guidance for its 4,700 primary schools on LGBTQ+ issues, claiming that it doesn't allow students as young as 5 to self-identify as the opposite sex, The Christian Post ...

Gay News

Illinois thumps NU in Wildcats' season finale
In college football, Northwestern University (1-11) concluded a woeful season by losing to the University of Illinois 41-3 on Nov. 26, finishing with an 11-game losing streak after edging Nebraska in Dublin, Ireland in the Wildcats' ...

Gay News

Fields hurt as Bears lose; 'Hawks fall; NU field hockey; Loyola
Nov. 20 was a long day for Chicago sports teams. In Georgia, the Chicago Bears (3-8) fell to the Atlanta Falcons (5-6) by a score of 24-21 on Nov. 20 as the Bears' dynamic starting quarterback, ...

Gay News

Blackhawks get crushed; NU's futility streak continues
Taking on the nearly invincible Boston Bruins (16-2-0) at their home, the Chicago Blackhawks (6-8-3) were routed 6-1 on Nov. 19. Boston's win extends the Bruins' home winning streak to start the season at 11 games, ...

Gay News

Bulls lose to Magic as LaVine is benched; NU women's field hockey
On Nov. 18 at the United Center, the Chicago Bulls (6-10) lost to the Orlando Magic (5-11) by a score of 108-107. Coach Billy Donovan benched Zach LaVine (who only had four points) for the final ...

Gay News

Chicago debuts new rugby team
On Nov. 17, officials from Major League Rugby announced that a new franchise named the Chicago Hounds will begin play in February 2023, per a press release. At the news conference in downtown Chicago, the league ...

Gay News

Red Stars update roster; Blackhawks, Bulls lose; Hossa's thoughts
The Chicago Red Stars have updated the status of the club's roster as the team prepares for the 2023 season. With 13 players already under contract at least through next season, ...

Gay News

Wright re-signs with Red Stars; NU wins; Cubs' offer rejected
The Chicago Red Stars announced the re-signing of defender Arin Wright to a two-year contract. ...

Gay News

AG Raoul files amicus brief supporting transgender athlete's rights
AG Raoul files amicus brief supporting transgender athlete's rights Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul was one of an interstate coalition of attorneys general filing an amicus brief challenging an Indiana ...

Gay News

Bears fall to Lions; Bulls get blown out; Hossa celebration
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the Chicago Bears (3-7) fell to the Detroit Lions (3-6) 31-30 at Soldier Field on Nov. 13. The loss happened despite another stellar performance from Chicago quarterback Justin Fields—and ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.