Contact: Doug Seibold, Agate
July 1, 2008
Out and Proud in Chicago
Edited by Tracy Baim
News Hook: The first full-length history of the LGBT community in Chicago ever published—a vital contribution both to LGBT and Chicago social history.
Lavishly illustrated with almost 400 historical color and black and white photographs, and drawing on the scholarly, historical, and journalistic contributions of a breadth of authorities on Chicago's LGBT culture and scene, this is a first-ever, one-of-a-kind overview of Chicago's LGBT community and its history. Published as a companion to the WTTW public television documentary of the same name, and to the Web site www.ChicagoGayHistory.org, the book is organized into a few main chronological sections:
· Prairie Settlement to 1949
· 1950s to 1960s: The Seeds of Change
· 1970s: The We Decade
· 1980s: Silence = Death
· 1990s: Taking Charge
· 2000s: Prospects for the Future
Out & Proud in Chicago begins the work of capturing a history that often has been hidden, or at least elusive. As Tracy Baim writes in her introduction, 'A few brave people did try to document our community, either as major events were happening or through groundbreaking historical research. These writers, journalists, photographers, filmmakers, academics and historians have tried to find many needles in the haystack, through interviews with pioneers, digging into old university and museum archives, and reading the often-biased coverage of the mainstream media. In some cases, finding out if there was a 'there' there meant reading between the lines and piecing together what it was to be 'gay' 100 years ago.'
As the gay movement evolved and strengthened in the mid- to late-20th century, of course, more history was made and documented, both in words and images. The book brings this story up to the present day, looking at Chicago's contemporary LGBT world and its prospects for a flourishing future.
Tracy Baim is co-founder of the Windy City Times and publisher and executive editor of Windy City Media Group. As a journalist, she has covered the Chicago gay and lesbian community since 1984. Baim has received numerous honors, including the Studs Terkel Award and induction in the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.
Out and Proud in Chicago, 9781572841000, 224 pp, Chicago regional/Gay Studies
September 26, 2008, $30
A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER
Dear Reader, I'm writing to tell you about Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community ( Agate Surrey, 978-1-57284-100-0, September 26, 2008, $30 ) , edited by Tracy Baim. Let us know if we can get you a copy of the book—which features contributions from dozens of historians and other writers, as well as close to 400 color and black and white images—or put you in touch with Ms. Baim for a potential feature. This book is a unique opportunity to introduce your audience to the history of Chicago's LGBT community. In Out and Proud in Chicago, Ms. Baim has compiled a one-of-a-kind historical record of LGBT culture in Chicago from the nineteenth century through the present. Filled with intriguing and often little-known information complemented by remarkable breadth of historical photographs, the book illustrates the vitality and resilience of Chicago's LGBT community, while tracing its evolution from sequestered subculture to prominent, diverse, and valued community.
Among other things, Out and Proud in Chicago illuminates the many and varied contributions the LGBT community has made to Chicago history, society, and culture, with a particular focus on the community's coalescence into a political and social force through the late twentieth century. Alongside their long-term struggle for recognition, acceptance, and equal rights, Chicago's LGBT people have made tremendous contributions to politics, business, and other spheres of civic life. Baim and her contributors, who include nationally renowned authors and historians such as John D'Emilio, Jonathan Ned Katz and Chad Heap, have captured this in the book's numerous brief essays and entries, and set the story of Chicago's LGBT community in the broader contexts of both the city's history and the history of LGBT people across the U.S. and around the world.
Out and Proud in Chicago is a companion volume to the documentary of the same name produced by WTTW television in Chicago, for which Tracy Baim served as a consultant. The book is also an introduction to the larger history effort she is rolling out over a longer term at the website www.ChicagoGayHistory.org . For now, the book stands as a landmark to everyone interested not only in Chicago history, but the history of LGBT people everywhere. I hope you'll contact me regarding a review or interview with Ms. Baim, who will be making bookstore appearances throughout the Chicago region in September and October. You can reach me at 847.475.4457 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Yours, Doug Seibold, Agate Publishing
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR OUT AND PROUD IN CHICAGO
'Out and Proud in Chicago rewards every type of reader. It is a book that East Coast LGBT historians ignore at their peril. Every decade is full of surprises, and no topic in the melting pot is ignored. Brief but fact-packed essays on every aspect of LGBT life are in many ways more informative than the massive historical tome. Not only do we have here a bounty of contributions from longtime grass-roots historian Marie J. Kuda and fathers of gay history Jonathan Katz and John D'Emilio, but a profuse variety of contributions from every hue of the Chicago LGBT spectrum. Baim's graceful prose is the glue that holds the pieces together, and the generous inclusion of so many photographs and illustrations are alone worth the price of the volume. At last, Chicago gets ( and deserves ) its long-neglected due as the city where LGBT life flourished beyond the footlights.'
-James V. Carmichael, Jr., professor, Department of Library and Information Studies, School of Information, UNC Greensboro
"In Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community, we get to see how interesting, creative, diverse, relevant, and American the contributions of the members of Chicago's gay community have proven in the town often called 'The Nation's Most American City.' I dare say editor Tracy Baim and a string of contributors achieved far more than they set out to do. They produced a well-crafted perspective and record of Chicago's gay history and culture and a model for achieving such a work for any significant segment of the city's population."
- Kenan Heise, Chicago journalist and historian A triumph! Out and Proud vividly brings to life the incredibly rich, exciting, moving, and ultimately inspiring story of Chicago's decades-long gay rights struggle. Best of all, we get to meet the remarkable and brave people who contributed in ways big and small to making their hometown, and the world, a better place for all of us.
- Eric Marcus, author of Making Gay History and What If Someone I Know Is Gay? "One view of history focuses primarily on elites and their power struggles, their institutions and their dramas. But the history of social movements lies in hundreds of acts of creation carried out by thousands of ordinary people, many who are not and never have been part of any ruling elite. This wonderful and absorbing book shows us this hidden history in a warm, accessible, and visual way. The gay movement's history is emerging from the storage bins, basements, and personal collections of GLBT activists. Its emergence offers all who care about social justice inspiration and perspective."
- Urvashi Vaid, executive director, Arcus Foundation "Out and Proud in Chicago, a richly textured mosaic of Chicago's LGBT scene since the nineteenth century, sheds light on famous as well as lesser known activists and reformers, artists and actors, literary figures, musicians, politicians, landmarks, social movements, and much more. Richly illustrated with period photos and images of historical documents, this fascinating read also will be an invaluable reference resource for anyone interested in Chicago or LGBT history."
- Joanne Passet, author, Sex Variant Woman: The Life of Jeannette Howard Foster "This luminous, triumphant celebration of the history-making rise of a great community in one of America's great cities is one lavish banquet of a book. Inspiring and exhilarating in every dimension, it's a priceless gift to all Chicagoans, a boon to us all."
- Katherine V. Forrest, novelist "Through a colorful mosaic of articles and a treasure trove of photos, Out and Proud In Chicago definitively establishes Chicago's claim as a leading lesbian and gay mecca from the nineteenth century to the present. So grand a documentation of our community's struggles and triumphs should make us all proud, whether or not we're Chicagoans."
- Lillian Faderman, co-author ( with Stuart Timmons ) of Gay L.A.: a History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians