Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Archives OUT! Guide    Marriage



The Times We Wrote About: The gift of Windy City Times
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

This article shared 1113 times since Wed Sep 30, 2020
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

"I feel like we're living in times people write about," Matt said as we walked home from the train, dusk settling into Brooklyn for the night.

I didn't know what he meant. It was 2008. From where I was standing, everything seemed painfully dull. My $200,000 liberal arts degree had scored me the opening shift at The Victory, a coffee bar the size of two phone booths in downtown Brooklyn.

"The economy is crashing," Matt explained.

"Right, right," I replied.

Matt was a writer for the New York Times, ostensibly at the peak of his career, a career in the field I wanted. It wasn't lost on me that we took the same train home, to the same dingy two-flat building.

Everybody warned me that the first year out of college was the hardest. Nobody told me that if you decided to be a reporter, the first year was actually a preview of most of your career.

It was three years until I finally found a full-time job in journalism, a job I hoped was a stepping stone to something better. Tracy Baim made me a full-time reporter for Windy City Times in 2011 for a salary of $23,000.

I never wanted to work in LGBTQ media. I wanted to be at the Chicago Tribune or the Sun-Times, some place my parents would want to tell their friends about, some place less gay. But being visibly queer and an out trans person in the middle of an economic downturn foreclosed that. Tracy and Andrew Davis gave me a chance when no one else did. So, I went to work.

I was in Millennium Park the morning that the first LGBTQ couples in Chicago got civil unions. I sat in the dark at Center on Halsted at a memorial for transgender trailblazer Lois Bates days after she died. The night that the Defense of Marriage Act was overturned and people flooded the streets of Lakeview to celebrate, I was there to cover it. I was there on the day in 2013 when families filled the state capitol to watch marriage equality pass, and when Rep. Greg Harris stood up and tearfully told those families he didn't have enough votes to pass the measure.

Somewhere in that time, I stopped wanting another job. I realized that being a trans person reporting on trans stories was powerful, rare even. Ten years later, it's still powerful and rare. Windy City Times didn't just give me a chance at a career. In humanizing the queer people whose stories I told, I learned to celebrate myself. I found a calling.

I sometimes wonder if anyone will remember the state-by-state battles that were waged for LGBTQ rights and the people who waged them. For years, I wondered why Tracy felt a need to cram so many names into every article, to tack on mentions of every last organization in attendance at every event. I knew she was keeping a historical record, but it didn't occur to me why.

Now I know. It wasn't just about who was there. It was about demonstrating for a future generation that the one before it had shown up, had fought for them. It was about being able to look back and see just how big that movement was, even in the moments it felt mundane.

This, to me, is the real legacy of Windy City Times. I can flip through pages of old papers and see thousands of names that pushed the needle toward equality. I have lived through times that people wrote about.

This article shared 1113 times since Wed Sep 30, 2020
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Even as crazy as this year has been, there have been some constants—such as the observations of holidays (although they have been a lot more virtual). Among said observations is holiday shopping, and Windy City Times ...

Gay News

Chicago's pandemic budget passes
On Nov. 24, The Chicago City Council passed the city's 2021 pandemic budget. According to a media release, "The $12.8 billion budget was built in close collaboration with City Council members, labor partners and other key ...

Gay News

"Holidays With Intention" offers holiday programming to support 100+ local businesses
--From a press release - CHICAGO (November 12, 2020) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to announce its annual line-up of holiday programming, featuring a revised schedule of shopping, dining and virtual ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ groups respond to Biden and Harris' win
Media outlets officially declared Nov. 7 that former Vice President Joe Biden defeated current President Donald Trump in the presidential race. LGBTQA+ organizations and individuals (local and national) immediately responded ...

Gay News

Flu shots, mental health, well-being, COVID resources part of Andersonville Cares
--From a press release - CHICAGO — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is expanding its ongoing "Andersonville Cares" initiative to help keep businesses and residents safe throughout the fall and winter months. Neighborhood resources ...

Gay News

Major, Lindsey and Africa's Outlaws LGBTQ group hosts virtual panel
Legal executive search firm Major, Lindsey and Africa's Outlaws LGBTQ employee resource group (ERG) hosted a virtual panel Oct. 29. The event focused on how LGBTQ professionals have navigated their careers and personal lives as their ...

Gay News

Illinois Restaurant Association, operators object to mitigation plan
--From a press release - CHICAGO (October 30, 2020) — The Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) and restaurant industry operators and workers gathered this morning for a press conference to discuss the disastrous impact of Governor ...

Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot announces election day safety plan
--From a press release - CHICAGO— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), Chicago Police Department (CPD), Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Department of Business ...

Gay News

COVID-19 Big Chicks/Tweet closing temporarily
Uptown venues Big Chicks (5024 N. Sheridan Rd.) and Tweet (5020 N. Sheridan Rd.) have temporarily closed after owner Michelle Fire said a customer who was feeling unwell came to the bar to celebrate his birthday ...

Gay News

Pritzker administration grants $94M to Illinois businesses, communities
--From a press release - CHICAGO—Governor JB Pritzker today joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to announce the release of $94 million in emergency relief funds for communities and small businesses ...

Gay News

Lightfoot imposes curfew on city, cracks down on bars
In light of a spike of coronavirus infections in the city, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot followed through Oct. 22 by imposing a 10 p.m. curfew on all nonessential city businesses, The Chicago Tribune reported. In addition, ...

Gay News

Booksellers launch "Boxed Out" campaign, a look at consumer choices
--From a press release - (New York, New York) 20% of independent bookstores across the country are in danger of closing. Today, theAmerican Booksellers Association launched the "Boxed Out" campaign to draw attention to the high stakes indie bookstores face this ...

Gay News

Restaurant employee relief fund now open
Executives at the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) announced the opening of online applications for the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF) Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. This ...

Gay News

LGBT HISTORY: QAnon's 'SaveOurChildren' slogan has long anti-LGBT history
Model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen recently shared devastating news with her social media followers: she and her husband, singer John Legend, had lost their child halfway through her pregnancy. She shared heartbreaking black-and-white photos of ...

Gay News

WGN-TV features the life and times of Windy City Times
Video link below - WGN-TV produced and aired on Oct. 9 a segment on the history and contributions of Windy City Times, co-founder/owner Tracy Baim, staff, contributors and delivery crew. The segment was reported by WGN's Sean Lewis. Windy City ...


Copyright © 2020 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 Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Archives OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.