CHICAGO — Chicago journalist Tracy Baim and Carbondale’s Rainbow Cafe LGBT Youth Center will be honored at Equality Illinois’ annual gala next month.
Baim, the current publisher of the Chicago Reader, will be given the Equality Illinois Freedom Award. She is also the founder of Windy City Times, the state’s largest LGBTQ news outlet, and has been an activist and chronicler of the Chicago LGBTQ community.
“Tracy’s deep knowledge and understanding of the people and times that shaped LGBTQ history informed her activism over the years. The results can be seen in the passage of numerous laws that recognize the rights of LGBTQ Illinoisans, in the election of out-and-proud local and state officeholders, and in the realization of the dreams of many of us to live openly and freely,” said Brian Johnson, Equality Illinois CEO. “Rather than resting on her successes, the fact that there is so much more work to do in our community continues to fuel Tracy’s passion for justice.”
The Rainbow Cafe will receive the Equality Illinois Organization Award. Now in it’s twentieth year, it serves LGBTQ across the southern tip of Illinois. It is also the first local downstate organization to be recognized by Equality Illinois.
“We were so surprised and extremely honored by this recognition from the state’s major LGBTQ civil rights organization,” said Tara Bell, Rainbow Cafe board chair. “Other honorees in the past have included much more well known, bigger organizations, and as a small but growing center in Southern Illinois, this is an amazing recognition of our work.”
The Equality Illinois Gala will be at the Hilton Chicago on Saturday, Feb. 1.