Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage, was written by Tracy Baim, and includes the work of more than twenty other writers and photographers.
Tracy Baim is publisher and executive editor at Windy City Media Group, which produces Windy City Times, Nightspots, and other gay media. 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 editor of Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Movement (2008, Agate), the first comprehensive book on Chicago's gay history; Where the World Meets, a photo book about Gay Games VII in Chicago (2007, Lulu.com-Baim served as co-vice chair of the Gay Games board); and Half Life, a novel about lesbians in the military, which was adapted for the Chicago stage and performed at American Theater Company in 2004.
Baim was executive producer of the lesbian feature film Hannah Free (2008, Ripe Fruit Films), starring Sharon Gless. 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.
Baim is a native Chicagoan and has been with her partner, 20-year Air Force veteran Jean Albright, for 16 years.
In addition to senior writer Tracy Baim, the following writers, bloggers, historians, and activists contributed articles or essays to this book.
Wayne Besen is the founding executive director of Truth Wins Out and author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth and Bashing Back: Wayne Besen on GLBT People, Politics, and Culture. Besen has appeared as a guest on leading programs, including NBC Nightly News, CNN and MSNBC shows, The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity and Colmes, and Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone magazine, and The Advocate magazine.
Sean Cahill has been a leader in the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality and science-based HIV prevention and care for the past two decades. Cahill is managing director of Public Policy, Research and Community Health at Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York. Cahill's policy priorities have included defunding abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, repealing the U.S. HIV entry ban, and preventing HIV among gay and bisexual men in Africa and the Caribbean through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Cahill directed the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute from 2001 to 2007, where he created seminal research on demographics, poverty and homelessness, family recognition, aging, voting, and the anti-gay movement. Cahill is the author of Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: Focus on the Facts and co-author of Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Families. His latest, "Black and Latino Same-Sex Couple Households and the Racial Dynamics of Antigay Activism," appears in Black Sexualities: Probing Powers, Passions, Practices, and Policies.
Chuck Colbert has reported for gay and mainstream audiences for nearly two decades, covering a full range of LGBT issues in civil rights and liberation that includes gays in the military, employment nondiscrimination and hate crimes, same-sex marriage and the family, law, politics, business, education, and religion. He is a former New England chapter president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association and served on the organization's national board of directors. He has covered two Democratic National Conventions (1996 and 2004), the 2006 Massachusetts governor's race, and marriage equality struggles in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont. He has provided gay-themed commentary to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Harvard Business Review (co-author), Dallas Morning News, (New York) Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, and Washington Post, among others. Colbert is a former surface warfare Navy officer.
Kerry Eleveld is the Washington correspondent for The Advocate. She regularly attends White House press briefings. Eleveld conducted two interviews with Barack Obama during the 2008 election campaign and was the only reporter from an LGBT outlet to get a sit-down interview with him during the campaign. Eleveld has worked as a journalist in different media for more than a decade and earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of California Berkeley in 2003. Since she began covering LGBT issues in 2006, Eleveld's work has won several awards: the "Best News Article" award in 2006 from the American Veterans for Equal Rights; second place for "Coverage of Election/Politics" in the New York Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest; and first place in the 2007 "Excellence in News Writing" category as well as the 2010 Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media from the National Gay & Lesbian Journalists Association. Eleveld regularly offers insights about political developments to news outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, The Associated Press, P.O.T.U.S. radio, and the Michelangelo Signorile Show.
John D'Emilio has been a pioneer in the field of gay and lesbian studies. He is the author or editor of more than half a dozen books, including Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States; Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America (with Estelle Freedman); and Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin. D'Emilio was a finalist for the National Book Award and received the Brudner Prize from Yale University for lifetime contributions to gay and lesbian studies. A former co-chair of the board of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, he was also the founding director of its Policy Institute. Intimate Matters was quoted by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case, the decision that declared state sodomy statutes unconstitutional. He currently teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Ross Forman is an Illinois-based writer who has covered the LGBT sports scene for about 10 years. He also writes business profiles and personality profiles for the Windy City Times. Forman is a freelance writer for the Daily Herald newspaper in suburban Chicago, and his writing has been published in many mainstream newspapers, including USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Lisa Keen began reporting for the gay press in 1979. One of her first big assignments was to help cover the 1980 Democratic National Convention for the Washington Blade. As top editor of the Blade for 20 years, she covered the White House, Congress, presidential elections, and the Supreme Court. In 1995, she won the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award for her coverage of anti-gay ballot initiatives and the court challenges to overturn them. She currently heads up her own news service, producing national news for client newspapers around the country. The author of two books, she is working on a third, about marriage equality lawsuits in federal court.
Micki Leventhal was born and raised on the North Side of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois at Chicago during the days of moon landings, Vietnam, and Kent State, graduating with a degree in English literature. Over the years she has earned her living by writing and promoting everything from office products to higher education and arts-and-crafts museums, along the way earning a master's degree in liberal studies from DePaul University. She is now a freelance writer and a yoga teacher. Leventhal and her partner of 25 years, Con Buckley, live in Forest Park, Illinois, with their three gray cats. They have two grown children.
Rod McCullom is a multimedia journalist who blogs on LGBT news, pop culture, and progressive politics at the award-winning Rod 2.0, one of the more popular gay blogs. McCullom has written and produced television news for ABC News' News One, World News Now, and Good Morning America, as well as local news at New York's ABC 7 and Chicago's NBC 5 and Fox. For several years, he was a columnist and featured contributor to The Advocate-and had two cover stories. McCullom's writing has appeared in the Chicago Reader, the Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, Out.com, MTV/LOGO's AfterElton, NBC News' theGrio, the Washington Blade, Poz magazine, and other media.
The Reverend Irene Monroe is a Huffington Post blogger and a syndicated religion columnist. Monroe was chosen in October 2009 by NBC News' theGrio as one of "10 black women you should know." Monroe has been profiled in O: The Oprah Magazine and in the gay pride episode of television's In the Life; the segment on her was nominated for an Emmy. She has received the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching several times. She is in the 2007 film For the Bible Tells Me So and is profiled in Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America.
Jerry Nunn has been crafting articles for the Windy City Media Group for more than five years. His writing can be found in Nightspots magazine under the pen name Randy Pubert and in Basil Magazine. His "Nunn on One" celebrity column has developed a large following for Windy City Times. Segments from Nunn's interviews have also run on Access Hollywood, ChicagoPride.com, and AOL's home page, among others.
Karen Ocamb is the news editor for the Los Angeles based LGBT publication Frontiers in LA. An award-winning journalist with more than 35 years of experience, she started her career clerking for Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather at CBS Network News, leaving there as a producer 10 years later. She has since produced and appeared on numerous public-affairs shows and reported for many mainstream and LGBT publications and blogs. She is also editor-in-chief of the national blog, LGBT POV.
Bob Roehr has been involved with HIV/AIDS for more than a quarter of a century. He has been the Washington, D.C., correspondent for the Bay Area Reporter, Windy City Times, and other gay newspapers since 1993. He is a regular contributor to BMJ-the British Medical Journal, Dermatology Times, Medscape, and Scientific American online. He was a founding member of the Council of Public Representatives (1999-2003), an advisory committee to the director of the National Institutes of Health, and served on the PubMed Central National Advisory Committee (2004-2007) at the National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine.
Michelangelo Signorile, a radio host, journalist and author, became involved in gay politics and AIDS activism in the late 1980s. Signorile was a co-founding editor and columnist of the now-defunct OutWeek magazine. During that time, he found himself at the center of the often misunderstood and highly volatile issue for which Time magazine unfortunately coined the term "outing", after he published an article revealing that the recently deceased multimillionaire Malcolm Forbes was gay. In 1991, Signorile joined The Advocate as a columnist, and in 1993, his groundbreaking Queer in America: Sex, the Media, and the Closets of Power was published. Two years later, after he joined Out magazine as a columnist, Signorile wrote Outing Yourself. In 1995, he wrote the acclaimed bestseller Life Outside: The Signorile Report on Gay Men. In the mid-1990s, Signorile returned to The Advocate as an editor-at-large and roving columnist for several years. He has been interviewed on scores of talk radio and television programs and hosts a talk show that airs live each weekday on Sirius XM's OutQ. He has also written for a wide array of other publications.
Pam Spaulding is the Durham, North Carolina based founder of the award-winning political blog PamsHouseBlend.com. She has also guest-blogged on Firedoglake and for Glenn Greenwald at Salon. Pam was named one of The Huffington Post's Ultimate Game Changers in Politics, received the Women's Media Center's Media Award for online journalism, and was named one of Out magazine's 100 movers and shakers for 2009. In 2010, Spaulding landed on Politics Daily's Top 25 Progressive Twitterers list, as well as ranking in the Top 50 Women's Blogs as measured by the Access Blog Influence Engine.
Timothy Stewart-Winter is an assistant professor in the department of history at Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, where he also teaches in women's and gender studies and in American studies. He is currently writing a book about sexuality, race, and politics in late-20th-century Chicago.
Andrew Tobias is treasurer of the Democratic National Committee. Tobias is the author of several books, including The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need and The Best Little Boy in the World.
Phill Wilson is president and chief executive officer of the Black AIDS Institute. The institute is the only national HIV/AIDS think tank in the United States focused exclusively on black people. Its mission is to end the AIDS epidemic in black communities by engaging and mobilizing traditional black leaders, institutions, and individuals in efforts to confront HIV/AIDS. Prior to founding the institute, Wilson served as the AIDS coordinator for the city of Los Angeles in 1990-1993 and as director of policy and planning at AIDS Project Los Angeles in 1993-1996. He was co-chair of the Los Angeles County HIV Health Commission from 1990 to 1995 and was an appointee to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration's AIDS Advisory Committee from 1995 to 1998. Wilson was the co-founder of the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum and the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention. In 2010, he was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
Renee Brown is a freelance photographer and graphic designer for www.rSnapshotPhotos.com, based in Chicago, New York, and Alicante, Spain. Brown's interest in photojournalism began in the mid-1990s when she worked for the Wisconsin Legislature. From 1998 to 2009 she was a freelance photojournalist based in Chicago. Much of her work has been printed in Windy City Times and Nightlines as well as other Chicago-based publications. Currently Brown travels throughout the U.S. and Europe photographing landscapes, people, animals, and events as well as documenting everyday life for future publication.
John Gress has spent his career with one foot in the realm of commercial photography and the other in editorial photography. His unique resume has allowed him to develop a style that produces life-filled, dramatic, and striking images, whether they are produced in the real world or on set. His clients have included Best Buy, Burger King, Chrysler, Dodge, Hyatt Hotels, Hershey, Lexus, Lufthansa, Mattel, Microsoft, Midas, Nike, Ocean Spray, Reebok, S.C. Johnson, and the U.S. Army. Gress' work also appears regularly in major publications, including Der Spiegel, Le Monde, Time, The New York Times, The Times of London, and Sports Illustrated.
Patsy Lynch is a photojournalist based in Washington, D.C. She has been documenting the LGBT community for more than 30 years. Her work has appeared in numerous books, magazines, and newspapers, and she has had several individual and group shows around the U.S. She was recently named an Equality Forum Icon for 2010, an award she is honored to be granted. This award follows her 2007 Rainbow History Community Pioneer award and her 2006 Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance award for her work documenting the LGBT community.
Jamie McGonnigal is an award-winning producer, director, actor, activist, and photographer in New York City. Since 2003, he has produced more than 200 Broadway events, benefiting more than 50 LGBT and HIV/AIDS-related charities. As an actor, his voice can be heard in several cartoons and video games, including Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Viva Pinata. In the wake of Prop 8, McGonnigal founded TalkAboutEquality.org and the Take Back Pride campaign in the interest of educating our community and our allies on the fight for our equality. His photos can be seen at www.EqualityPhotography.com.
Rex Wockner has reported news for the gay press since 1985. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Drake University, started his career as a radio reporter, and has written for the mainstream press as well. Highlights of Wockner's career include going to Denmark on October 1, 1989, to cover the world's first registered partnerships granting gay couples the rights of marriage; covering the world's first full gay marriages in the Netherlands on April 1, 2001; reporting from the first gay pride events in Moscow and Leningrad in 1991; making early contact with emerging gay movements in the former Eastern Bloc and developing nations; and filing stories in the U.S. from major community and mainstream events.
Israel Wright is a Chicago-based photographer. He has been documenting the Chicago LGBT community since the 1990s. He also specializes in images of African-American gay men. His activism includes LGBT issues, African-American LGBT issues, and the Gay Games movement. He was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2000.
Editors and Researchers
Jean Albright is from Tallmadge, Ohio. She was an editor, reporter, and photographer during a 20-year Air Force enlisted career. During her last two assignments, she was chief of the Bitburg, Germany, bureau of the military newspaper Stars and Stripes (Europe) and a spokesperson for the joint-service Military Entrance Processing Command, headquartered at Great Lakes Naval Base north of Chicago. Following retirement from the military, she became program manager for the Newspaper Management Center, a joint project of the Medill School of Journalism and the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. She is director of new media, in charge of website and circulation, for Windy City Media Group (which publishes Windy City Times, Nightspots, and more). She served for six years on the board of directors of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which is working to overturn the military's anti-gay Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, and is an active member of the Chicago chapter of the American Veterans for Equal Rights, the national GLBT veterans' organization. She met her partner of 16 years, Tracy Baim, two years after retiring from the Air Force.
Toni Armstrong Jr. has been an activist since the 1970s. She was publisher/managing editor of HOT WIRE: The Journal of Women's Music and Culture for 10 years. As youth leadership director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, she took the Chicago area from zero gay-straight alliances in the public schools to more than 40. She has been a writer and festival photographer, supporter of indie films, and was the bassist in various lesbian bands, including Surrender Dorothy and Lavender Jane. Armstrong was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1997 and continues her LGBT community building in Florida via her new organization, BLAST (Bi, Lesbian, and Straight Together) Women of the Palm Beaches.
Jorjet Harper was co-editor of Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community. Her writing has appeared in many gay and lesbian publications, and she is the author of two collections of classic lesbian humor columns: Tales from the Dyke Side and Lesbomania. She was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1998.
William B. Kelley is in his fifth decade as a gay activist, during which time he has also been a journalist, editor, and lawyer. He joined Mattachine Midwest in 1965 and was a leader in organizing the first national gay and lesbian conferences beginning in 1966. During the 1970s, he co-founded The Chicago Gay Crusader monthly newspaper and Illinois Gays for Legislative Action, was an officer of the Chicago Gay Alliance, co-chaired the Illinois Gay Rights Task Force, and in 1977 participated in the first White House conference on gay issues. He served on the board of the National Gay Task Force (now the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) from 1977 to 1980, and in 1988 he co-founded the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association (now the National LGBT Bar Association), which he later co-chaired. In 1991, Kelley was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. From 1991 to 2003 he chaired the Cook County Human Rights Commission, which he lobbied to create and of which he is still a member.
Kelly Martin is the project director of a longitudinal study of lesbian health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and also teaches history at an alternative high school. She says she follows politics in an amateurish sort of way and is the proud owner of an Obama purse made by one of her friends.
Trudy Ring has been a writer and editor for a variety of newspapers and magazines, including Outlines and The Advocate, covering politics, business, and the arts, among other topics. She also has edited and contributed chapters to several books. An Illinois native and longtime Chicago resident, she now lives in Los Angeles.
Victoria Shannon has taught at DePaul University in Chicago since 1986, first in the English Department, and now in Writing, Reading and Discourse. She has also been teaching at Columbia College since 1991. She started Columbia's Office of Gay and Lesbian Concerns at Columbia in 2002 and served there two years. She created a "Gay and Lesbian Studies" course at Columbia in 2001; in 2008, the course was split into Part I (1600-1980) and Part II (1981-Present). She writes occasionally for glbtq.com.