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, Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community ( Surrey Books, 224 pages, $30 ) is the first 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, from Prairie Settlement to the 2000s. Windy City Times Publisher Tracy Baim edited and co-wrote the book, and was joined by more than two dozen other writers.
Several booksignings have been scheduled for the Chicago area in September and October, to promote both the book and the launch of the Chicago Gay History Project Web site ( www.chicagogayhistory.org ) . There will be co-authors at each of these events, depending on their schedules. All events are free except for the Sept. 26 fundraiser.
—Sept. 18: Book launch at 7 p.m. at Women & Children First Books, 5233 N. Clark Street, Chicago, 773-769-6729. Come meet many of the writers and photographers featured in this new book.
—Sept. 26, 2008: History Project fundraiser featuring a rare Chicago appearance by national gay historian Jonathan Ned Katz and Chicago-based historian John D'Emilio. Hosted by Michael Leppen at the Sears Tower Metropolitan Club, 5:30-7:30 p.m., $500 donation. Call 773-387-2394 for details tickets. Sign language interpreter.
—Sept. 27, 2008: History Project and Community Book Launch, featuring more than a dozen of the writers from Out and Proud, plus Jonathan Ned Katz and John D'Emilio. Hear about the Web site's future and get copies of your book signed. Saturday, Sept. 27, noon-2 p.m., Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted. Sign language interpreter.
—Oct. 1, 2008: The Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Branch downtown, is hosting a panel discussion of the Web site and book, 6 p.m., Wed., Oct. 1, 6 p.m., 400 S. State Street, Chicago. This free event features panelists Tracy Baim, Marie J. Kuda, Jorjet Harper, William B. Kelley, Pat McCombs and Chuck Renslow, followed by Q&A and booksigning.Read more story below....
—Oct. 5, 2008: Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore hosts our first suburban Out and Proud booksigning, featuring writer Marie J. Kuda and Tracy Baim, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2-4 p.m., 7419 W. Madison Street, Forest Park, Ill., 708-771-7243.
—Oct. 11, 2008: National Coming Out Day is the occasion for this signing in Oak Park 2-4 p.m. at Borders, 1144 Lake Street, 708-386-6927. Hear from Oak Parker Marie J. Kuda, Tracy Baim and other writers about Coming Out Day, the 10th anniversary of the Matthew Shepard murder, and its impact on Chicago.
—Oct. 12, 2008: A special far west suburban booksigning in St. Charles 2-4 p.m., at the TownHouse Books & Cafe, 105 North 2nd Avenue, St. Charles, Ill., 630-584-8600.
Out & Proud in Chicago begins the work of capturing a history that often has been hidden, or at least elusive. As editor 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.'
See www.ChicagoGayHistory.org or e-mail email@example.com .