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Community Leaders

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Tracy Baim Publisher of Windy City Media Group, the local gay media conglomeration that includes Windy City Times, Nightspots, Identity, and Windy City Queercast, Baim is also co-vice chair of the Chicago Gay Games.

C.C. Carter Slam poetry champion and queer-arts organizer extraordinaire.

Rick Garcia Ever since his days as one of the "Gang of Four" activists, who worked tirelessly to pass the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance in 1988, Garcia has had one of the most visible GLBTQ faces in town, whether in his role as director of public policy for Equality Illinois or as the lone man weaving through the crowd with a giant rainbow flag at last spring's immense immigration rights march.

Fausto Fernos Identifiable around town by his Grover-blue hair, Fernos and his partner, Marc Felion, produce and host America's most popular queer podcast, The Feast of Fools.

Michelle Fire Somewhere between mom and Mae West, the proprietor of the bar Big Chicks and its neighboring restaurant, Tweet, has achieved icon status, thanks partly to her free Sunday buffets but no less for her flashes from the Big Chicks float in the annual Pride Parade.

Miss Foozie The transvestite, bouffant-blonde Hostess of Halsted Street. 'Nuff said.

Scott Free Free, 2005 Outmusic musician of the year, hosts Homolatte, the bimonthly queer words and music series at Tweet, and the annual Alt Q music festival at the Old Town School of Folk Music in addition to recording and performing his own political folk-punk tunes.

Chuck Renslow In 1958, Renslow opened one of the first openly gay establishments in the country, the Gold Coast Leather Bar. He went on to found the International Mr. Leather competition, which takes place here every Memorial Day weekend, found the Leather Archives and Museum, and open both the Chicago Eagle Leather Bar and the bathhouse Man's Country.

Tamale Comedienne, burlesque performer, bartender, go-go dancer, and all-around gal-about-town, Tamale is a frequent attraction at Chix Mix parties and other queer performance-oriented ventures.

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