Jim Flint: The Boy From Peoria - Softcover

By Tracy Baim and Owen Keehnen

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Jim Flint: The Boy From Peoria - Softcover
Product Details
Jim Flint was raised in Peoria, Illinoins

A poor shoeshine book rose to become Chicago's impresario of female impersonation. This is Flint's story, and that of the fascinating characters - entertainers, barkeepers, sports people, politicians, activists, cops and mobsters - who knew him in the heady years of the emerging LGBT movement.

Meet Jim Flint, known to many as Feliciaa truly remarkable man who has done some truly remarkable things. Raised in Peoria, Illinois, Flint was a precocious kid who "shined shoes" for older gentlemen at age 8 and joined the Navy at 17. He was a serviceman with a distinguished record who dreamed of becoming a missionary brother, yet only months later became one of the most popular gay bartenders in Chicago. Before long, he was stopping traffic on Clark Street as a roller-skating, baton-twirling drag queen, eager to garner attention for his now-legendary female impersonation bar, the Baton Show Lounge. Running a gay bar in Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s meant placating corrupt police and city inspectors eager for bribes, as well as shadowy, silk-suited Mafiosi. In addition to the Baton, in a few scant years Flint was also running a down-and-dirty leather bar and heading a gay motorcycle club. In the process he became a community leader, eventually even running for the Cook County Board as one of Chicago's first openly gay candidates for public office. Flint also found the time to lay the foundations for a gay sports league. Flint's story includes dozens of unforgettable characters such as Baton stars Chilli Pepper, Ginger Grant and Mimi Marks, transgender entertainment legends Alexandra Billings and Candis Cayne, and many others who inhabit the spotlights, the dressing rooms, and the evolving world of female impersonation. Flint is also the founder of the celebrated Continental Pageant System. As a witness to and a pioneer in the formation of the modern LGBT community, Flint has attracted memorable people from all walks of life. Meet Richie, the Baton doorman who hurled insults at the customers, Tillie the Dirty Old Lady, a parade of madcap patrons, battling bartender boyfriends, handsome S&M bikers and club kids, sports stars, celebrities, political bigwigs, and gay-rights activists of all descriptions. Unfortunately, domestic violence, serial killers, and drug addictions were some of the dangers in Flint's circle, and of course the AIDS epidemic ushered in its own storm of drama and deep tragedy. In the midst of all this is Flint himself: energetic, warmhearted and generous, yet quick-tempered and opinionated, always respectful of his flamboyant, ultraglamorous, often emotionally fragile bevy of supertalented performers. Jim Flint: The Boy From Peoria is the colorful story of an amazing man and the LGBT community he helped to shape, as he championed an out-of-the-closet, be-who-you-are lifestyle. Authors Tracy Baim and Owen Keehnen unravel the many mysteries of Chicago gay community icon Jim Flint in this provocative new biography.

About the Authors
Tracy Baim is publisher and executive editor at Windy City Media Group, which produces Windy City Times, Nightspots, and other gay media in Chicago. 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 co-author of Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow. She is co-author and editor of Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community, the first comprehensive book on Chicago's gay history. And she is author of Where the World Meets, a book about Gay Games VII in Chicago. Her first novel is The Half Life of Sgt. Jen Hunter, about lesbians in the military prior to Don't Ask, Don't Tell. She also has an essay in the book Media Queered (Peter Lang, 2007). Baim was executive producer of the lesbian feature film Hannah Free, starring Sharon Gless (Ripe Fruit Films, 2008). She was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1994. Inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2011, writer and historian Owen Keehnen's fiction, essays, erotica, reviews and interviews have appeared in hundreds of magazines, newspapers and anthologies worldwide. With Tracy Baim, he was a co-author of Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow. His gay novel The Sandbar was released in 2011 by Lethe Press. He is the author of We're Here, We're Queer, a collection of more than 100 interviews with LGBTQ writers and activists who helped shape contemporary gay culture and the modern gay movement. Keehnen is the author of the horror novel Doorway Unto Darkness and the humorous gay novel I May Not Be Much but I'm All I Think About, available at e-gaymag.com. In addition, he co-edited Nothing Personal: Chronicles of Chicago's LGBTQ Community 19771997 and contributed 10 essays to the groundbreaking, richly illustrated book of LGBTQ history Out and Proud in Chicago. He is also the author of the Starz series, a set of four books of interviews with the men of the XXX film industry. Keehnen was on the founding committee of The Legacy Project and currently serves as board secretary for that LGBT history-education-arts program focused on pride, acceptance and bringing recognition to the courageous lives and contributions of LGBTQ historical figures.

Paperback: 528 pages
Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 1.1 inches