Baton Show Lounge celebrates 50 years

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For 50 years, the Baton Show Lounge has offered Drag performances in Chicago. As we celebrate Pride Month, ABC 7 visited the iconic lounge to hear from owner Jim Flint.
Reflecting on five decades of business, Flint said the range of performance has changed.

"It used to be just men that dressed up in drag for the illusion.Today it takes in transgenders. It also takes in drag guys that just like to get made up with transgenders because it's a safe way to come enjoy their life and be secure and have a place to work. So it's that, transvestites, so it takes in the whole realm of being a drag," Flint said.

He also said society has changed outside the lounge's walls.

"There is no such thing as police harassment that there was back in the early sixties. I mean, we got raided night after night after night. I went through sixteen bar raids myself and had to get all those record expunged," he said.
Performer Maya Douglas said of Flint, "He's laid a lot of groundwork for the LGBT community here in the city," adding that without Flint, "I wouldn't have had a career...I was an unknown and he gave me the opportunity."
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