I first met Tracy Baim when my moms were involved in the fight for marriage equality in Illinois. I’d listen to Tracy ask my moms questions, and I wondered who she was. Sometimes, I’d see Tracy at LGBT rallies around Chicago. I’d travel with my family to the Illinois State Capitol in support of the Illinois marriage equality bill, and there was Tracy.

I learned Tracy was a reporter and she was interviewing people for her newspaper The Windy City Times. My moms told me about the work Tracy has done to help the LGBT community. Tracy was a leader and I was interested in what she did. When I was assigned a class project about leadership and heroes, I chose to interview Tracy about her life. I discovered Tracy was an activist as a child. When she graduated from college, Tracy was told she could never work as an out, gay journalist. The statement empowered Tracy to go above and beyond, and she became the co-founder of one of the largest LGBT media groups in the country. I learned Tracy is the voice for people who don’t have one. She is a strong person who inspires many people. She definitely inspired me. Watch my video to learn more about Tracy.

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Ava Santos-Volpe
Ava Santos-Volpe is 11 years-old and lives in Chicago with her two moms and brothers, Jaidon and Lennox. She is a competitive swimmer and young activist. Ava’s statement explaining what legalizing same-sex marriage meant to her family was included in the Voices of Children amicus brief filed by the Family Equality Council with the Supreme Court in support of marriage equality.

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