A Chicago drag legend celebrates his 80th birthday with showgirls, sequins and a few hundred of his closest friends: ‘He’s iconic and everybody knows it’
Chicago drag pioneer Jim Flint, second from left, is honored during an 80th birthday celebration for the Baton Show Lounge owner at Park West on July 27, 2021. - Chris Sweda/TNS

CHICAGO — There were cocktails and spotless white table linens, ball gowns and sequined bikinis. There were proclamations from politicians, toasts, standing ovations, musical tributes — and even, as the evening wore on, what appeared to be an open-ended marriage proposal for the man of the hour. At the center of it all was an affable 80-year-old Chicagoan in tan trousers and a knit shirt, who made his way to the stage with the help of a cane. Gazing out over a few hundred eager faces, Jim Flint proclaimed himself “very, very lucky.” “Where I come from, with 13 kids in public housing, I never t...