Chuck Renslow
Age: 88

Renslow is a critical contributor to a wide range of political, social, business, health and other causes. he is a pioneering activist who opened the first gay leather bar in the country, the Gold Coast, in 1950s Chicago.

Part of Renslow's bio includes: "He was the founder in 1950 and photographer of Kris Studios, one of the earliest and most durable of the physique houses ( and one where leather always had a place ) . He was also a noted photographer of the Ballet. His dance photography is now in the Newberry Library dance collection in the 'Chuck Renslow Dance Photographs' collection. He opened the first leather bar, The Gold Coast in Chicago in 1958. He was the publisher of Triumph, Mars and Rawhide Male magazines. He was a founder of Second City Motorcycle Club, the first club not on the West Coast, in 1965. He was the founder of many bars and sex clubs since the 1960s including Man’s Country, which has survived for more than 30 years. He was among the earliest members, often among the founders, of many gay liberation organizations and movements. He was the founder of Prairie State Democratic Club in 1980. He is the owner of the Chicago Eagle. He is the founder of Chicago’s famous White Party, which almost nobody notices is his birthday party.
... He was the lover of Dom 'Etienne' Orejudos for more than 40 years and, by encouraging him and publishing his work, he is partially responsible for the art of Etienne. He was involved with Cliff Raven, Chuck Arnett and Sam 'Phil Andros' Steward and encouraged them in their famous work too. Renslow was inducted into the City of Chicago’s Lesbian and Gay Hall of Fame in 1991 and has received just about every honor and award the gay and leather communities can give him. He is on the Board of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and a U.S. Representative to ILGA ( International Lesbian and Gay Association ) . He is the founder, in 1979, of the International Mr. Leather, which grew out of his Mr. Gold Coast contest and the experience he had managing A.A.U. physique competitions. When Dom 'Etienne' died, Renslow combined his hugh collection of Eteinne’s art with his own personal archives from his business and his life. Renslow and Tony DeBlase co-founded the Leather Archives and Museum in 1991. Renslow has been the president of the Leather Archives even since."

  Video Interview Date: 2007-06-06 Interviewer: Tracy Baim





Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community, the book is edited by Tracy Baim and features the contributions of more than 20 prominent historians and journalists. It is published by Surrey Books, an Agate imprint, and is hard cover, 224 pages, 4-color, with nearly 400 photos.
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