Chuck Renslow

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Chuck Renslow
Born (1929-08-26)August 26, 1929
Died June 29, 2017(2017-06-29) (aged 87)
Nationality American
Occupation businessperson
Known for gay-male culture institutions
Partner(s) Dom Orejudos, Ron Ehemann

Chuck Renslow (August 26, 1929 – June 29, 2017)[1][2] was an openly gay American businessperson, known for pioneering homoerotic photography in the mid-20th-century US, and establishing many landmarks of late-20th-century gay male culture, especially in the Chicago area.[3] His accomplishments included the founding of the Gold Coast bar, Man's Country Baths,[4] the International Mr. Leather competition, Chicago's August White Party,[5] and the magazines Triumph, Rawhide, and Mars.[5] He was the partner and lover of erotica artist Dom Orejudos (better known by his pen names Etienne and Stephen).[3]


Renslow was a photographer, and in 1952 met Dom Orejudos on Chicago's Oak Street Beach, asking him to model for him.[6] They founded Kris Studios as a male physique photography studio, named in part to honor transgender pioneer Christine Jorgensen.[6] In 1958, they bought a gym which they renamed Triumph Gymnasium and Health Studio. That same year he and Orejudos bought Gold Coast Show Lounge, and transformed it into one of the world's first leather bars, with a uniform/western/leather dress code, a backroom, and homoerotic art (by Orejudos) on the walls.[7][1] The venue was the site of the leather contests which grew into the Internional Mr. Leather competition. In 1965, he helped found the Second City Motorcycle Club.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Chuck Renslow". Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  2. ^ Museum, Leather Archives &. "Chuck Renslow". Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  3. ^ a b "Chicago Gay History". Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  4. ^ "Gay Influence". Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  5. ^ a b Baim, Tracy; Ehemann, Ron (2008). Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community. Chicago: Agate Publishing. p. 73. ISBN 978-1572841000. 
  6. ^ a b Baim, Tracy; Keehnen, Owen (2011). Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow. Prairie Avenue Productions. pp. 33... ISBN 1-46109602-2. 
  7. ^ Forman, Ross. "Chicago gay pioneer and legend Chuck Renslow dies". Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  8. ^ Times, Windy City. "Legendary Chicago businessman, activist Chuck Renslow dies". Windy City Times. Retrieved 2017-06-30.