Tag Archives: Chuck Renslow

Pioneering Chicago Gay Activist and Leather Community Leader Chuck Renslow Passes Away At 87

Pioneering Chicago Gay Activist and Leather Community Leader Chuck Renslow Passes Away At 87


It’s with a sad heart that we must report that Chuck Renslow, the pioneering  gay activist who opened the first gay leather bar in the country, the Gold Coast in 1958, has passed away at the age of 87.

Mr. Renslow was the founder 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 the publisher of Triumph, Mars and Rawhide Male magazines. He was a founder of Second City Motorcycle Club, the first club  in the midwest in 1965.

He was among the earliest members, often among the founders, of many gay liberation organizations and movements. He was the publisher of GayLife Newspaper and has sat on the Board of fourteen different GLBT organizations. He was also the founder of many gay bars and sex clubs including Man’s Country, which has survived for more than 30 years.

He is the founder, in of the International Mr. Leather, which meets yearly in Chicago and was inducted into  Chicago’s Lesbian and Gay Hall of Fame in 1991.

At the Leather Archives & Museum’s September 2016 Board of Directors meeting Chuck was elected “Chairperson of the Board” of the world famous museum that he himself founded.

Specific details of his passing have not been released as of yet.


Video – "The Blue Rose" Vintage 1965 Bodybuilder Beefcake Movie – Early Gay Porn Without The Porn

Classic 1965 film made by Chuck Renslow for Kris Studios. This poetic film is an extension of Renslow’s male physique photograhy of the period. By today’s standards this film is quite tame, however in 1965 films like remainded in a legal gray area, barly escaping obscenity laws. The film stars Steve Kotis as the Grecian shepherd lad, and Ralph Kleiner who is enchanted by the blue rose.

Running time approx. 12 minutes; color emhanced w/ sound