Revisiting Chuck Renslow's reflections on life - and leather- in Chicago

September 12, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(Courtesy of Chicago Pride/Tracy Baim)
Gay pioneer Chuck Renslow talks about his career and continued activism.

One local collection of artworks was more than influenced by gay themes: The Leather Archives and Museum is devoted to the history and practices of the gay leather scene; Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood is home to the archive. The museum was the brainchild of Chuck Renslow, a pioneer in Chicago’s gay community.  He started the annual International Mr. Leather competition. His many contributions to the city were documented in the biography Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow. When Eight Forty-Eight met up with him earlier this year to talk, he began by explaining how AIDS affected the gay community, especially his longtime leather bar, Man’s Country. Just a warning – this interview contains some frank language.

Music Button: Fall On Your Sword, "Purdeep's Theme," from the soundtrack to Another Earth (Milan Records)