WINDY CITY TIMES
||Renslow, history honored at pre-Pride variety show
by Kirk Williamson, Nightspots Editor
This article shared 2 times since Fri Jun 27, 2014
Local fundraising organization The Imperial Windy City Court of the Prairie State Empire kicked off Pride weekend Fri., June 27, at Chloe's, 800 W. Belmont Ave., with "A Look Back at Gay Pride and Why It Still Matters." The event included live entertainment, a comprehensive retrospective of the American gay-rights struggle from its inception through today, and the presentation of the 2014 Civil Rights Award to International Mr. Leather ( IML ) founder and Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame member Chuck Renslow.
A main focus of the event was education on the continuing struggle for gay rights, which was presented decade by decade. IML's Joey McDonald led the crowd through the shame-filled media portrayals of gays and lesbians during the 1960s, culminating in the frustration that sparked the Stonewall riots. IML 2012, Seattle's Woody Woodruff laid out the events of the 1970s, from New York's first Gay Pride March in 1970 all the way through the first IML in 1979. San Francisco's Bob Bouton told the tale of AIDS and acceptance in the '80s, followed by Leather Archives & Museum's Rick Storer's accounting of the coming-out of the first major culture icons' in the '90. Finally, Mr. Chicago Leather 2014 Miguel Torres wove the details of the great strides made in this current millennium towards equality and freedom with his personal tale of emigrating to America from Venezuela, his sexual awakening and his personal struggles which had brought him to where he is today.
The event was produced and hosted by Imperial Crown Prince 10 Neil Douglas St. James, who presented the award to Renslow and concluded the show with closing remarks.
The theme of brotherhood and sisterhood resonated throughout the decades, and Chuck Renslow was applauded for fostering ( and continuing to foster ) this togetherness.
The night also included drag performances from Tara Hymen, Tori Sass and Eartha Tremors; a personal story from writer Brian Bettenhausen; a medley of gay favorites from singer Michael McBride and more.
This article shared 2 times since Fri Jun 27, 2014
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