Chapter 10

House of Chuck Magazine

The question on everyone's mind is what photographers have inspired me throughout my career. Through family members, I learned that it is in my DNA and goes back to some of the early days of photography. My great grandfather was one of four brothers who had a big passion for photography; he later studied with Ansel Adams and then traveled all over the country, inspiring my grandmother to learn the camera and teach my grandfather within their marriage. He was also a bookkeeper for Mercatal Bank for over 35 years and served in the military. In addition, his brothers ran media outlets in St. Louis and Los Angeles.

My aunt was very inspired by photography and still works in photo development labs. My father, mother, and sister all worked in photo labs when I was growing up, and so did my sister. My sister would later become my career manager for the next fifteen years. Unfortunately, my father and mother decided to get a divorce when I was fourteen years old, and the foundation was being knocked out from under me for the first time.

GH. VOL I

Untitled photo

That same night I learned that I was gay for the first time. After that, I became very emotional and resentful because of our times when I felt like I was cursed. In the first commercial leading up to season four of The Maximum Exposure Fashion Series, I would later reference that. Finally, my mom thought something was wrong with me, and she took me to a psychiatrist. He put on heavy medications that wholly altered my personality and would tell me that having sex with men was wrong and that if I did not control my urges, I would be sent to hell. I would be hooked on these medications and live life as a zombie for the next five years.

During that five years, my Mother and her new husband would become verbally, and at one point, her husband tried to strangle me. When I reached out for help, my Mom lied and told everyone I made it up even though I had bruises on my neck. Then, my Mother would convince my relatives to gang up on me and gaslight me to the point where I tried to take my own life. I remember one time I was in a car crash, and my Mom went around telling everyone I did it for attention; Doctors would later discover that it was the result mass on my brainstem. 

After treatment, I got the mass removed, but the abuse continued until I was threatened to be locked up in jail or a mental institution. This was the final straw, and I got a restraining order against my Mom and her husband. I later learned that my Mother was the one paying for the medications and the insurance for the psychiatrist. Although my Mom now supports my sexuality, our relationship has been strained ever since; I love from a distance because I cannot trust my Mother. Her husband died in 2018 from Cancer; I was finally free from that trauma he inflicted on me.

In 2011 on my birthday, I was looking in the mirror, and I did not like who I was. I decided to accept who I was and check myself into a rehab center, get off all of the medications, and came out a few months later. I learned later that 2011 was the gayest year for nightclubs and music and found it was much easier to be gay. I made a vow while I was in rehab that I would never harm myself ever again, and I have kept that promise up to this day.

The side effects of the medication were so harmful that I could not function while I was in high school, and I dropped out at the beginning of my junior year. When I got sober in 2011, I went back to high school online and completed my high school education in 2012. I enrolled in ITT Tech, and I got two degrees in Network Administration and Network security. I graduated from college in December 2015.

GH VOL II

Untitled photo

In the summer of 2011, I came to St. Louis to get a tattoo fixed and walked into Black Pearl Studio. I met a wonderful man named Roland Page and his wife, Tracy., They fell in love with my friends and me. They invited me to a nightclub hosting a party. I got all dressed up in a crazy outfit, walked into the club, saw a high school friend, and started to dance with her. I would later take over the dancefloor, which would be the most significant turning point in my life. I got invited to an after-party on the Grove, and the rest is history.

House of Chuck Magazine is still excellent friends with Roland and Tracy's page. When we kicked off our series in 2018, they allowed us to rehearse upstairs in the original studio. Unfortunately, this studio no longer exists due to the new soccer stadium. However, you can still find the King and Queen of St. Louis just a couple of blocks down on the same street. Nothing ever dies, It just comes back in a different form, and that is how I describe both. They taught me how challenging life can be, and it is much easier when you have the right partner by your side.

GH VOL III

Untitled photo

I am named after my grandfather and always went by the name Charlie. He grew up in an orphanage during the great depression and later joined the military. He learned how to be a mechanic, owned a few Mom and Pop shops, and later became an automobile engineer working for big companies like HP, Monsanto, and St. Louis University; he left St. Louis University and would design over 15 plants for the National Industries for the Blind.

This was where he thrived and supplied jobs for thousands of blind workers. He married three times in his life and has four children.

He suffered two heart attacks when he retired from National Industries for the Blind. He told everyone that retirement was not for him, so he went back and managed one of the plants he built until he retired at the age of 75. He spent the last years of his life with his family making up for a lost time, and he died peacefully with all of us by his side. When I created my Photography Studio, both Chuck Pfoutz Presents and House of Chuck Magazine was named after him in his honor so he can be with me always.

GH VOL. VI

Untitled photo

He struggled and rose above all of it so I could be the person you all know today. On both sides of my family, they both had it very hard growing up, and I feel like it made my life so much easier by the time I arrived. The last of my grandparents passed away in 2016. I miss them so much, and they will exist in my heart forever. My family has a rich history in St. Louis, so it seemed only natural then when I came to St. Louis, I was home for the first time, and things came into focus this past decade.

After a long summer of battling cancer and shooting The Egyptian project, I felt either an ending was coming, or I was crossing a finish line. Tammi Dunn told me that I would not beat cancer if I didn’t finish the Egyptian Project. After an aggressive surgery, they discovered that my cancer had spread to my colon and intestines. So, I went in for one more surgery and did more aggressive treatments. They then sent me home and told me to enjoy my time while I got it.

GH VOL. V

Untitled photo

Her legacy inspired me to race against the clock and get as much done as possible because I felt the time was running out. Tammi sadly did not beat her cancer and passed away at the end of July in 2021. The Egyptian Kingdom was published in House of Chuck Magazine at the end of August 2021, dedicated to my cast and crew for keeping it going during one of the darkest times in my life. I went from battling for my company and legacy to battling for my life. Finally, I declared victory on cancer in September 2021 and honored Tammi Dunn at her balloon send-off and her honorary Fashion Show during breast cancer awareness month in October of 2021. She is very missed, and her legacy will be forever preserved in House of Chuck Magazine. When I finished the Egyptian Kingdom, I felt like I was crossing a finish line here in St. Louis and began working on the next chapter in the story in another city.

While I was working on The Egyptian Kingdom and Vices and Virtues, I kept seeing the head of Medusa all over the place, and then I saw it. A promo said “Justice for Medusa,” saying Medusa was innocent on the bottom. So, she began thinking about the movie “Clash of the Titans” and her life before meeting her fate. Her backstory mirrored mine, and I immediately created a scope and sent it to House of Chuck Magazine.

The team took a vote of no confidence, and we postponed all future projects until the production was completed. I was so inspired and wrote the entire script in 24 hours. The idea of her being cursed and then turning all of her haters to stone as they try to obtain total power just sounded like an excellent follow-up to The Egyptian Kingdom. Season seven will premiere in October 2022, which ties in when I was gaslighted, cursed, and condemned ten years later. This time I will be the one who turns the ones responsible into stone, and I will put this behind me once and for all.

Untitled photo

After I beat cancer, I finally accepted that I would never get over the past trauma while l was living in St. Louis. I suffer from Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from all the evil I had to endure while living in Missouri. Still, one of the things I learned about specific individuals is that misery loves company. I learned that it's not my fault, but I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, and since then, I have become one of St. Louis’s most prominent targets for exploitation.

Click Here For More Stories

I don’t blame myself; I blame my talent because that attracted all these individuals who led me into this situation, and as punishment to myself, everything I create will never be good enough. I will always be coming to the end of something with the intent to jump on another. I love you all here in St. Louis, but I have to leave; I have to heal my soul. Everywhere I go, I am reminded of past mistakes, and people try to set me up and have, many times, almost succeeded. Thank goodness I have friends.

I had been following Britney Spears for years, and when I found out her story, I couldn’t stop praying that her voice would get heard, and then finally, she did for the first time in 13 years. It was a liberating experience for me because it was like when I was working in the St. Louis LGBTQIA+ Community. So, when I finally got the chance to travel back in time with my show, the magazine, and take my power, I was finally free just in time for Britney to experience freedom for the first time in my life.

Her story inspired me to create the final season of The Maximum Exposure Fashion Series, which focuses on mental health during the Golden Age of Cinema. I celebrate 20 years of working behind the camera, which inspired House of Chuck Magazine to travel back in time to the Golden age of Cinema between 1945 - 1960. We will be setting Marilyn Monroe free from decades of being falsely represented, gaslighted, and taken advantage of.

The series will conclude in 2023 after eight headline-grabbing seasons; If I had to go back and do it repeatedly, I wouldn’t. As I prepared for my departure from the Lou, I left coded messages and breadcrumbs like Leonardo Da Vinci, a massive inspiration. I have been told many times that I was Da Vinci and Warhol in a previous life. I had many previous lives, and we will visit them in future projects. House of Chuck Magazine is working on a prequel series that will tell my family history behind the camera during the revolution of Music from 1960 - to 2010; the story ends when I came to St. Louis in 2011. Goodbye, St. Louis.

I look forward to the journey that awaits.

To Be Continued

2011 - 2021 - VOL. II Coming Soon in 2023