International Mr. Leather

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For other uses, see IML (disambiguation).
International Mr. Leather Nr. 29, 2007 in the Chicago Theater

International Mister Leather (IML) is an international, though largely American, conference and contest of leathermen held annually in May since 1979 in Chicago, Illinois.

The International Mister Leather conference is a multi-day and activity event to recognize International Mister Leather. Shared interest events, such as speakers, socials, themed dance parties and a leather market are part of ways in which the competitors become known to the evaluating committee and enthusiasts, including the BDSM community, can share in the experience.

IML is an international recognized distinction with an informal relationship with how contestants qualify:[1] contestants must either be a winner of a lower level feeder competition of a bar, local or regional leather contest or be sponsored by a leather-related bar, business, club, or organization.[2]

The forerunner of the competition was the 1970s "Mr. Gold Coast" bar contest held at Chicago's Gold Coast leather bar, owned by Chuck Renslow and his then-partner, Dom Orejudos. The "Mr. Gold Coast" contest became one of the bar's most popular promotions causing the need to locate the competition to a larger venue (1979), and title change to International Mr. Leather.[3] The International Mister Bootblack Competition was added (1993) to the IML program.

The Leather Archives and Museum has placed IML in a trust (May 2009) with event profits to benefit the museum.[4]

IML established (July 2009) the policy that IML Leather Market participation would exclude "any entity which promotes barebacking or distributes/sells any merchandise tending to promote or advocate barebacking."[5]

In 2010 IML was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.[1]

IML contest criteria[edit]

Preliminary round

Contest finalists are selected following:

  1. A preliminary interview with each of the nine judges, up to 8 minutes in length, are held in private (60% of the preliminary score).
  2. Stage presence and personality at a Saturday "Pecs and Personality" event (40% of the preliminary score).

The judge's highest and lowest scores for each contestant in each criteria are dropped, and the contestant's remaining seven scores are tallied to determine the 20 contestants with the highest combined scores to proceed as finalists at the Sunday IML contest event. The only time that the dropped scores are included in the tally is when there is a tie for the 20th place; the contestants in question have their dropped scores included in the tally but if the stalemate continues then each of the nine judges must vote for only one of the two contestants. Preliminary judging scores are not carried forward. There are also two tally masters.[6]

Final round

Each of the 20 finalists is judged at the Sunday IML contest on a scale from 0 to 100 in the following order:

  1. Leather image (up to 40 points).
  2. Presentation skills that include a contestant speech (up to 40 points).
  3. Physical appearance (up to 20 points).

The highest and lowest scores for each finalist are dropped, the remaining seven scores are added together, and the top three scores designate the second runner-up, first runner-up, and winner, International Mr. Leather. A tie for the title is resolved by adding to the tally the dropped scores of the two contestants; if the stalemate continues then each of the nine judges must vote for only one of the contestants in question.

IML contest winners[edit]

The following is a table of IML contest winners:[7][8]

IML # Date IML winner Winner's preliminary title or sponsor Winner's city Field of contestants Contest's Location and Host Hotel
1 1979-05-20 David Kloss Mr. Leather Brig San Francisco, California 12 men from 6 U.S. states Grand Ballroom of the Radisson Hotel
2 1980-05-10 Patrick Brooks Mr. Leather Australia Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 18 men from 7 U.S. states and Australia Grand Ballroom of the Radisson Hotel
3 1981-05-09 Marty Kiker Sponsored by The Brig & The Phoenix San Francisco, California 36 men from 3 countries including 11 U.S. states Park West
4 1982-05-08 Luke Daniel Mr. Drummer San Francisco, California 46 men from 14 U.S. states and Canada Park West
5 1983-05-07 Coulter Thomas Mr. Texas Leather Houston, Texas 44 men from 15 U.S. states and Canada Park West & Allerton Hotel
6 1984-05-27 Ron Moore Mr. Leather Colorado Denver, Colorado 30 men from 14 U.S. states and Australia Park West & Allerton Hotel
7 1985-05-26 Patrick Toner Mr. Chaps San Francisco San Francisco, California 27 men from 3 countries including 14 U.S. states Park West & Allerton Hotel
8 1986-05-25 Scott Tucker Mr. Philadelphia Leather Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 28 men from 14 U.S. states Park West & Lake Shore Hotel
9 1987-05-24 Thomas Karasch Mr. Leather Europe Hamburg, Germany 31 men from 3 countries including 14 U.S. states Park West & Days Inn
10 1988-05-29 Michael Pereyra Mr. Leather San Diego San Diego, California 42 men from 3 countries including 20 U.S. states Clubland at the Vic & Executive House Hotel
11 1989-05-28 Guy Baldwin Mr. National Leather Association Los Angeles, California 48 men from 22 U.S. states and Canada Clubland at the Vic & Executive House Hotel
12 1990-05-27 Mark Ryan Mr. Boston Leather Boston, Massachusetts 42 men from 3 countries including 22 U.S. states Clubland at the Vic
13 1991-05-26 D Cannon Mr. CC (of Palm Springs) Hollywood, California 50 men from 3 countries including 24 U.S. states Clubland at the Vic & Executive House Hotel
14 1992-05-24 Lenny Broberg Mr. San Francisco Leather San Francisco, California 56 men from 22 U.S. states and Canada Aragon Ballroom & Executive House Hotel
15 1993-05-30 Henri ten Have sponsored by Motor Sportclub Amsterdam (MSA) Amsterdam, Holland 51 men from 5 countries including 23 U.S. states Aragon Ballroom & Congress Hotel
16 1994-05-29 Jeff Tucker Mr. San Jose Leather San Jose, California 43 men from 5 countries including 21 U.S. states Congress Theater & Congress Hotel
17 1995-05-28 Larry Everett Mr. Oklahoma Leather Collinsville, Oklahoma 50 men from 6 countries including 26 U.S. states Congress Theater & Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel
18 1996-05-26 Joe Gallagher Mr. Leather New York New York, New York 49 men from 6 countries including 25 U.S. states Congress Theater & Congress Hotel
19 1997-05-25 Kevin Cwayna Mr. Minnesota Leather Minneapolis, Minnesota 53 men from 5 countries including 24 U.S. states Congress Theater & Congress Hotel
20 1998-05-24 Tony Mills Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather Washington, D.C. 62 men from 7 countries including 24 U.S. states Congress Theater & Congress Hotel
21 1999-05-30 Bruce Chopnik Mr. Rocky Mountain Leather Denver, Colorado 52 men from 5 countries including 23 U.S. states Congress Theater & Congress Hotel
22 2000-05-28 Mike Taylor Mr. Heartland Leather Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio 60 men from 7 countries including 25 U.S. states Congress Theater & Congress Hotel
23 2001-05-27 Stefan Müller Bavarian Mr. Leather Munich, Germany 63 men from 7 countries including 27 U.S. states Congress Theater & Palmer House Hilton Hotel
24 2002-05-26 Stephen Weber Mr. Texas Leather Dallas, Texas 66 men from 7 countries including 28 U.S. states Congress Theater & Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel
25 2003-05-25 John Pendal Mr. Hoist London, United Kingdom 58 men from 5 countries including 25 U.S. states Congress Theater & Palmer House Hilton Hotel
26 2004-05-30 Jason Hendrix[9] Mr. DC Eagle 2004 Washington, D.C. 58 men from 5 countries including 23 U.S. states Congress Theater & Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel
27 2005-05-29 Michael Egdes[10] Mr. Ramrod Fort Lauderdale, Florida 52 men from 6 countries including 25 U.S. states Navy Pier Skyline Stage & Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel
28 2006-05-28 Bo Ladashevska Mr. Leather Montreal 2006 Montreal, Quebec, Canada 51 men from 5 countries including 18 U.S. states Chicago Theatre & Palmer House Hilton Hotel
29 2007-05-27 Mikel Gerle Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2007 Los Angeles, California 53 men from 5 countries including 23 U.S. states Chicago Theatre & Palmer House Hilton Hotel
30 2008-05-25 Gary Iriza Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2008 Palm Springs, California 51 men from 6 countries including 21 U.S. states Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel
31 2009-05-24 Jeffrey Payne Mr. Texas Leather 2009 Dallas, Texas 54 men Hilton Chicago Hotel
32 2010-05-30 Tyler McCormick Mr. Rio Grande Leather 2010 Albuquerque, New Mexico 52 men Congress Theater& Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel
33 2011-05-29 Eric Guttierez Mr. Leather Europe 2011 Paris, France 53 men Harris Theater& Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel
34 2012-05-27 Woody Woodruff Mr. Michigan Leather 2012 Waterford, Michigan 49 men Hyatt Regency Hotel
35 2013-05-26 Andy Cross Mr. SF Leather 2013 San Francisco, California 51 men Harris Theater& Marriott Michigan Ave. Chicago Hotel
36 2014-05-25 Ramien Pierre Mr. D.C. Eagle 2014 Washington, DC 46 men Harris Theater& Marriott Michigan Ave. Chicago Hotel

International Mister Bootblack Competition[edit]

The International Mister Bootblack (IMrBB) Competition runs throughout the IML weekend. Contestants are given a location in the IML Leather Market at which they perform bootblacking services. Weekend ticket package holders (as well as judges, contestants, and vendors) are each provided with a bootblack ballot which is redeemable for one shine by the bootblack of the voter's choice. Bootblacks are free to shine the boots of any person, regardless of whether that person has a ballot, although it is made clear that the ballots are the means by which the winner will be determined. Tipping is not required, but is quite common.

The bootblack contestants work during the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of IML during the time that the Leather Market is open, a total of approximately 20 hours over three days. In previous years, the bootblacks were allowed to shine boots and collect tickets at all times during the weekend. Since 2001, the bootblack contestants have established a gentlemen's agreement at the start of the weekend that they will not shine boots or accept ballots except during the established competition hours. This agreement was conceived to give the contestants the freedom to take time to enjoy the weekend without feeling the pressure to always be bootblacking.

At its inception in 1993, the competition was properly titled the International Bootblack Competition, and both men and women were allowed to compete. In 1998, it was announced that the competition would be changed to the International Mister Bootblack Competition and that a separate competition solely for women would be held at International Ms. Leather. This change was made largely because it was commonly held that women had a significant disadvantage competing for ballots from the mostly gay male IML attendees, who often base their bootblack selection at least partly on their sexual attraction to the bootblack. Since 1999, competitors for IMrBB are restricted to persons over the age of 21 who can provide a valid government-issued form of identification that identifies them as male.

The winner of the International Mr. Bootblack Competition is announced (along with the first and second runners-up and the winner of the Brotherhood Award, on which the IMrBB competitors vote and which is roughly analogous to the Miss Congeniality Award from various traditional beauty contests) at the Sunday contest, immediately following the announcement of the top 20 IML finalists.

In recent years, largely because of coordination of the contest by David Hawks, International Mr. Bootblack 2000, the Bootblack Competition has begun to develop adjunct activities. An IMrBB party is held in a hotel function room on Saturday night, offering food, music, and a silent auction, the proceeds of which go to the travel fund of the winner. Likewise, during the competition hours in the Leather Market, volunteers man a table to answer questions and sell IMrBB Travel Fund pins, which also adds to the travel fund. These sources of revenue have provided the various titleholders with significantly more money to aid their travel to distant events during their title years. The money is controlled by the contest coordinator, and any access to the funds must be accompanied by proof of the travel outlay.[11]

Starting in 2013, the IMrBB contest has implemented a judging system to select the winner. Contestants will be evaluated by a panel of judges on the basis of their technical bootblacking skills, how they present themselves on stage and in public and what they say in an interview with the judges. Ballot voting still makes up a percentage of the contestant's total score. [12]

IMrBB contest winners[edit]

The following is a table of IMrBB contest winners:[13]

Date IMrBB winner Winner's preliminary title or sponsor Winner's city
1993-05-30 David Morgan DC Eagle Washington, D.C.
1994-05-29 William Shields, Jr. Chicago Eagle & Chicago Hellfire Club Chicago, Illinois
1995-05-28 Tim Cousins DC Eagle Washington, D.C.
1996-05-26 Todd Nelson The Cuff Seattle, Washington
1997-05-25 "Driller" SF Eagle & Daddy's Bar San Francisco, California
1998-05-24 Matthew Duncan Centaur MC Washington, D.C.
1999-05-30 Robert Ehrlich DC Eagle Washington, D.C.
2000-05-28 David Hawks Centaur MC Washington, D.C.
2001-05-27 paksen Centaur MC Washington, D.C.
2002-05-26 Michael Lanzini The Lure New York, N.Y.
2003-05-25 Richie Chameroy Daddy's Bar & Powerhouse Bar San Francisco, California
2004-05-30 Alan Tunstall The Barracks Bar & Avatar Club Los Angeles, California
2005-05-29 "BooBoo" Great Lakes Leather Alliance and Laws Leather Cleveland, Ohio
2006-05-28 Benjamin Palmer PumpJack Pub & Priape Vancouver Vancouver, British Columbia
2007-05-27 "Spot" Great Lakes Leather Alliance Lansing, Michigan
2008-05-25 "Bootdog" Alameda County Leather Corps Oakland, California
2009-05-24 "McG" Bootblack Toronto 2009 - MLTC Inc. Toronto, Ontario
2010-05-30 Tim Starkey Boston Ramrod Boston, Massachusetts
2011-05-29 Jim Deuder NYC Bootblack Roundtable, Leathermen NYC, and the Eagle NYC New York City, New York
2012-05-27 Nick Elliott Oregon State Bootblack Portland, Oregon
2013-05-27 Sammy Sklover Oregon State Bootblack Portland, Oregon
2014-05-25 Scout Eros SF & the San Francisco Eagle Oakland, California

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Bean, Joseph W. (2004). International Mr. Leather: 25 Years of Champions. International Mr. Leather, Inc. and The Leather Archives and Museum (1st edition ed.). Las Vegas: Nazca Plains. ISBN 1-887895-38-8. 
  2. ^ Davolt, Robert (2003). Painfully Obvious: An Irreverent & Unauthorized Manual for Leather/SM. cover design by Steve Diet Goedde. Los Angeles: Daedalus Publishing. p. 212. ISBN 1-881943-19-4. 
  3. ^ International Mr. Leather, Inc. "Contestant Application" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2006-03-24. Retrieved 2005-12-21. 
  4. ^ "Leather Archives & Museum Announcement". Twitter. 2009-05-25. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  5. ^ "IML Makes History". Will Clark World. 2009-07-15. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  6. ^ International Mr. Leather, Inc. "Official IML Scoring Procedure". Archived from the original on 2005-12-22. Retrieved 2005-12-21. 
  7. ^ International Mr. Leather, Inc. "IML 2004". Archived from the original on 2006-03-24. Retrieved 2005-12-18. 
  8. ^ International Mr. Leather, Inc. (2005-05-30). Michael Egdes Named International Mr. Leather 2005 Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago. (Microsoft Word). Press release. 
  9. ^ "International Mr. Leather - Bootblack Contest". Archived from the original on 2006-03-24. Retrieved 2006-04-14. 
  10. ^ "International Mr. Leather - Past Bootblack Winners". Archived from the original on 2006-03-24. Retrieved 2006-04-14. 
  11. ^ International Mr. Leather, Inc. (2007-05-27). Mikel Gerle Named International Mr. Leather 2007. (Microsoft Word). Press release. 
  12. ^ "International Mr. Bootblack 2013 Press Release". Retrieved 2013-02-08. 
  13. ^ Source for 1979 to 2003: Bean, Joseph W. (2004). International Mr. Leather: 25 Years of Champions. International Mr. Leather, Inc. and The Leather Archives and Museum (1st edition ed.). Las Vegas: Nazca Plains. ISBN 1-887895-38-8. 
  14. ^ Source for 2004 to 2008: "International Mr. Leather - History". Retrieved 2009-03-15. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]