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

IML's forerunner 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. As the "Mr. Gold Coast" contest became one of the bar's most popular promotions, it expanded to a larger venue in 1979. Along with the change of venue came a change in name to International Mr. Leather.

IML is an independent contest in that there is no contract or formal connection with feeder contests. To qualify, IML contestants must either be the winner of a bar, local or regional leather contest or be sponsored by a leather bar, business, club, or organization.

Over the years, a whole conference and another contest, the International Mister Bootblack Competition, have arisen around the IML contest.

IML contest criteria Edit

First, all contestants are judged in a preliminary round. Second, the top 20 contestants from the preliminary round move on to become IML finalists. In each round, there are nine judges and two tally masters.

Preliminary roundEdit

The preliminary judging consists of two parts:

  1. The preliminary interview, up to 8 minutes in length and held in private, which accounts for 60% of the preliminary score.
  2. Stage presence and personality at a Saturday "Pecs and Personality" event, which account for 40% of the preliminary score.

The highest and lowest scores by judges for each contestant in each part are dropped, and the contestant's remaining seven scores are added together. The 20 contestants with the highest combined scores are announced as finalists at the Sunday IML contest event.

In case of a tie for 20th place, the dropped scores are added back for the two tied contestants. If that does not resolve the tie, then each of the nine judges must vote for only one of the two contestants.

No scores from the preliminary judging are carried forward.

Final roundEdit

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

  1. Leather image, which accounts for up to 40 points.
  2. Presentation skills, which account for up to 40 points. Each contestant must give a short speech.
  3. Physical appearance, which accounts for up to 20 points.

The highest and lowest scores for each finalist are dropped, and the remaining seven scores are added together. The finalists with the top three scores are the second runner-up, first runner-up, and winner, International Mr. Leather.

In case of a tie for the winner position, the dropped scores are added back for the two tied contestants. If that does not resolve the tie, then each of the nine judges must vote for only one of the two tied contestants.

IML contest winnersEdit

IML # Date IML winner Winner's preliminary title or sponsor Winner's city Field of contestants Contest's Chicago location
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, 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 Mr. DC Eagle 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 Mr. Ramrod Fort Lauderdale, Florida 52 men from 6 countries Navy Pier Skyline Stage & Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel
28 2006-05-28 Bo Ladashevska Mr. Leather Montreal 2006 Montreal, Quebec, Canada to be determined Chicago Theatre & Palmer House Hilton Hotel
29 2007-05-27 Mikel Gerle Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2007 Los Angeles, California to be determined 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 Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel

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, Las Vegas: Nazca Plains. ISBN 1-887895-38-8. 

IML conferenceEdit

Of all the IML conference events listed below, only the IML contest itself and the Black and Blue Ball have been held since IML's beginning in 1979. As IML evolves over time, other events have been added to the conference. The newest event is the presentation of the IML Flag, a tradition started in 2005.

Opening ceremonyEdit

IML FlagEdit

Leather marketEdit

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.

IMrBB Contest Winners Edit

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 New York, N.Y.
2006-05-28 Benjamin Palmer PumpJack Pub & Priape Vancouver Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2007-05-27 "Spot" Great Lakes Leather Alliance Lansing, Michigan
2008-05-25 "Bootdog" Alameda County Leather Corps Oakland, California

Pecs and Personality: physique prejudgingEdit

IML contestEdit

Salute! IML Closing CeremonyEdit

IML Victory Celebration PartyEdit

IML Winners Press ConferenceEdit

Black & Blue BallEdit

Event schedule 2006Edit

Below is the conference agenda for 2006. It is similar to IML event schedules in recent years.

Thursday

  • Opening ceremony
  • Presentation of the IML Flag

Friday

  • Leather market opens
  • International Mister Bootblack Competition

Saturday

  • Pecs and Personality

Sunday

  • IML contest
  • Salute! Closing Ceremony
  • Victory Celebration Party

Monday

  • Leather market closes
  • IML Winners Press Conference
  • Black and Blue Ball

FootnotesEdit

  1. Template:NoteBean, Joseph W. (2004). International Mr. Leather: 25 Years of Champions, International Mr. Leather, Inc. and The Leather Archives and Museum, 1st edition, Las Vegas: Nazca Plains. ISBN 1-887895-38-8. 
  2. Template:NoteDavolt, Robert (2003). Painfully Obvious: An Irreverent & Unauthorized Manual for Leather/SM, cover design by Steve Diet Goedde, Los Angeles: Daedalus Publishing, 212. ISBN 1-881943-19-4. 
  3. Template:NoteInternational Mr. Leather, Inc.. Contestant Application (PDF). Retrieved on 2005-12-21.
  4. Template:NoteInternational Mr. Leather, Inc.. Official IML Scoring Procedure. Retrieved on 2005-12-21.
  5. Template:NoteInternational Mr. Leather, Inc.. IML 2004. Retrieved on 2005-12-18.
  6. Template:NoteInternational Mr. Leather, Inc. (2005-05-30). Michael Egdes Named International Mr. Leather 2005 Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago. (Microsoft Word). Press release. 
  7. Template:NoteInternational Mr. Leather - Bootblack Contest. Retrieved on 2006-04-14.
  8. Template:NoteInternational Mr. Leather - Past Bootblack Winners. Retrieved on 2006-04-14.
  9. Template:NoteInternational Mr. Leather, Inc. (2007-05-27). Mikel Gerle Named International Mr. Leather 2007. (Microsoft Word). Press release. 

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at International Mister Leather. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

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