By Vonn Tramel, Photos by Rich Stadtmiller and Muffin
IMsL Weekend 2016 the “Dirty 30" Celebration was held in San Jose, CA, April 14-17. Seven contestants competed for the titles of IMsBB and IMsL 2016, but Saturday night it was Bootblack Meghan and Lascivious
Jane who came out on top of each class.
The weekend was a culmination of a year of travel for slave Tabitha and her Master who were only separated on three trips and over 93,000 miles of travel for IMsL 2015 Sarge – travel which included Northern Alaska and the southern most tip of Africa, four continents and over 10,000 selfies.
Tabitha’s “last shine” opened the festivities, followed by Queer happy hour and the opening reception. However, Thursday night’s Seduction was again the highlight of the weekend for me. With performances by hot butches and super femmes, and of course the eternally-hot Peggy Sue. Who would choose to miss this IMsBB and IMsL travel “fun”rasier? The runway was longer, the lights were darker, and the women hotter than ever, dancing their way into the attendees' wettest dreams.
Friday was chock-full of amazing classes and intensives, receptions and hot bootblacking.
New this year was a Jamberry nail salon, hosted by IMsBB 2009 pony girl with a percentage of proceeds for the entire month of April benefiting the IMsL Foundation.
The vendor and auction spaces were open and chock full of delicious and devious devices and duds for dolly’s and Daddy’s to do with as they please.
Friday and Saturday night’s show’s were judged by a panel of firsts … the first Ms World Leather Annie Romano, first American Leather Woman Sara Humble, International Mr. Bootblack Pasken Burrel, Producer Gen 1 Sky Renfro, and Metis Black owner of the first sex toy company to mainstream silicone sex toys ensuring industry material safety, IMsL judges were joined by Head Judge IMsL 2014 Patty.
IMsBB judges were first IMsL Judy Tallwing McCarthy, International Mr. Bootblack Bamm Bamm, International Ms Bootblack 2014 Dara Bryant.
The Contest nights were simulcast to the contestant’s hometowns by The Leather Journal for IMsL and recordings of all four ballroom events will be donated to the IMsL Foundation for historical record. Friday’s show featured roll call for all four generations of contestants.
Saturday night, an announcement of all IMsL’s and IMsBB alumni was presented during the Contest Finale. The Mama's Family photo included over 100 members, including two new members: IMsL Staff member Oliver Clothes Off is now Mama’s Left Shark and Ms San Diego Leather 2016 Jae Marie is now Mama’s Cold Hands.
Saturday Night's contest featured fantasies and formality. Bubblinsugare performance as Emcee was downright sassy. Each contestant brought fantasies, which reflected their own brand of kink and desire. IMsL runner-up Aurora Lee’s musical tribute to back-alley gang-bangs and Lascivious Jane’s Victory Girl domination of Uncle Sam brought down the house.
The bootblacks spoke with a common conviction and clarity of purpose during their speeches. The Leather Archives & Museum and The Carter/Johnson Leather Library were on hand each displaying special pieces that had not been out of private collection in almost 10 years. The Carter Johnson Leather Library’s centerpiece was a Bootblack quilt with boot patches chronicling titleholder names through 2005. The quilt was acquired in 2005, during an auction. IMsL Weekend was the first time it had been seen since then.
Reuniting many titleholders with a piece of their history, each IMsL and IMsBB wore their sashes Saturday night during Alumni introduction.
Emcees Tristan Taormino and Bubblinsugare kept the stage alive throughout the weekend, each with their own special brand of wit, snark and sexy stamina.
Hospitality was hoppin’ as usual and was hosted by Portland Bad Girls, SFgoL, ACLC and Mama’s Family, The Exiles, The Canadian’s Bevies with Beavers, Dragon Tear Tribe hosting the Cigars and Boots Social on Saturday Night, a Disney Social hosted by The Little Scouts, and the Pajama Party in lieu of the traditional Afterglow party. Bootblack Scout was on hand with pancakes and peanut butter to supplement a wonderful continental Saturday morning spread during the SFgoL’s Brunch. Mama’s family pinning’s and Volunon patching by Rich during which my partner PuP~ and I were patched by Rich Stadtmiller during the ACLC and Mama’s family reception.
Master George and slave bren also took the opportunity to appoint Teagan as the 2016 Southern California Leather Bootblack during Mama’s reception.
Sunday morning, Mama Vi’s keynote was told in storyteller fashion. With her “grand children” gathered at her feet. She spoke about the history present in the room, giving us a taste, but skillfully, leaving us wanting to know more about each of the hero’s she spoke of. After her keynote, the applause continued until Emcee Tristan Taromino called her back to the stage and she pulled a tearful Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt with her, for a full 120 seconds of thunderous applause for the two women.
Sunday afternoon I was lucky enough to be the only press at the meet the titleholders press conference, scoring some much unexpected one-on-one time.
Meghan hopes to continue working to elevate Bootblack status and Jane will continue to bring the men’s, women’s and queer communities together. Meghan looks forward to traveling outside the US and meeting bootblacks from other countries and Jane wants to learn more about bootblacking and the care of her Leathers. Something tells me this dynamic duo will make some memorable moments and bring some great stories to share next April 20-24 in San Jose, CA.
Read more about this years contestants, winners, parties and see video highlights online at https://www.theleatherjournal.com/home/imsl-news
The Leather Journal welcomes our readers to our annual preview of the International Mr. Leather contestants. There are 52 who made it by our latest deadline and a couple more that did not make it. Word had it that byt the end of April that there would be at least 60 men
Enjoy - and select your favorite.
If you are going to International Mr. Leather make note of your favorite. Maybe you will met him and he will turn out to be everything you hoped he would be. Hands off for the weekend because each man is going to have what might be the busiest weekend of his life.
The IML 2016 judges are International Mr. Leather 2015 Patrick Smith, Mr. Boston Leather 2008 Joe Barlow, Mr. Northwoods 2011 Jeff Gruenberger, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2012 Derek Harley, Seattle Leather Grand Dad 2012 Jeff Henness, Women's International Leather Legacy 2015 Penelope Jones, Mr. North Florida Drummer 2000 Steve Laviolette. Secretary of Geared Ireland John O'Brien and International Master 2014 Michael Shorten.
The tally masters for IML 2016 are Great Lakes Leather Sir 2002 Don Leach and past president of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of ONYX Dominion ONYX.
International Mr. Leather 2016 will be held Friday, May 27 through Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day Weekend) in Chicago, IL. The Congress Plaza Hotel, 520 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL will be the host hotel for IML 2016.
For complete bios and photos of the judges and tally masters, and weekend information go to http://www.imrl.com
It was announced that Tyesha Nicole Best will be the social media coordinator for International Mr. Leather 2016.
International Mr. Leather 2016 Contestant bios and photos
Mr. Alamo City Leather 2016 Shawn Fox
Shawn Fox is a California transplant who is now an Austin resident. His involvement in the Leather and BDSM community spans 16 years. He’s a founding member and current president of GULP, a gear and fetish group in Austin and a member of Discipline Corp for 12 years. Fox has dedicated himself to educating people about many varieties of kinks and is dedicated to educating and mentoring the next generation of Leather men and women.
Bavarian Mr. Leather 2016 Werner Hall
Born and raised in Germany. I was elected on February 25th, during the famous Munich Starkbierfest to the Bavarian Mr. Leather 2016, by the members of the MLC - Munich and representing the fetish and Leather community of Bavaria, since that moment. My key sentence for my year as the title holder is "Together we are powerful" so therefore I want to bring the power of the complete LGBTIQ community together to one point, that we can fight together for our rights. Photo by Taco D. Smit.
Mr. Bolt Leather 2016 Ray Sherwin
Ray Sherwin joined the Leather Community more than a decade ago. After serving in the United States Marine Corps, and is currently working towards a Nursing degree. Ray resides in Sacramento, CA. Ray was first introduced into the Leather Community as the boy of two amazing Leathermen, Earl Grist and Jake Andersen. He was quickly to become intimate with Triad/Polyamorous Relationships, Motorcycle Clubs, Gear, Fetishes, Boots, Cigars, and Leather Families/Tribes. Photo by Robert Weaver.
Mr. Chicago Leather Todd Harris
I am 54, 6' 210 pounds, a large animal veterinarian and owner of Stonewall Construction, Inc. Been lucky and blessed to be in the community since 1987 - and live to tell about it. Chicago native, sports fan, gear head, tequila man; Dom top, flag red, yellow, black and grey on the left. Photo by Colin Davis.
Mr. CMEN Leather 2015 Rick Boehle
Rick Boehle, from Los Angeles, California, won the title of Mr. CMEN Leather 2015 at CMEN's West Coast Gathering in Malibu on September 10. Rick has actively volunteered as part of West Coast Gathering leadership for the last decade. He is looking forward to representing CMEN at local Leather community events.
Viola M Johnson giving the keynote address at the 30th Anniversary of the International Ms. Leather Contest Victory Brunch. Her topic was "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants". Gramma Vi introduced a new generation to those that came before, who were present with them ... in that moment.
Name: Miss BEEHave
Current Title: Ms. Sydney Leather 2015
City, State: Sydney, Australia
Website & (if any) regular community events that you produce or participate (limit 3):
Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear: Full length leather barista apron....I bought this custom made piece from a well known quality leather maker in Sydney, Jo King. I love that it can worn as a formal or informal piece, and my waist size doesn't matter as its fully adjustable. I often wear sequin hotpants underneath, a treasure I picked up from San Francisco Folsom in 2014 for a cheeky surprise when I leave the room.
Is your IMsL run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? If so Please tell me about your Sponsor:
My major sponsor is Marquis De Sade in Melbourne Australia - a gorgeous bespoke fetish wear designer and corsetiere. We have a shared spark, a contagious energy when we talk of the promotion of visibility of leather women in Australia. Marquis De Sade offer customised steel boned corsets, leather ladieswear, leather menswear, fantasy costumes, corseted dresses, fetish wear, with online tailoring, their work is available to international visitors to order.