By Anthony Harman
California Drummer is a fetish weekend which begins Friday, June 30 concluding Sunday, July 2 at the Barracks in Cathedral City. The weekend will start off with classes ranging from BDSM 101 teachings to Intro to various Fetishes. Friday night will kick-off with our Fetish Masquerade Ball. Saturday while the contestants are having their interviews, there will be more classes and a pool party in the afternoon. And Saturday, July 1 beginning at 8 PM will be our “BIG TENT” event which will contain three acts, opening with the introductions of contestants showing off their bodies and answering a few questions, next act will show us what their deviant minds held in a fantasy and finally ending with a speech.
The judges are: from San Diego, Paulo Batista, SoCal Drummer 2015; from Concord, Robby “Dah Baby” DeWitt, SoCal Drummerboy 2015; Mike Brock, SoCal Drummer first runner-up 2015; from Palm Springs, Ken Blochowski, VP/Marketing Director for Fetish Locker; and Bill Freyer, owner of Not So Innocent.
California Drummer, California Drummerboy and California Drummer Bootblack are fetish titles — celebrating the diverse range of sexual fetishes of gay men. Titleholders network and do outreach to help educate individuals and the broader gay community about gay men’s fetishes, erotic expression, traditions and history — and of course, encourage fetish and gear play, BDSM and hot kinky sex. Contestants are judged in four categories: Interview; Speech and Image; Physique; and Fantasy Scene that highlight their fetishes and play.
California Drummer contests are designed to better reflect the reality of gay men active today in the fetish/kink communities. Each title is open to the broad spectrum of fetish identities celebrated by gay men — from rubber, uniforms, skinhead, Leather, to sports kit, military, punk, puppy play and more — and reach beyond any one specific power dynamic. Eligible contestants are gay-identified biological or transgendered men in the fetish/kink communities, age 21 or older, and residents of California or Baja California Norte, MX.
For information on contestant applications, vendor space or sponsorship; visit Facebook – California Drummer Event or http://www.DrummerCalifornia.com
California Drummer is a regional for the Drummer North America title.
By Anthony Harmon
January 26-29 Drummer North America held its Third Annual Drummer, Drummer Boy, and Drummer Bootblack contest at the re-known Alexis Park Resort in Las Vegas, NV with the winners being Drummer - Jack MacCullum, Drummer Boy - Pup Cruze and Drummer Bootblack - Boy Tig. The annual Brotherhood Award, voted on by the contestants, went to Boy Tig.
Approximately 500 Leatherfolk attended the Southwest Leather Conference which celebrated its 15th Anniversary at the Four Points Sheraton in Phoenix, AZ the weekend of January 19-22 with the highlights being the Southwest Master slave Contest and the Dance of Souls. The weekend was high on spirituality, branded "the woo" by regulars.
As tradition has had it for many years, the introduction of judges for the International Mr. Leather 2017 contest was done during Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend in Washington, DC. Jon Krongaard of the IML Executive
Committee made the announcement and added several important pieces of information.
Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend saw at least 3,000 Leatherfolk and kinsters converge on the host Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC the weekend of January 12-15 where Martel Brown was chosen to be Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather ans Todd White was installed as Centaur Motorcycle Club president.
At 5 PM on December 17th the contestant application for the 2017 Mr. Twin Cities Leather contest became available on the contest website. The contest producers sought a pool of five contestants to run for the title the weekend of February 17-19. 15 hours later, the fifth application had been received.
Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2016 Todd Levitt will head the panel of judges for Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2017 which will be held at the sold out Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC the weekend of January 14-16.
A record attendance is expected for Mid Atlantic Leather which will be highlighted by Leather Cocktails on Saturday night. This is a formal affair with high-end food stations throughout the ballroom. Club members and officers are introduced.
By Pup Tripp
Recently in Dallas, TX, executive producers from both the International Pup and Trainer Contest (IPTC) and the International Puppy Contest (IPC) made a joint announcement that, beginning in July 2017, both contests have committed to a two-year period of running concurrently in the same location. This is seen as just the beginning of a transition that will bring the two contests together again and, in so doing, provide the pup and handler community a weekend event that is truly their own.
By Dave Rhodes
Los Angeles Puppy Pride Weekend 2017 has come and gone and what a weekend it was. The highlight was the LA Pup 2017 contest which was won by Alfonso "Pup Dazzle" Vasquez and concluded on Saturday night, November 12 at the Bullet Bar in North Hollywood, CA with 200 Pupfolk and friends attending. The runner-up was Joshua "Pup Tek" Yeager.
The weekend started with the Pup Play LA class and play party at the Sanctuary Studios LAX on Thursday night. LA Pup Weekend attracted 600 people all told according to los angeles Puppy Pride producer Matthew Mullins Pup Play LA classes were taught by Tim Hamilton, Pup Zero and Pup Ash Tray.
By Leo Newcomb
Palm Springs Leather Pride Weekend began with a great loss and sorrow for many of us on the eve of our 22nd annual celebration. On October 17, 2016, a week before our kickoff, we were struck with the hardest of blows with the unexpected passing of our beloved club brother, David Murdock, of natural causes. David was one of Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert’s pillars and for decades had become proficient in every facet of our weekend. In his memory, we honored him both at the formal Leather dinner and the contest with a video tribute by Randy Carmenaty, narrated by Larry Golubski. It was with a heavy heart that in his honor and in the spirit of who he was, we forged ahead, as David would often say, “the show must go on.."
David must have been watching over us because we take great pleasure and tremendous pride in having hosted one of our highest attended Leather pride events in over a decade. This year we decided to practically overhaul the entire weekend. The theme and namesake, TOPGUN: Desert Opps, began with Hawkers and Vendors: Cruise Alley, which was held on Arenas Road with LA DJ, Manuelito. Over 2,500 Leatherfolk passed through the gate in the Spurline parking lot on Arenas Road as several vendors marketed their wares.
Article and Photos by Brian Mincey
The 2016 American Brotherhood Weekend was held in the Etienne Auditorium of the Leather Archives & Museum October 7-9 in Chicago, Illinois. This year was an exciting contest with 11 contestants hailing from across the USA, vying for the titles of American Leatherman, American Leatherwoman, and American Leatherboy. The contest consisted of individual interviews, fantasies, speeches, and hotwear judging, and featured a number of opportunities for contestants, judges, and attendees to mingle and mix throughout the weekend.
On Sunday evening, contest producers Dean Ogren, George Hester, and Karen Ultra announced the following winners: American Leatherman Doug Kuhn, of Phoenix, Arizona; the first runner-up was Ryan Baehr, from Portland, Oregon, and the second runner-up was Scottie Tidwell, hailing from San Diego, California. Also competing were Sir Kevin, from Baltimore, Maryland, and Todd Sittler, from Pearland, Texas.
American Leatherwoman is Steph, who resides in Charleston, South Carolina. Her first runner-up was Margaret Irene, from Baltimore, Maryland, and second runner-up was Stormy Styles, from Portland, Oregon.
American Leatherboy is Steve Carlisle, from West Hollywood, California. He shared the stage with first runner-up Boy David, from Glen Burnie, Maryland, and second runner-up Josh, who hails from Prairieville, Louisiana.
The Brotherhood Awards, chosen by contestants, went to Steph, Boy David, and Doug Kuhn.
This year’s judging panel included Jefferey “Gummibärchen” Basile, Gabe Sims, Sarah Sloane, Vern Stewart, and Nancy Weinberger. The emcee was Karen Ultra.
The 2015 titleholders – American Leatherman Dan Ronneberg, American Leatherwoman LE, and American Leatherboy Boy Pup Max represented their titles with energy, dignity, and honor.
The International Leather Sir, Leatherboy and Community Bootblack weekend was held in a new hotel in Dallas, TX over Labor Day Weekend where Sir Ivan won the Sir title, boy jake presented the boy medallion and boy Patrick take the Bootblack sash in front of approximately 450 Leatherfolk and Kinksters.
The four-day weekend started at the Downtown Doubletree by Hilton on Thursday, September 1 with a VIP reception, the Pantheon of Leather 2016 Awards in the Skyline Ballroom with Christopher Edwards serving as emcee, introduction of contestants with emcee Wayne Davis, meet and greet and contestant demos, followed by a roast of the 2015 ILSb-ICBB titleholders hosted Bamm Bamm.
Friday and Saturday saw the vendor market open with several classes and demos and a FETCH! Puppy Mosh.
The International Puppy 2017 Contest celebrated its Fifth Anniversary with Pup Rex Sheppard finishing tops among 11 contestants at R-Bar in St. Louis, MO on Saturday night, July 16 in front of about 200 cheering spectators. The runner-up was Pup Rok.
Main events were scheduled to be at JJ's Clubhouse, but had to be moved due to an electric outage from a severe storm that hit St. Louis earlier in the week that knocked out power to over 100,000 people. JJ's Clubhouses was among the last to have power restored. Power was restored so that activities on Sunday afternoon could resume there.
The contestants were Pup Turbo, Ryan "Pup Zero" Evans, Florida Puppy 2016 - Alpha Cruz, Dave Rex Shephard, Lupe Alvarez, Pup Razors, Pup Scout, Xavier "Pup Snuggles" Thrace, Chip "Pup Rok" Ware, Alan Rodriguez and Jay "Pup Atlas" Rush.
The judging panel included International Puppy 2016 Pup Incus who was the head judge, International Leatherboy 2015 Tim Hotchkin, American Leatherboy 2013 Tank Teachworth, American Leatherboy 2015 Eli "Boypup Max" Marquez, International Trainer and Puppy 2015 Pup Kona, The Leather Journal publisher and editor Dave Rhodes and International Leather Sir 2015 Sir Tug. Mark Bozif was the tally master.
The contestants were interviewed at Attitudes on Saturday afternoon. The on stage categories included a speech, fantasy and formal personal image. In the latter category contestants answered light questions drawn up by the judges - pick and envelope please by emcee Karma T. Cassidy.
Pup Rex Sheppard is from Pflugerville, TX and is the founder and a member of the Austin Pets and Handlers. He is also a member of the Austin Gears, Discipline Corps, North Star Kennel Club and an associate member of the Chicago Hellfire Club. Pup Rex Shepard has been a puppy for 15 years and active in the puppy community for six years. Pup Rok hails from Houston, TX.
The Holiday Inn Express Central West End on Lindell was the host hotel and was near several great restaurants and attractions. The Holiday Inn has hosted several other LGBT community events and the staff was very accommodating.
Events on Thursday included puppy movie day featuring Secret Life of Pets, Blue Ocean sushi dinner, kickoff party and mosh pit opening. While there were guests from all over the United States and Canada, the largest groups seemed to be for Texas and Florida.
Friday had a class in the afternoon including Domestic Violence versus BDSM by pat Machate, Pup Awareness by Tank Teachworth, and Trainer and Puppy Couples by Pup Incus, a pub crawl, meet and greet and a titleholder's cocktail party followed by a mosh pit. Saturday classes included Leather and Gear Care by Meghan and Seth, Headspace and Event Drop by Daddy C. John, and Community Perspective by Pup Tripp; a puppy obstacle course, judges' dinner the contest and mosh pit. Sunday concluded with a victory cookout at Linder's Pub.
It was noted from the stage that Square Peg Toys was the exclusive corporate sponsor of the winner's travel fund and the amount donated was huge.
International Puppy executive producer Joe Mastrapasqua was impressed with the number of contests, the quality of contest, the growth over the first five years and with how well his team handled the venue situation at the last moment. His fellow owners are Flip Gray, Bruce Taylor, Tripp Hutchings and Papa Woof Roth. Many people noted how well the International Puppy Contest staff handled all of the sudden changes.
Story and photos by Dave Rhodes
When the dust settled around 9 PM or so at the Harris Theater in Chicago, IL on Sunday, May 29 Mr. New Jersey Leather 2016 David "Tigger" Bailey was named International Mr. Leather 2016 by IML Executive Producer and Founder Chuck Renslow. Not long befor, Andrew Bootdog Johnson announced that Erick Joseph was International Mr. Bootblack 2016.
It is notable that IML 2016 first runner-up Mr. Chicago Leather 2016 Todd Harris and second runner-up Mr. Midwest Leather 2015 Adam "Pup Vino" Henderson reside in Chicago.
59 IML contestants and four IMBB contestants vied for the coveted titles, representing the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel and Europe.
Officially, IML 2016 began on Friday, May 27, but a Roast of the stepping down IML 2015 Patrick Smith and IMBB 2015 Bamm Bamm at the Leather Archives and Museum on Thursday night, and parties and other activities started before, such as those at Touche, Leather64TEN and the Jackhammer. The host Congress Hotel was already filling up and the halls and lobby were full of hot, horny men. Women made a strong showing with probably the highest percentage in attendance in IML history.
The International Mr. Leather Opening Ceremonies at Park West saw contestants introduced in groups by country or state. Their numbers were selected on Thursday during the Contestant Orientation.
Pecs and Personality, held at Park West on Friday night gave the contestants an opportunity to share how they can react on stage as each dressed minimal wear answered questions which were related to information they supplied in the contestant. The mostly humorous questions were created by IML staff.
The weekend had so many events that it was virtually impossible to attend them all. There were the big night parties at the Congress Plaza Hotel including the San Francisco Party and Gear Blast Party on Friday night and International Bootblack Reception on Saturday night. The huge ONYX party was held off campus this year. The Chicago Hellfire Club held play parties at the club house throughout IML 2016 weekend as well as a cocktail reception on Saturday afternoon at the Congress Plaza.
Earlier on Saturday the That Puppy Thing saw a panel of several community leaders explain the puppy phenomenon. Not long after was Puppy Yoga. Off Leash: The Pup and Handler Romp was the big puppy mosh party. The vendors took note of the popularity of the puppy scene a few years ago and almost all of them had puppy paraphernalia on sale in their booths. Just about anywhere one looked at anytime of the day at the Congress Plaza and at Park West and the Harris Theater puppies were visible wearing dog masks and puppy tails.
Following tradition, the staged portion of the contest opened with an address from Chuck Renslow. He closed his statements by urging everyone to "vote Democratic, up and down the ticket, from President to Dog Catcher."
The International Mr. Bootblack contest added judges a few years ago and there were three - International Mr. Bootblack 2015 Bamm Bamm, International Ms Bootblack 2016 Meghan and Ms Alameda County Leather 2006 Joan Norry.
The Bootblacks have been judged by popular vote solely, but now that balloting among IML IMBB attendees accounts for only part of the scores. IMBB 2015 Bamm Bamm lamented on what he and many others feel is that IML treats the Bootblack contest as an aside, citing several reasons why he felt that was the case.
Bootblack stands were set up behind the escalators on the second floor of the Congress Plaza where IMBB 2016 contestants worked boots for votes Friday, Saturday and early Sunday.
International Mr. Bootblack 2016
4 Erick Joseph, Anchorage, AK
3 Bootblack Beta
International Mr. Leather 1992 Lenny Broberg and International Mr. Leather 2013 first runner-up Thib Guicherd Callin teamed up as the emcees and they were brilliant working together. Both had great senses of humor and neither denigrated any of the contestants - a class act indeed. Thib is from San Jose and Lenny is from San Francisco, both are in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A dance tribute to Chuck Renslow's late partner Dom Etienne Orejudos titled La Danse Apache En Cuir was performed by Joe LaChance and Peter Navarro and dancers. The crowd was in awe of the presentation, making no noise during the dance and a powerful applause at the end.
There was a strong tribute to the Leather Archives and Museum which will celebrate its 25th Anniversary the third weekend of September. The Centaur Motorcycle Club's Patrick Grady presented a check in the amount of $20,000 to Leather Archives Director Rick Storer and several Leather Archives notables shared moments of history from the discussion of the founding of the Leather Archives by Chuck Renslow and Tony DeBlase, the catchphrase "Located in Chicago and serving the world" by Joseph Bean, the move to the Greenview address and other milestones in Leather Archives history. The funds will be used by the Museum to preserve and provide access to Leather history and art. With this contribution, Centaur MC has donated over $60,000 to the LA&M.
The IML 2016 judges were 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 were Great Lakes Leather Sir 2002 Don Leach and past president of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of ONYX Dominion ONYX.
International Mr. Leather 2016
28 David "Tigger" Bailey, Mr. New Jersey Leather 2016, Howell, NJ.
A Massachusetts native, Tigger grew up on the east coast and attended MIT graduating with a degree in Management Science. He is currently a senior retail executive. Tigger lives in Howell, NJ with his husband Cubby and their three dogs, and is a proud Sir to his extended Leather family.
53 Todd Harris, Mr. Chicago Leather 2016, Chicago, IL
At 54, 6' 210 pounds, Todd Harris is a large animal veterinarian and owner of Stonewall Construction, Inc. He's 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.
16 Adam "Pup Vino" Henderson, Mr. Midwest Leather 2015, Chicago, IL
Adam "Pup Vino" Henderson is a Virginia native. He moved to Chicago in 2013. A Leatherman at heart, he became heavily involved in the pup community. He is a member of the Chicago Puppy Patrol, the North Star Kennel Club, BLUF Chicago and is a Titan of the Midwest. He has also volunteered at IML doing ticket sales and CLAW. He is the founder of the Midwest Kink Alliance, a group of titleholders and non-titleholders who are involved in the kink community and sharing events and keeping people informed.
Top 20 Finalists - Numerical Order
3 Conor Vaughan-Buggy, Mr. Geared Ireland 2015, Clonee, Dublin, Ireland
5 Danny Kaylor-Hawkins, Mr. DC Eagle 2016, Washington, DC
10 Tim Ball, Sydney Mr. Leather 2015/16, Neutral Bay, Australia
11 Christopher Durbin, Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2016, Palm Springs, CA
12 Jeffrey Erdman, Mr. los angeles Leather 2016, los angeles, CA
15 Rob "Papa Bear" Anderson, Mr. Iowa Leather 2016, Binghamton, NY
19 Dave Hughes, Mr. Tri-State Leather 2015, Louisville/Jefferson County metro go, KY
22 Jason Black, Mr. ICON Detroit Leather 2016, Waterford, MI
30 Brett Baldwin, Oklahoma Mr. Leather 2016, Oklahoma City, OK
39 Jim Rios, Mr. San Diego Leather 2014 - 2015, San Diego, CA
41 Todd Leavitt, Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2016, Arlington, VA
49 Steve Morgan, Laird Leatherman 2015, Melbourne, Australia
50 Thorsten Buhl, Mr. Leather Europe 2015, Graz, Austria
51 Jason Hall, Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2015, Philadelphia, PA
56 Codybear Elkin, Mr. San Francisco Leather 2016, San Francisco, CA
57 Q Ellis-Lee, Mr. Eagle NYC 2016, New York, NY
59 Sir Shawn Fox, Mr. Alamo City Leather 2016, Austin, TX
Remainder of Contestants
1 Tom Matt, Mr. Connecticut Leather 2016, Berlin, CT
2 Kippy Marks, Mr. Friendly 2016 SF/Bay Area, San Francisco, CA
4 Alpha DJ, Mr. Harbor Room 2015, Milwaukee, WI
6 David Saban, Isreal Mr. Leather 2015, Tel Aviv, Israel
7 Joël Royal, Mr. Long Beach Leather 2015, Long Beach, CA
8 Eric Masters, Mr. 501 Eagle 2016, Indianapolis city, IN
9 Ray Sherwin, Mr. Bolt Leather 2016, Sacramento, CA
13 Rick Boehle, Mr. CMEN Leather 2015, Burbank, CA
14 Russell Waisanen, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2016, Woodbury, MN
17 Jim Drew, Washington State Mr. Leather 2015, Seattle, WA
18 Jay Blackshire, Mister Leather Ottawa 2016, Woodlawn, ON, Canada
20 Darran Mazaika, Mr. Ramrod 2015, Fort Lauderdale, FL
21 Gregory James, Mr. Wisconsin Leather 2016, Green Bay, WI
23 Element Eclipse, Mr. Powerhouse 2016, San Francisco, CA
24 Kelvin Davis, Mr. Ohio Leather 2015, Swanton, OH
25 James Tyrcha, Mr. Leather 64TEN 2016, Chicago, IL
26 Eric Alden, Mr. New England Leather 2016, Boston, MA
27 Khalid El Bey, Leatherman of Color 2016, Washington, DC
29 Emerson Kellogg, Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2016, St. Paul, MN
31 Bill Spencer, Mr. Oregon Bear 2015, Portland, OR
32 Tony Salvat, Mr. Firedancer Dallas 2014 and 2015, Houston, TX
33 Danny O'Leary, Mr. Phoenix Leather 2016, Tucson, AZ
34 Sylvain Deparpe, Mr. Leather France 2015, Migne-Auxances, France
35 Jeremy Feist, Mr. Leatherman Toronto 2016, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
36 Mark Nelson, Mr. Nebraska Leather 2016, Omaha, NE
37 Dave Barnett, Mr. GNI Leather 2015, Arlington, VA
38 Brian Mailley, Mr. Michigan Leather 2016, Royal Oak, MI
40 David Eisentraut, Mr. Queensland Leather 2015, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
42 Randal Zotigh, Mr. Route 66 Leather 2016, Oklahoma City, OK
43 Werner Hall, Bavarian Mr. Leather 2016, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
44 Daddy Rick, Mr. Compound Leather 2016, Elbert, CO
45 Tim Goodman, Mr. Louisiana Leather 2016, New Orleans, LA
46 Drake Edward Sherbert, Mr. Texas Leather 2016, Dallas, TX
47 Harry Kong, Mr. San Francisco Eagle Leather 2016, Pacifica, CA
48 Elie Darling, M. Cuir Montréal 2015 (Mr. Leather Montreal), Montreal, Quebec, Canada
52 Eli Onyx, Mr. Maryland Leather 2016, Hyattsville, MD
54 Justin Herren, Mr. Jackhammer Fetish 2015, Chicago, IL
55 Ty Portell, Mr. Missouri Leather 2016, Woodson Terrace, MO
58 Austin Epps, Mr. Austin Leather 2016, Austin, TX
The Congress Plaza Hotel played host as it did in 2015 and will in 2017. The halls, lobby and outside front of the Congress were busy at almost all hours - and the stair wells and out-of-the-way areas were occupied by those involved in extra curricular activies. There were heaps of praise for the hotel staff, complaints of elevators being stuck, door locks not always working which led to at least one room with an intruder asleep in the bed when the rightful hotel guest entered the room, toilets not flushing and bathtubs not draining properly. Many love the Congress because so much is available for those on the prowl. For many the $33 price for the dinner buffet was the last straw - people felt they were being gauged and the restaurant was empty other than for breakfast. Rumors spread by so many claiming to be in the know as far as where IML will be held in 2018. There has been no official statement as to where IML will be held two years from now.
The religious zealots were there of course. "Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) held a peaceful Christian truth outreach against the homosexual “International Mr. Leather” (IML) conference Saturday night (May 28, 2016), across the street from the Chicago’s Congress Plaza Hotel, which hosted the perversion-fest." was that organizations account. Several IML attendees walked across the street, pulled out their cellphones and took selfies with the protesters who left once they realized that they were being played. Their guilt trip did not work and once they realized it was not working, they simply left.
The Leather Market had approximately 50 vendors. Because of the layout of the Congress Plaza vendors were spread out on three floors. Every vendor with whom we talked reported strong sales. That is good because most of the time there are a few that leave disappointed. The Congress can accommodate so many due to size, but those vendors did quite well.
Leather64TEN was celebrating its 10th Anniversary and is open all hours. On Friday night after the Bear party the store was full like one would expect around Christmas.
Touche' had its own bus carrying visitors between Touche' and the Congress Plaza. There were bar events by the hour as bar manager David Boyer created a busy IML weekend schedule. Other bars and establishments around Chicago were swamped, too.
A bit of history about International Mr. Leather, excerpted from www.Wickipedia.org - "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. 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. 
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."
In 2010 IML was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame."
The massive circuit parties, IML Victory Celebration at the House of Blues on Sunday night and the Black and Blue Ball at the Sound-Bar on Monday night at drew several thousand attendees each. Noted deejays rocked the walls to their foundations and the IML and IMBB 2016 winners were introduced.
Until next year - congratulations to IML 2016 David "Tigger" Bailey and IMBB 2016 Erick Joseph.
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