All 63 International Mr. Leather 2017 contestants wave to the crowd. Soon after, the IML Top 20 Finalists were named. All photos by Dave Rhodes
International Mr. Leather 2017 is Ralph Bruneau who came in as Mr. GNI Leather 2016; his first runner-up is Mr. San Francisco Leather 2017 Geoff Millard, second runner-up is Mr. Leather Europe 2016 Joe King; International Mr. Bootblack 2017 is Ryan "Pawlish" Garner-Carpenter and first runner-up is Rhys.
The Leather Archives and Museum (LA&M) announced today that they have hired Jakob VanLammeren as Archivist and Collections Librarian. Jakob has been a project archivist at the Leather Archives since November of 2012, working with the Chicago Hellfire Club Collection. Prior to his work on the Hellfire Club Collection, Jakob was an intern in 2012, processing and describing two small collections and transcribing an oral history.
Jakob will graduate with his MLIS degree from Dominican University, River Forest, IL in August of 2013, where he has pursued coursework focusing on archives, archival theory, and metadata. His professional interests lie in increasing user access and utilizing new and innovative ways to build relationships among finding aids and digitization. He is also deeply committed to creating and sustaining traditional and 21st century innovations for the field. Jakob is a member of the Society of American Archivists, the Chicago Area Archivists, and the American Library Association. In addition to his work as an archivist, Jakob is a poet and received his MFA in Poetry from Bennington College, Bennington, VT in 2008.
LA&M Executive Director Rick Storer said "We are excited to bring Jakob on board. His understanding of archival, museum and library collections will enhance services the Leather Archives and Museum provides to its patrons." Through his work with the collections, he will focus on digitization efforts to bring materials available at the Leather Archives to a wider audience.
The Leather Archives and Museum is a library, museum and archives pertaining to Leather and alternative sexual communities. The geographic collection scope is worldwide and includes all sexual orientations and genders. The library collection contains books, magazines, scholarly publications, films and electronic resources related to the subject matter. The museum collection contains original erotic art and artifacts from alternative sex organizations and individuals. The archival collection contains unpublished papers and records from notable activists, artists, businesses and organizations related to the subject matter. Click on Leather Archives and Museum to find more information.
Mr. International Rubber: Karnival of Kink (MIR) announced the judges for MIR 17, to be held November 8 -10 in Chicago, IL.
The judges are Daddy Tom who is a member of Centaur MC, Leatherman 2000 Dean Ogren, International Leather Sir 2005 Master Dexter, Philip Hitchcock, PHD Gallery owner and Mr. Midwest Leather 2010, Mr. Rubber UK 2012 RubInuki, host of the Dart’s Domain podcast Sir Dart, and Stephen Perry who is the husband of MIR 16 Jason Lynch.
The tally masters will be Mr. Ybor City Eagle 2010 Carlos "Wolfy" Diaz and Mr. Iowa Leather 2010 Ryan Weidner.
Revised June 6, 2017 to include all contestants' photos. The Leather Journal has three International Bootblack 2017 and63 International Mr. Leather 2017 contestants photos and bios for your enjoyment. This is the first year that the IMBB contestants have been included. Undoubtedly the contestant count in both contests will increase between now and IML. See you in Chicago.
A new catalog published by the LA&M, Leather Archives & Museum : 25 Years, celebrates a milestone anniversary for the community institution which is located in Chicago and serving the world.
VT: Is your contestant run sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? Please tell me about your Sponsor(feel free to include a copy of their logo and a url to their website) and your involvement with them in 100 words or less.
MC: I am sponsored by the Great Lakes Leather Alliance whose mission is to build bridges between the Leather, BDSM, D/s, M/s, Fetish, and alternative lifestyle communities. I’ve been a presenter at their annual events for 6 years & am honored to represent my multi-state region as their titleholder and strive to live up to their mission. http://www.greatlakesleather.org
VT: Power Exchange or SM?
MC: The smart ass answer is “Yes.” But I will say I answer to both aspects of the lifestyle.
VT: In 100 words or less, tell me about your answer to number 2.
MC: I entered the lifestyle as a collared slave and brought my unique play style to the relationship. I currently own one collared Leather Pup. I identify as a Sensual Sadist and Heavy Masochist Bi-sexual Switch depending on who in my Leather family I am playing with I incorporate both Power Exchange and Heavy SM play into my life. I find joy in service and nurture my play partners and family members. I am Matriarch and Mother Goddess as well as muppet-like sex toy. My family accepts my unique blend of sexuality, geekiness, and Power.
VT: Tell me in your own words how you feel about Service.
MC:As human beings we should all serve each other here on this Earth to make a better place. We serve our own needs by being in touch with the greater good. It is a joy to serve my family, friends, and community, but real service is what you do when no one is looking. So there is not shame in serving those who are strangers as well, even if it is just opening a door or asking them to have a pleasant day.
As a Dominant, I nurture the joy in acts of service with those who submit or bottom to me. I grow into myself as I learn how to accept their service in what capacity they can give, and it is my duty to help them see where their innermost self can find freedom and growth.
As a former slave and as a submissive or bottom to the right Dominant, I find my pleasure in providing the best service I can to that person. I have learned that I can do that without losing my “self.” And only by being my true authentic self can I actually provide the best service.
As an educator in the lifestyle I hope that by providing my actions as an example to others we can all learn to serve the greater community by bettering ourselves and communicating to each other in a positive manner. I have made mistakes and learned over the years that it is not selfish to serve ones own needs before others, and that I can accept my true core self and love it. For honestly, if our own needs aren’t met how can we possibly be able to serve with integrity, honor, and love.
VT: How does your body react to the scent of worn leather?
MC: Squeek. No seriously, just the thought of my face being near a Dominant boot and rubbing against it like a cat in heat gives me pussy clenches. By the same token, I am a sensualist and the touch of leather on my body makes me feel like liquid sex. My fingers ache to stroke and touch and if I happen to be wearing panties at the time they get very wet. When I am feeling small or having an issue, someone putting their jacket over my shoulders is also comforting. There is an energy of protection and sensuality that pervades leather since it comes from another living creature. There is a primal knowledge and response in my body no matter what the circumstances.
(my favorite leather?) You are talking to a woman who has over 322 pairs of shoes and boots. It is difficult to pick one outfit or pair. I look cute and sexy in my leather dragon corset dress from Marvelous Mayhem and I pair it with one-of-a-kind iridescent purple and green knee-high 5” heel boots custom made by Skyscraper Heels. I add the leather boa and I am set to go. However that is just one facet of my personality. When I rock out in leather pants and bra with my garter holsters by Skin Graft I feel like a cougar on the prowl. Hot, sexy, and ready to find the closest dark and dirty alley to have a little something, something. It honestly depends on my mood. Do I feel shy and coquettish and submissive, or powerful like the Dark Sex Goddess I am. Personally, as long as some of it ends up on the floor of my bedroom after the bar…I’m good.
VT: 100 words about what you will with the IMsL Title.
MC: It is an opportunity for me to have the backing of the entire Leather community as I travel the country and internationally to educate people about our lifestyle, and have sex positive outcomes. People should never be ashamed of who they are. IMsL is a symbol of potential growth and liberation on my journey through leather and life, as well as for those who I meet on that journey. I expect to be a role model to inspire those who need help in their own journey into their authentic self.
For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself, your Leather titles and how you are connected to the community.
Hey there, my name is Joey McDonald. I’m 57 years old and a native Chicagoan, but have also lived in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia and Key West, Florida. I am a US Navy Veteran who served as an openly gay sailor (long, long before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell). I was lucky enough traveled around the world by the time I was honorably discharged, having visited 32 countries. In the mid-80s, I owned a catering and event planning business. I am a trained master weaver, and spent 15 years in the interior design industry designing and weaving luxury/high-end upholstery fabrics.
I worked for LGBT equality in Illinois until April 2013. I currently work as a Community Health Advocate, serving the homeless, recovering/addicted and HIV/AIDS impacted people and am going to school to get certified as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
Although I never won a Leather title, I competed for and was a runner-up for Mr. Windy City 1981. I am a member of the Executive Committee of International Mr. Leather, Inc. (IML). I have served as the IML Den Daddy for the past eight years, working with the men who compete each year. I have the distinction of having volunteered at every IML since its beginning in 1979.
The Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M) announced today that they have named Matthew Steinbrecher as Curator for the Guest Artist Gallery (GAG) at the museum.
The GAG features prominent and up and coming erotic artists. Previous artists include Justice Howard, Mary Chiodini, Philip Hitchcock, Lochai, John Randle and over a dozen other artists.
Rick Storer, Executive Director of the Leather Archives said "We look forward to his [Matthew Steinbrecher] background and knowledge of erotic art to bring new and different artistic experiences to the GAG Gallery."
A special weekend of films that celebrate and explore a wide diversity of sexuality will screen October 4-5 at the Leather Archives and Museum, 6418 North Greenview Avenue, as CineKink, "the kinky film festival," hits Chicago for a red-hot rendezvous.
On Saturday, October 4 at 7 PM, Best Of CineKink 2014 will be a collection of sexy shorts deemed the best during CineKink's most recent festival run. With works ranging from documentary to drama, comedy to experimental, mildly spicy to quite explicit, this year's edition includes 'Un Bisous Americain' (J.M. Darling), 'Human Warmth' (Christophe Predari),'Tom's Gift' (Todd Verow and Charles Lum), 'Music Box' (Anna Brownfield), 'Another Happy Anniversary' (Miranda Bailey).'Trains' (Paul Deeb), 'Dear Jiz' (Ms Naughty) and 'de-railed' (Quinn Cassidy and Creamy Coconut).
Next up on Saturday, at 9 PM, it's the Chicago premiere of Broken Side Of Time, winner of the Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature at CineKink 2014. Combining photo shoots using actual photographers, and a narrative based on some of their real-life adventures, this is a a unique glimpse at a rarely-seen world, and the tale of one fetish model, Dolce, who's looking for a better life on the other side of the camera.
Winter’s cold and snow failed to deter the hundreds of Leatherfolk from converging on Chicago for the Mr. Chicago Leather 2015 Contest Weekend hosted by Touché January 23-25 with Chicagoan Luis Tipantasig emerging as the winner at the Leather Archives & Museum.
The task of selecting Mr. Chicago Leather 2015 was carried out by International Mr. Leather 2014 Ramien Pierre, International Leather Slave 2014 slave angie, Joe Spaceman, Sir Volt, Mr. Chicago Leather 2014 Miguel Torres. Tallymasters were Pup Ryker and Ron Moser.
IML 2003 John Pendal emceed, marking the 12th straight year that John has returned to Chicago from London to host the contest.
Joining Luis Tipantasig in the competition were Stitch, Michael, Shadi and Clint, all fine Chicago Leathermen.
The evening began with a blessing by the Chicago Abbey of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
John Pendal then introduced the five contestants as they were judged in five categoires, their leather image, cruise leather, speech, Q&A and the crowd pleasing jockstrap. During the evening Touché bar manager David Boyer announced the recipient of the Chuck Windemuth Mentorship Award. The bar established this award to honor the life of Chuck who was himself Mr. Chicago Leather 1991 and was instrumental in the revival of the title in 2004 after a five year absence. The purpose of this honor was to recognize those who have demonstrated a major role as a mentor to new, younger Leather/fetish folks coming into the community year after year. This year’s honoree was Mr. International Rubber 2002 and producer of MIR William “Rubberwilli" Schendel.
The weekend featured a full schedule of events beginning with a Welcome Party on Friday with introductions of the judges and contestants. During the party, the five contestants conducted a raffle of the Mr. Chicago Leather Travel Fund with a 2015 IML weekend registration donated by IML as the top prize.
The night also featured the roasting of outgoing Mr. Chicago Leather 2014 Miguel Torres which was hosted by Thib Guicherd-Callin, Mr. Santa Clara County Leather 2012. Once again Thib did a tremendous job giving the many “roasters” on hand a chance to speak about Miguel while delivering several jabs of his own.
Saturday afternoon, while the judges were interviewing the contestants at Chicago’s LGBT Library and Archives, the Gerber/Hart Library, Touché kept the crowd entertained with a Leather/fetish flea market.
Several groups and individuals were on hand offering Leather gear and more for sale. Gerber/Hart Library also hosted a Dirty Book Sale with thousands of magazines, books, videos and DVDs. The Titans of the Midwest also hosted a KINK U at the bar during the afternoon with three sessions, hot wax, rope and sensory deprivation with large audience for each session.
Survivors gathered Sunday for the Leather Brunch at the Andersonville Brewing Company and were treated to a scrumptious buffet and libations.
The American Brotherhood Weekend results just in from the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago, IL where American Leatherman 2013 Aaron Duke, American Leatherwoman 2013 OB, American Leatherboy Pup Tank became winners in front of a crowd of cheering spectators from all over the United States and Canada.
Judges American Leatherwoman 2012 Doc, American Leatherman Jeff Donaldson, American Leatherboy 2011 Tyler Fong, CLAW president Dennis McMahon, Mr. Pittsburgh Eagle 2009 David Dean, Miss Louisiana Leather 2000 Alisa S., Mr., Washington State Leather 2004 Gene Romaine and American Leatherwoman 1994 Sarah Humble made the decisions.
Great Lakes Leather Sir 2010 Sir Bear Abbott tallied the scores.
Related events were held at Touche'. The contest was held Saturday and Sunday, October 12 and 13 with a meet and greet on Friday night.
American Brotherhood was founded in 1989 by Mik Miller and held in Boston, MA.
More details about the winners, other contestants, parties will follow as The Leather Journal receives them. Stay tuned.