International Mr. Leather invades Chicago this weekend

Wed. May 22, 2013 11:45 AM by News Staff

Memorial Day Weekend brings annual IML festivities to the Windy City

Chicago, IL - International Mr. Leather welcomes the leather and fetish world to Chicago this Memorial Day Weekend as more than 50 contestants from across the U.S. and around the world will compete for the title of International Mr. Leather 2013.

IML began in 1979 when about 400 gay leathermen gathered in Chicago. Today, the event has grown to be an annual tradition for the leather community drawing contestants and thousands of attendees to the Windy City over Memorial Day Weekend. Once an event for "hardcore" leathermen, IML has expanded in recent years to include a more diverse crowd from the experience to the curious.

IML XXX5 will be held Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27 in Chicago. The Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, 540 North Michigan Avenue, is the official host hotel for the weekend.

The Mr. Leather Contest is Sunday, May 26 at The Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph St. Beverly McClellan, who made the final four on NBC's The Voice, will provide entertainment. International Mr. Leather contestants are judged on a variety of criteria including community involvement, speech, presentation and overall presence.

This year's judges are: Woody Woodruff, Farmington Hills, MI – International Mr. Leather 2012; Pup Nitro Hankinson, Atlanta, GA – Co-Founder of the Hotlanta Rubber and Gear Club and International Leather boy 2011; Hardy Haberman, Dallas, TX – Author, Filmmaker and "Pain Technologist"; Uwe Langer, Hamburg, Germany – Founding Member of Spike Hamburg; Murray Lavigne, Ottawa, Ontario – Past President and Executive Board Member of the Ottawa Knights, Past Producer of Mr. Leather Ottawa (MLO); Patrick Mulcahey, San Francisco, CA – Lecturer, Presenter and Program Director of the San Francisco Leathermen's Discussion Group; Brent Seeley, Portland, OR– Mr. Oregon State Leather 2009 and Vice President of Blackout; Leather Productions; Rik Newton-Treadway, Baltimore, MD – Community Activist and President of Hooker and Boys; Lolita Wolf, New York, NY – Presenter, Author, Blogger and everyone's favorite 'Leather Yenta'.

The popular Leather Market, where attendees can view the wares of over 100 official IML vendors, will take place in the 5th and 7th floor ballrooms of the host hotel.

Last year's event drew more than 15,000 leatherfolk from around the globe.

Fri., May 24
8 - 11 p.m.
IML XXX5 Opening Ceremonies
Get to know the contestants, judges, and ultimately, the new International Mr. Leather, to be chosen at the contest on Sunday.
The Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave.
Single tickets available ONLY at 5th floor Ticket Sales Desk, Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, 540 N. Michigan Ave. (IML host hotel)

Sat., May 25
3 - 5 p.m.
Chicago Hellfire Club Annual IML Cocktail Social
Meet and greet the members of the Chicago Hellfire Club, now celebrating its 42nd year at this annual Club charity fundraiser.
4th Floor Ballroom, Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, 540 N. Michigan Ave. (IML host hotel).

Sun., May 26
5 - 9:30 p.m.
35th Annual International Mr. Leather Contest
Doors open at 5 p.m., contest begins at 6 p.m. Entertainment by Beverly McClellan. Proudly sponsored by Miller Lite.
The Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph St.
Buses start from host hotel at 4 p.m.
9 p.m. - 4 a.m.

IML Victory Party
Spanish DJ Dani Toro makes his Chicago debut as the new International Mr. Leather is celebrated. (Interview with DJ Dani Toro) More info at
House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St.
(View photos from the 2012 Victory Party)

Mon., May 27
8 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Black and Blue Ball
Featuring DJs Matthew Harvat and Ralphi Rosario. More info at
Castle Nightclub, 632 N. Dearborn St.
(View photos from the 2012 Black and Blue Ball)

IML Leather Market
Fri., May 24, Noon - 7 p.m.
Sat., May 25, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sun., May 26, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Mon., May 27, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

International Mr. Leather 2013 includes a full weekend of events, view complete listings on CalendarQ from and Windy City Times.

For a complete guide to IML, pick up the current issue of Nightspots magazine, which is the official guide to IML XXX5, available at the host hotel and normal locations. You can also download the full guide at