Chicago hosts 35th Annual International Mr. Leather Contest, Sunday

Sun. May 26, 2013 7:51 AM by News Staff

2013 iml leather market

photo credit // anthony meade
Chicago, IL - Contestants from across the U.S. and around the world will compete for the title of International Mr. Leather 2012, Sunday, May 26, in Chicago.

The 35th Annual International Mr. Leather Contest begins at 6 p.m. (door open at 5 p.m.) at The Harris Theatre, 205 E. Randolph, and will be emceed by Lenny Broberg, a proud, openly-gay San Francisco Police Officer and internationally recognized leather personality. Beverly McClellan, who made the final four on NBC's The Voice, will provide entertainment.

Each finalist will be 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'.

After the contest comes the IML Victory Party at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, where International DJ and remixer Dani Toro of Barcelona makes his Chicago debut. ( interview with DJ Dani Toro)

(View photos from the 2012 Victory Party)

The official closing party, The Black and Blue Ball, returns on Monday night to the newly remodeled Excalibur, now dubbed Castle Nightclub, 640 N. Dearborn. The party features DJ Matthew Harvat as well as Chicago's legendary Grammy-nominated DJ, producer and remixer Ralphi Rosario.

(View photos from the 2012 Black and Blue Ball)

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.

International Mr. Leather 2013, including the Leather Market, continues through Monday, May 27, 2013 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, 540 North Michigan Ave.

For details on those and more goings-on over Memorial Day weekend, please visit CalendarQ, gay Chicago's community calendar from and Windy City Times.

Related: 2013 IML Leather Market