Texan wins International Mr. Leather 2009 in Chicago

Tue. May 26, 2009 12:00 AM by Brett Anthony

winner jeffrey payne with the first and second runner-up

photo credit // bull manx - imrl.com
Chicago, IL - Jeffrey Payne, Mr. Texas Leather 2009, was named International Mr. Leather at the 31st Anniversary IML Competition Sunday night in Chicago.

Payne bested a field of over 50 contestants, from around the globe. Participants were judged on stage presence and personality (Pecs and Personality), leather image, presentation skills, and physical appearance.

In addition to the International Mr. Leather 2009 title, Payne received a prize package consisting of donations from businesses and organizations supporting the leather community.

First runner up was Brendan McGovern, Mr. Leather Ottawa 2009; second runner up was Alan Penrod, Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2009.

This year's competition was held at the Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan. The hotel hosted the entire IML weekend.

The 2009 judges were Dr. Lawrence Burden (Los Angeles, CA), Mindy Chateauvert ( Washington, DC), Jack Darnell (Anchorage, AK), Mark Fernstrum ( Rehoboth, DE), Gary Iriza (Los Angeles, CA), Peter Kincheloe (Toronto, Cananda), Ray Lamb (Germany), Eric Lawrence (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), and Kevin McGraw (Cincinnati, OH). The 2009 IML Tally Masters include: George Brown (Chicago, IL) and Master Z (Chicago, IL).

Gary Iriza, Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2008, was named International Mr. Leather 2008.

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.

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

For more information on International Mr. Leather, visit www.imrl.com