May 29, 2011

May 29, 2011
IML 2011


Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Sunday and it is also IML in Chicago and Memorial Day weekend across the United States. I hope you are having a safe and great weekend so far. It is another busy weekend for Dab the AIDS Bear and our Ambassadors of Hope.

International Mister Leather (IML) is an international conference and contest of leathermen held annually in May since 1979 in Chicago, Illinois.

The International Mister Leather conference spans several days, and includes the International Mister Leather competition, as well as other events, such as speakers, socials, themed dance parties and a leather market. Most, but far from all, attendees are gay men. BDSM enthusiasts also have a presence at the event.

IML is an independent contest in that there is no contract or formal connection with feeder contests. To qualify, IML contestants must either be the winner of a bar, local or regional leather contest or be sponsored by a leather bar, business, club, or organization.

IML's forerunner 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. As the Mr. Gold Coast contest became one of the bar's most popular promotions, it expanded to a larger venue in 1979. Along with the change of venue came a change in name to International Mr. Leather.

Since 1993, a second contest, the International Mister Bootblack Competition, has been added to the IML program.

In May 2009, the Leather Archives and Museum announced that IML would be placed in a trust, with profits from the event benefiting the museum.

In July 2009, IML announced that it will no longer allow participation in the IML Leather Market by any entity which promotes barebacking or distributes/sells any merchandise tending to promote or advocate barebacking.

First, all contestants are judged in a preliminary round. Second, the top 20 contestants from the preliminary round move on to become IML finalists. In each round, there are nine judges and two tally masters.

Preliminary round

The preliminary judging consists of two parts:

The preliminary interview, up to 8 minutes in length and held in private, which accounts for 60% of the preliminary score.

Stage presence and personality at a Saturday "Pecs and Personality" event, which account for 40% of the preliminary score.

The highest and lowest scores by judges for each contestant in each part are dropped, and the contestant's remaining seven scores are added together. The 20 contestants with the highest combined scores are announced as finalists at the Sunday IML contest event.

In case of a tie for 20th place, the dropped scores are added back for the two tied contestants. If that does not resolve the tie, then each of the nine judges must vote for only one of the two contestants.

No scores from the preliminary judging are carried forward.

Final round

Each of the 20 finalists is judged at the Sunday IML contest on a scale from 0 to 100 in this order:

Leather image, which accounts for up to 40 points.

Presentation skills, which account for up to 40 points. Each contestant must give a short speech.

Physical appearance, which accounts for up to 20 points.

The highest and lowest scores for each finalist are dropped, and the remaining seven scores are added together. The finalists with the top three scores are the second runner-up, first runner-up, and winner, International Mr. Leather.

In case of a tie for the winner position, the dropped scores are added back for the two tied contestants. If that does not resolve the tie, then each of the nine judges must vote for only one of the two tied contestants.

Now you know a little more about IML. Stay tuned for pictures with Dab the AIDS Bear at the events.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,



Daddy Dab