IML


International Mister Leather (IML) is an international, though largely American, conference and contest of leathermen held annually during Memorial Day weekend since 1979 in Chicago, Illinois.

 

The International Mister Leather conference is a multi-day and activity event to recognize International Mister Leather. Shared interest events, such as speakers, socials, themed dance parties and a leather market are part of ways in which the competitors become known to the evaluating committee and enthusiasts, including the BDSM community, can share in the experience.

 

The forerunner of the competition 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. The "Mr. Gold Coast" contest became one of the bar's most popular promotions triggering the need to locate the competition to a larger venue in 1979, and title change to International Mr. Leather. In 1993 the International Mister Bootblack Competition was added to the IML program.

 

In May 2009 The Leather Archives and Museum has placed IML in a trust with event profits to benefit the museum.

 

In 2010 IML was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.