We are arrived! The festivities of International Mr. Leather (a multi-day conference and competition celebrating the leather, kink, fetish, and BDSM communities) are upon us!
Red Carpet Walk
Okay, there is no red carpet. However, each contestant is announced, and then he walks, shuffles, parades, ambles, strides, struts, or strolls down a roped-off corridor, allowing us to get a good look at the goods.
This contestant is wearing perhaps 30 pounds of leather. And that, my friends, is how you get gay abs.
Eventually we realize that the number is their contestant number, not…well, it’s their contestant number.
Notice Team Friendly’s haircut. Yeah.
I am almost invisible here. But I’m having a great time!
The Chicago Reader thoughtfully sends a female photographer to cover the event.
Many of the Men in Leather are representing clubs.
No one likes to be alone, including gay men.
As you remember, we met Georg Luschgy in Oslo at their Pride event. And, no, that’s a thumb, not a penis. Sorry.
A jealous participant reaches for the SLM Oslo flag, probably infuriated that his is smaller, and seemingly unaware that there are cameras everywhere.
Yes, even manly men can be little bitches. Fortunately, some large fellows convinced the thief to return the stolen goods.
Georg poses with his husband, and all is well.
I have no idea what the letters on the socks mean.
Anyway, I’m neglecting the Red Carpet Walk, aren’t I?
Behold the splendor of Men in Leather!!
Poses in Lace
We are at an event with lots and lots of men. So, if you don’t mind, I’m going to include, throughout, photos of boobs and such. You’re welcome.
This is one of my favorite lace tops. I think it’s sexy but, around here, no one notices.
When I wear this top to a lesbian bar, I have to fight my way out. At IML Chicago, I’m just another fixture.
“My eyes are up here,” said no woman, ever, at IML Chicago.
And one final pose with Georg before we move on.
I am not a Mister, but I have leather. As you know by now.
Notice my Dr. Martens; they have embroidered roses on them.
Besides looking cool, Bessie is great for swirling.
To properly swirl, you hold the skirt out, then spin.
I could do this forever.
And you thought this article would only be about homosexual men in leather…ha!
You can better see my Dr. Martens in this photograph. Yeah, I’m the only person here with rose-embroidered Dr. Martens. Sweet.
We are riding this elevator and a leather man gets on. He stares unabashedly at my boobs for the entire ride. The door opens and I exit, and he says, “I like your skirt,” as an afterthought. So, I guess not everyone here is 100% gay.
And for you lovers of leather, here’s more Bessie!!
Georg and Holger
We will get to the event eventually; in the meantime, let’s do a quick photoshoot with Mr. Leather Norway 2022 and his husband, Holger.
Georg always has his feet at 12 o’clock and 2 o’clock (or 10 o’clock and 12 o’clock, depending on your interpretation) when posing.
Note Georg’s rugged Leather Man boots. Gotta look your finest at IML Chicago!
This is how true Leather Men pose. Smiling, but rugged.
With only the tiniest bit of encouragement, they cuddle. Awwwwww.
If you are going to wear a leather tie, you must have a tie clasp that doesn’t damage the leather. So you have to find one that is flat on the end, not pointed.
More poses with Georg and Holger.
The last of the poses. I hope you enjoy them!!
The contest is being held at the Auditorium Theatre. “The Auditorium Theatre is a music and performance venue located inside the Auditorium Building at 50 Ida B. Wells Drive in Chicago, Illinois. Inspired by the Richardsonian Romanesque Style of architect Henry Hobson Richardson, the building was designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan and completed in 1889. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed in the theatre until 1904 as well as the Chicago Grand Opera Company and its successors the Chicago Opera Association and Chicago Civic Opera until its relocation to the Civic Opera House in 1929. The theatre currently hosts performances by the Joffrey Ballet, in addition to a variety of concerts, musicals, performances, and events. Since the 1940s, it has been owned by Roosevelt University and since the 1960s it has been refurbished and managed by an independent non-profit arts organization.”
The contest is very professionally executed…which is not surprising since they’ve been doing this since the 1970s.
It’s a beautiful space and built such that every seat has a good view of the stage.
There are nine judges and two tally masters. You can read about the rules on their official website.
If you are hearing impaired, you can watch this translator to find out what’s happening. Or, you can just watch this translator.
The contestant file in and are introduced one by one. Over the course of the evening, the men are judged on Preliminary Interview, “Pecs and Personality”, and Stage Presence.
Finally, everyone is present and accounted for. There is a break so the judges and tallywackers, ummm, tally masters, can tally the score.
The Chicago Reader photographer is sitting across the aisle from us. Yummy.
Since a few of us are wearing pink, we pose, pinkly.
The elimination continues, and the next group of contestants is offered a chance to show off their talents. Turning to the left is a skill that seems to elude a few of them.
Some folks have a different idea of the best way to present one’s self in reverse. Well, I guess that’s what makes the world interesting, isn’t it?
The contest is about four hours long, including the breaks.
And the winner is…
You probably remember “54” from the beginning of this article. Yes, Marcus Bareala from Midland, Texas and currently living in Los Angeles, California, is proclaimed Mr. International Leather 2023!!
Chris Gonzalez, Mr. GNI Leather 2022 from Atlanta, is first runner-up and Matthew Moody, Mr. Phoenix Leather 2022 from Phoenix is the second runner-up. The three of them will spend the year traveling the globe, spreading good will and good cheer to good men and good women. Good.
So end our adventures in Chicago, frolicking with homosexual men, wearing leather, and having a gay ol’ time.