IML finalist, Jake Keary, Mr Eagle NYC 2008

In the leather world the word Mecca, translates to Chicago, and IML.
The premiere Leather event of the U.S. was grandly presented on Memorial Day Weekend. Fifty two contestants, some from as far away as Australia, Europe and Canada strutted their stuff across the stage of the Chicago Hilton.
Nine judges were given the difficult task of selecting IML 09. Contestant interviews, followed by pecs and personality, led to the selection of the top 20 finalist. As usual, Bay Area Reporter leather columnist, Mr Marcus announced the finalist.
The top twenty finalist were
Ken Hearst, Mr LA Leather, Jeffrey Payne, Mr Texas Leather, Donal Heath, Mr Eagle London, Alan Norman, Sydney Mr Leather, Brendan McGovern, Mr Ottawa Leather, Mike Lunter, Mr Missouri Leather, Dave Watt, Mr Michigan Leather, Alan Penrod, Mr Atlanta Eagle, John Harris Mr. DC Eagle, Pierre Brand, Mr Leather Australia-New Zealand,
Brandon Clark, Mr San Francisco Leather, Ammar Houssamo, Mr Chicago Leather, Kip Hollar, Mr Mid Atlantic Leather, Steven Dwyer, Mr. Hoist (London, Jake Keary, Mr NY Eagle, Max Schmall, Bavarian Mr. Leather, Rik Newton-Treadway, Mr Maryland Leather.
Once the scores were tallied, Executive Producer Chuck Renslow announced Jeffrey Payne, Mr Texas Leather , IML 2009
Every fetish party imaginable was going on somewhere in that hotel. Although there was no Texas party or Maple Leaf party this year, no one seemed upset. If anything the puppies, dogs, and pig fetish gatherings made up for anything that was missing….If attendance was down this year, we all know why, with this terrible economy. Leather contests take a back seat, to mortgage payment, rent, and food. But for those who saved and made preparation especially first time attendees, all agreed they had a wonderful time.
Jeffrey Payne, IML 09 becomes the 3rd IML who hails from Texas. In 1983 Coulter Thomas swept the title. In 2005 Stephen Weber snatched the golden ring. First runner up Brendan McGovern from Ottawa certainly was a crowd favorite with a fantastic personality. He certainly will not be hard to miss in a crowd due to his colorful hairstyle.
Second runner up Alan Penrod from Atlanta spent his time well at the gym prior to going to Chicago. Body fitness and working out at a gym seems to be of little importance to many who were contestants. Perhaps pecs and personality should be changed to personality only.
Rather sad when a person who is suppose to be representing their bar or region as a leather representative, and has to borrow leather just to compete, and 4 out of 5 times it looks borrowed once they put it on.
Each year, contestants are becoming older and older. Years back at IML the age range was 22 to 35. Now it seems 45 and older seems to be the norm, Has the younger generation lost interest in competing?
Many who have competed. and win leather contests, do not even have a clue as to why they entered. and a month or two after winning the title are resigning for reasons that they should have thought about before entering. In the past nine months six title holders have pulled this. Some have had Felony warrants and the long arm of the law  looking for them…However then we come to the judges who are doing the interviews….What does that say about judges who do not ask the proper questions? Last year there was a titleholder judge who had never judged a contest (imagine that). However, he did his research read books, asked questions of knowledgeable members of the leather community. Now he is sought after as a judge because of his dedication, sincerity, and honesty.
Dish with a big D….
There are some very angry bar owners in NYC with regard to the Pride Parade. Pride officials have jacked the reservation/entry fee for a float
to double what it was last year. This year they are requesting $5,000.00….Several owners have said, Oh ney, ney, ney.
Questions are surfacing over the choice of a name of some recent Mama’s Family pin recipient. Are ethnic pins the rage now?
One is Mama’s Chinese gentleman. What’s next?  Mama’s Puerto Rican, Mama’s Mexican?
Looks like the party will be over after 2010 for MAL at the Washington Plaza as the host hotel. A new hotel will be the host hotel for 2011. Close to Union Station, and two blocks from the Nations Capital.
Don’t worry Metro is only a block away.. The Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill will be the new venue. ABW used the hotel one year, and the Master/slave conference has been held there as well. ASGRA has used the hotel for their event many times.
Did all the African American Leathermen go on strike this year? Only one contestant for IML? What’s that all about? Hello Onyx?
Ever wonder about all those nominees that are nominated for Pantheon of Leather awards? Like, who are half of them? Some who have not been seen out and about for years and who have contributed very little to their communities. Just who review the nominations? Obviously not too closely…Anyone and anything can be nominated—including a cat!
Isn’t that just purrfect. Next year perhaps Beau Obama will be nominated….
For anyone who attended all the Folsom Street Fair’s in the 80’s will remember one strong supporter and great entertainer and friend of mine and leather and gay community. Viola Wills, one of the disco diva’s of the 70’s and 80’s with several hit records. Viola passed away last month in Los Angeles. Thanks Viola, You and Michael Valerio (founder of Folsom Street Fair)will have lots to talk about up there.
This is pride month for many cities across the US……Celebrate Pride
Upcoming Events:
Mr& Ms Capital Pride Leather contest….At  Cobalt
District of Columbia Capital Pride Parade and Festival
6/13                    6/14
New York City
Northeast Leather Sir/boy contest…..At Eagle NYC
6/19….10 PM
Leather Pride Night (auction) NYC      At Splash
6/20…6 PM-10 PM
Folsom Street East Fair  NYC            W. 28th St
6/21                        11 AM- 6 PM
June 16th, 2009 at 8:46 am

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