Congratulations go to Londoner John Pendal representing The Hoist who won the 25th
International Mr. Leather contest in Chicago over the weekend. OutUK correspondent
Rex Wockner donned his chaps and skintight leather vest and sent us this report.
More than 10,000 leather aficionados turned out for the five days of festivities.
John Pendal beat out 57 other contestants from five nations, although there was a tie
for first place that was broken only by adding back in the highest and lowest scores
from the individual judges. Ordinarily the highest and lowest scores are discarded.
International Mr Leather John Pendal.|
Photo by Rex Wockner.
Pendal said he hopes to increase IML's profile in Europe but he also
plans to educate Americans.
"America is so far ahead -- you can see by the number of contestants that America
puts forward for this, so Europe needs a lot of help, and I will be trying to do
that," Pendal said. "But I also want to teach Americans that there is an
international leather community. It's such a huge continent. So many Americans don't even have
passports. So I'll be coming over here to try and educate you as much as
taking something back to them."
Donald Dotson from Tampa, Mr. Suncoast Eagle, was this year's first runner-up and
Mr. Los Angeles Leather, Stephen Blackwell, took third place.
IML founder and Executive Director Chuck Renslow said the leather world
has not seen any "basic" changes in 25 years, but it is much bigger and
less clandestine now. He also noted that lesbians and heterosexuals are
increasingly joining the leather community.
Renslow said today's twentysomethings are just as intrigued by leather
as the baby-boomers that built today's visible leather scene.