Memorial Day weekend is also typically when International Mr. Leather, or IML, and International Mr. Bootblack are heldand more than 10,000 people attended the in-person event that took place in Chicago on May 26-30.
It was the first time IML was held in person this decade because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Congress Hotel and Convention Center once again hosted, and the May 28-29 contest events were held at a new venue: The Arie Crown Theater at McCormick Place.
Some of the many events that took place included the Leather Archives & Museum silent auction and pop-up shop; First Shine (when bootblack stands open with female members of the bootblack community as the first customers); panel discussions about everything/everyone from kink to people of color; "ONYX Dance: Climax;" the IML Pecs and Personality Contest; the International Mr. Leather Contest; the Black and Blue Ball; and the ever-popular IML leather market.
Gael Leung Chong Wo (Mister Leather Belgium 2020-21) was crowned International Mr. Leather 2022 while Alistair LeatherHiraeth (European Bootblack 2020) was named International Mr. Bootblack 2022.
For more about IML, visit IMRL.com .
Photos by Joseph Stevens