- Kiss & Tell: These Photos Of Same Love Speak A Thousand Words
- PHOTOS: Miss Fame And The New Crop Of Ru Girls Live It Up At The Diamond Horseshoe
- The Love That Never Stops Speaking Its Name
- Take A “Looking” Tour Of San Francisco With Seven Hotspots
- These Photos Of Same-Sex Love Show Why We Are Changing The World Every Day
- Kiss & Tell: Show Us Your Love Pics And Win A Trip To San Francisco
- PHOTOS: It’s All Leather And Fur For These Fashion Week Models
- We Love The Nightlife! Shake Your Groove Thing And Party Like A Rock Star in L.A.
- GayCities Kiss Photo Contest: Hit It, Submit It & Win A Trip To San Francisco
- Don’t Miss These Unique, Off-The-Beaten-Path Gems of Los Angeles
- Paradise Found: San Francisco May Be Getting Its Very Own Leather-Themed Park
- It’s A Sunshine Day! Here Are Some Of Our Favorite Ways To Enjoy The Los Angeles Outdoors
- Ten Kisses That Changed The World
- George Takei Is Heading To Broadway
- Treat Yourself To A Luxurious And Romantic Hilltop Retreat
Search the blog
POPULAR TAGSJeffrey James Keyes party haus pride haus GayCities Fire Island Chicago Miami travel London Washington DC New York City benefit haus Los Angeles Photos New York San Francisco Las Vegas Theater Pride Marriage Equality
Rawhide Radicals: Meet Five Heroes From The Leather Community
Mar 02, 2012
The International Mr. Leather competition, or IML as participants and fans call it, is a hyper-masculine, queer variation of the Miss America pageant. Founded by Chuck Renslow in 1979, the Chicago-based event draws thousands of leather fans from around the world every May. Michael Skiff’s documentary Kink Crusaders, released this week on DVD, illuminates IML’s history, traditions and participants in loving detail.
While many partake in IML—and the leather scene in general—just to have fun, many participants and title holders have used it as a platform for a variety of LGBT-related causes. It’s also a surprising example of queer diversity, with attendees crossing ethnic, sexual and age boundaries. (2010 IML titleholder Tyler McKormick is a wheelchair-bound trans man.)
In honor of Kink Crusaders‘ release, we’re looking at five heroes of the leather community who are more than just pretty faces in harnesses—they’re using the spotlight to draw attention to vital issues.
Click through to meet some heroes of the leather community
Photo via Michael Skiff