- Winter wonderland: seven hotspots to hit the slopes this winter
- The world’s 12 gayest hot spots to ring in the New Year
- Wanna get away? Hit one of these sultry gay beaches this winter
- 9 ways San Francisco created hippie–then hipster–fashions for the world to enjoy
- PHOTOS: And the winners of the 2016 ‘Best Of GayCities’ awards are…
- PHOTOS: The annual Santa Speedo Run holiday tradition lives on
- What’s the best up-and-coming gay city in the world? You decide.
- What Is The Gayest ‘Hood In The World? You Decide.
- They Go Low, We Give $$: Ten Great LGBTQ Charities To Support In Desperate Times
- 5 Great Las Vegas Shopping Malls That Won’t Break The Bank (Unless You Want To)
- Here are the winners of two special Best of GayCities, 2016, honors…
- What Is The Gayest City In The World In 2016?
- What Are Your Favorite Travel Mementoes? We Have 4 To Check Out
- Oakland & Silicon Valley: Top Day Trips From San Francisco
- Honeymoon Travel: Top 5 Things To Know When Planning The Big Trip
Search the blog
POPULAR TAGSLos Angeles New York Photos Las Vegas Theater pride haus travel Washington DC Miami Marriage Equality San Francisco Pride Chicago party haus New York City Fire Island London gay travel Jeffrey James Keyes GayCities
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