International Mr. Leather™ welcomes you to IML 2023.
We would like to congratulate all of our contestants for working so hard to represent our tribe during the Sapphire Anniversary of IML Weekend. The 2nd Runner-up is Matthew Moody Mr. Phoenix Leather 2022 from Phoenix AZ. The 1st Runner-up is Chris Gonzalez Mr. GNI Leather 2022 from Atlanta, GA. We are very proud to have Marcus Barela Mr. Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2023 from San Marcos, CA as your new International Mr. Leather.
Opening Night remarks from Billy Lane, IML Operations Board
Greetings and good evening. On behalf of the Chuck Renslow Charitable Foundation, the IML Operations Board, and the IML Executive Staff, welcome to the Sapphire Anniversary of International Mr. Leather weekend. Unbelievable. What an event we have planned for you to celebrate our 45 years.
First I need to address something. Many of you have seen and been hurt by the welcome message that was published in this year’s event guide. Our intent was to focus on where we have made progress with your support over the past several months not further divide our community with hurtful words.
And because of those hurtful words, a later reference to “opponents” can be misunderstood. Let me be perfectly clear: in that sentence, the word “opponents” is directly squared at our collective enemies outside the community - the conservatives who are actively attacking our community by everything from preventing trans children from receiving gender affirming care to enacting bans on drag shows which restrict our freedom of expression.
These vicious individuals and organizations earn the label of “opponents”, not members of our own community, even those we disagree with, sometimes bitterly.
We cannot undo the harm caused by the hurtful words. We will work to do better.
We have worked with community leaders the last few months to install a Code of Conduct for all of our guests and staff. In addition to having the code posted on our website, we have signs and banners around the event, and hope that they will serve as a visible reminder of the behavior we expect to see at this event. It applies equally to everyone at IML from attendees and staff to Trustees.
Noticeably, we are without an IMBB contest this year, a decision that did not come lightly. We felt in order for it to be successful moving forward, we would take some time to regroup and recreate the contest.
On that note, I need to give a huge thank you to our staff and 300 plus volunteers. We have an amazing group of Department Coordinators that work each year. Their involvement and commitment to the organization is solely to make sure each of you have an incredible weekend.