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IML and IMBB 2022 story and our Top 100 Photos




Both winners were truly international

Mr. Leather Belgium 2020-21 Gael Leung Chong Wo was tops among 60 men vying for International Mr. Leather 2022 and Alistair Leather Hiraeth bested two others to become International Mr. Bootblack 2022 at the Arie Crown Theatre in McCormick Place along Lake Michigan in Chicago, IL on Sunday night, May 29.



While this was year 44 for Intrnational Mr. Leather, it was the 30th Anniversary of the International Mr. Bootblack title.

It was a lot of work putting together an event such as IML IMBB after a three year hiatus, but it was made even more challenging trying to schlep over 1,000 Leatherfolk from the host Congress Plaza Hotel to the Arie Crown Theatre a couple miles to the south due to traffic jams created by Cold Play rock concerts both nights. To IML's credit, the Pec's and Personality started an hour-and-five-minutes late, but only ended up closing 19 minutes late. It was a lot of scrambling for Transportation Coordinator John Weiler, his helpers and the bus drivers.

IML IMBB Media Coordinator Tyesha Nicole Best noted several facts regarding this year's iteration of the two titles, "First year we’ve had both titles go international. This year had the most countries represented. This year’s IML 2022 is Asian. This year’s IMBB 2022 is a Transman who uses He/Him pronouns. This is the first and...we...saw...a podium with TWO people having the same title, different year."



Thib Gicherd Callin was back for his fifth stint as the IML IMBB emcee. Thib lives in San Jose, California and was born in France. He opened the Saturday night show with a short song which went over well with the audience. His level of experience made his performance seem like a fine wine. Great humor and there were no victims from it. In our eyes - top notch. Thib has emceed or hosted many other big contests and events. He is Pantheon of Leather Man of the Year 2017.

The panels of judges for International Mr. Leather and International Mr. Bootblack were, beginning with International Mr. Leather 2019 Jack Thompson, Thorsten Buhl, Brian "Bolt" Donner, Alan Dudley, Bob "Mongo" Eikleberry, Bob Goldfarb, Leena Magnet, Jim Plante and IML 2017 Ralph Bruneau. The International Mr. Bootblack 2022 judges were International Mr. Bootblack 2019 Krisszly de Hond, Jackie Thompson and Andrew "Bootdog" Johnson. The tally masters were Danny Thanh Nguyen and Bootblack Zach.

It was noted that the Arie Crown Theatre stage is second in size only to that in the Radio City Music Hall in New York. The huge hall seats 4,500 guests.

The most events produced by any groups were fundraisers for the Leather Archives and Museum, play parties an socials by the Chicago Hellfire Club and events hosted by ONYX and its numerous chapters, Touche' had its own shuttle Thursday night through Monday night for their bounty of events.

A deep trail was left by those visiting the Leather Archives on Chicago's North Side and many of those travelers also stopped by Touche and 64TEN Chicago's store nearby. One popular LA&M benefit was the opportunity to sign one's name on the IML IMBB annual flag while others were silent auctions, a Pop-Up Shop, sling raffle.



Chicago Hellfire Club hosted a well-attended cocktail party in the Oxford Room of the host Congress Hotel on Saturday afternoon, and play parties all weekend at their clubhouse.

The big ticket ONYX thing is always their Saturday night dance which no other producer dare challenge. There was an ONYX brunch, classes on People of Color, a meet and greet, an ONYX demonstration and a few socials.

Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt was brought to Chitown by friends from Mama's Helping Hands Foundation so she could celebrate her 80th birthday. There was a Mama's Family photo shoot. Turns out California B&B Corps' Jim Neuman was celebrating his birthday too, so he was added to the fun.

The Leather Market was busy from the moment it opened until the time if closed. One vendor, Boy Butter, completely sold out of merchandise. Owner Ayal was already in a good mood because his product was mentioned on the Jimmy Kimmel show only a few days before. There were about 55 merchants and organizations represented.



There was more rubber than in an Ohio tire factory at the Rubber Social on Friday night. This event seemed larger than an of the other IML rubber/latex parties.

One unpleasant constant with the Congress Hotel is the restaurant meshigas. As always, Rafael's only had one cook, were understaffed and often running out of food. They know we're coming - and still. Hopefully the powers-that-be at the hotel will act. Some of us do not get to make it far from the hotel due to mobility concerns so we are reliant. Hopefully, someone with clout will put fire under them. Their one saving grace was the food was reasonably priced. Then they have the Gazebo restaurant which is closed for lunch and dinner.

Kink U had several classes on the third floor including Good Touch Games, Beyond Consent, and Vaginal Sex For Gay Men. The Titans of the Midwest had a social on Saturday.

The two big circuit parties were huge. Monday night, May 30 was the big closer with the Black and Blue Ball at the House of Blues. This IML IMBB tradition which goes back to the early days is always a winner. No exception this year. Sunday night's Victory Party at the same venue was big, too. Gyrating to pounding beat and music was the thing as it has been for two or three generations.

Our IML IMBB 2022 online coverage includes a link to a revised IML IMBB 2022 Contestant Preliminary which lists the three winners and the Top 20 Finalists in random order plus the remaing 40 competitors as well as this story followed by our Top 100 Photos.



Click her to see the IML and IMBB winners, Top 20 Finalsts, and remaining IML contestants




The Leather Journal's Top 100 Photod from IML IMBB 2022




























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 Click her to see the IML and IMBB winners, Top 20 Finalsts, and remaining IML contestants




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Last modified on Friday, 24 June 2022 05:43