Great news from the other side of the Atlantic, where Andy Cross, Mr San Francisco Leather 2013, has won the International Mr Leather (IML) 2013 contest. First runner-up was Thib Guicherd-Callin, Mr Santa Clara County Leather 2012, while Robert Miller, Mr Leather Toronto 2013 became second runner-up. This year’s International Mr Bootblack winner was Sammy from Portland, OR.
Traditionally, IML takes place in Chicago, IL over Memorial Day Weekend, this year the contest was held for the 35th time. Europe was represented by Tyrone Rontganger (German Mr Leather) and Frankie Villatora (Mr Hoist UK) in the contest. Both contestants made it to the final top 20. As usual, the jury included one member from Europe: Uwe Langer, founding member of Spike Hamburg (Germany).
Over at Leatherati’s Live Blog from the evening, Tynan Fox gathered some quotes from the European contestants while they gave a speech on stage during the final round of the contest.
[quote cite=”Tyrone Rontganger”]When I became German Mr. Leather, someone wrote, “What right do I have to carry this title?” He wrote it because I am different to the majority. We are all here, different to the majority. We all have the same rights regardless of our sexuality, race nationality, philosophy, creed, or color. I have this right, because I stood and fought for it. We have the right tas gay men and women to marry our partners. We have the right to live without fear, or prison, or murder. And when we stand up together, we WILL get those rights as we deserve to have them![/quote] [quote cite=”Frankie Vilatora”]I stand before you a proud leatherman. I feel humbled and inspired of the warm reception I’ve seen of everyone this weekend. I feel inspired as I look to the audience this weekend. I see so many people from a younger generation who needs support, love. I have a boy, Kilker. We went on holiday to a space museum, and he turned and asked, “Where you really alive when the first man landed on the moon?” *audence roar* I hate to admit it, but that’s the truth. It’s great that across generations, our love of leather has brought us together as a family. It’s time to support one another as best as we can. It’s not a sprint, it’s a win![/quote]
More pictures can be found on the official IML website at www.imrl.com.