International Mr. Leather will not come to Chicago this November—or this year at all. Organizers announced that the largest leather and fetish conference and competition in the world will return Memorial Day weekend 2022, citing several non-pandemic reasons for the delay.
According to a statement on the website, “The specific key factors behind this decision include a shortened weekend program and a space-compressed vendor market with reduced hours, the financial impact to our guests in possibly attending two IML weekends six months apart, the shorter title year for the winners who have waited patiently for their moment to compete and a necessary consideration for any potential reinstatement of large gathering restrictions.”
IML has been held annually since 1979—and has always proudly included the BDSM community. The current reigning International Mr. Leather is Jack Thompson, who will relinquish his title when the event (and International Mr. Bootblack) returns May 26–30.