Life After IML - February 2005

Black and white photo of Dave and John
With Dave in London, January 2005
Photo credit:

Apart from meetings with the Spanner Trust and the Woodhull Freedom Foundation in London, my main work in January was flying to Chicago to emcee the Mr Chicago Leather 2005 contest at Touché. There were five judges, including the current IML Jason Hendrix, and five contestants. It's the only event during Jason's title year which we're both attending in an official capacity. Of course, as emcee I had control of the microphone...

My favourite part of the contest was the roll call. Last year the contest organisers allowed me to have a roll call of non-titleholders. This year I took it a step further to recognise people who would never accept public thanks. I asked for volunteers from the audience to receive our appreciation on their behalf. Six people came up onstage to represent those who do fundraising without credit (e.g. selling raffle tickets); anyone who gives their tips to charity; the "muscle" (door supervisors, security guards, minders and chauffeurs); anonymous sponsors; backstage crews; and people who stay at home (pet minders, baby sitters, partners) so that we can come out to events. The crowd gave a huge round of applause.

One of the five causes I'm supporting this year is the GAY LEATHER SM SEXUALITY RESEARCH PROJECT, run by author and part-time PhD student Eric Chaline. On a Saturday afternoon in January we met in the downstairs lounge at Coffee, Cake and Kink in Covent Garden so that he could give an update on his work.

Update: 3rd November 2005: The active research phase of the project has now finished. Thank you to everyone who took part. The results will be available sometime in 2006-7 and a copy sent to the Leather Archives & Museum.

Thanks for your help.

Best wishes,

John Pendal
International Mr Leather 2003

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