IML Diary: September 2003

September 1st to 16th - London, Chicago and Inferno

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, with John and Dave

Thursday 4th September - Dave and I went to a reception at London's City Hall, held by the Mayor of London to mark the second anniversary of the London Partnerships register. We signed the register in June 2003 on our tenth anniversary - see my June diary.

When we got there we found that the invitation had gone out to every couple who had registered so far. We were amazed at how many people we knew or recognised. The Mayor, Ken Livingstone (centre, above) expressed the hope that the Register would lead to full legal partnership rights within a short while.

John (IML 2003) with Joe Gallagher (IML 1996) and his partner STOA
Photo credit: BullManX

Friday 5th September - Flew to Chicago to spend the weekend, including dinner with Mike Taylor (IML 2000) on Saturday night. I also met Joe Gallagher (IML 1996) and his partner STOA (pictured above).

Sunday 7th to Wednesday 10th September - Attended Inferno Session B, which was an experience. Then drove back to Chicago for another overnight stay.

Shann Carr (IMsL 1988) performing stand up comedy in London

Friday 12th September - Arrived home having had no sleep on the overnight flight, to find that my partner, David, has grown a goatee for me! He looks very sexy. Unpacked, changed and went to London's Central Station pub to see Shann Carr (IMsL 1988) perform stand-up comedy. Her anecdotes about past IML contests in Chicago were very funny - until she told the drunken crowd that "the current International Mr Leather is in the audience tonight!" Thanks.

September 17th to 22nd - Kansas City, Missouri

John (IML 2003) with Zack Marquardt and Todd Altheiser

Wednesday 17th to Monday 22nd September - Kansas City, Missouri, where they were holding the Heart of America Leatherboy 2004 and the Mr Dixie Belle Leather 2004 contests.

I seriously underestimated this booking. For some reason I thought it would be a small event before the big leather week in San Francisco. How wrong I was. Kansas City rocks! They have two active leather clubs: the KC Pioneers and the KC boys of Leather, plus the Kansas City Leather University (KCLU) which tours around the Midwest teaching BDSM, a free Hepatitis A & B vaccination outreach scheme taking place in the bars and clubs, and the first LGBT community health assessment project in Kansas City called THE PULSE.

(Above L to R) Zack Marquardt (Mr Dixie Bell 2003), Todd Altheiser (Mr Dixie Bell 2004) and me.

John (IML 2003) with Bill Mitchell (American Leatherman 2003)

For the Mr Dixie Bell Leather contest I was on the judging panel of 8 titleholders, including Tammie Nelson "IMsL 2003", Bill Mitchell "American Leatherman 2003" (pictured above) and Mark Bozif "Mr Missouri Leather 2003". Thanks to one contestant's interview answers, three of us acquired the nicknames "Top shelf", "Middle shelf" and "Bottom shelf". I'll let you work out from the picture who was "Top Shelf"...
The Kansas City contest organisers in drag at a fundraiser

The Mr Dixie Belle Leather contest was held on Friday and Saturday at the Dixie Bell Warehouse. On the Sunday morning the weekend concluded with a drag show put on by the contest organisers to raise money for the two new titleholders' travel funds (see above).

Of course, I only remember this weekend in brief flashbacks, as thanks to their "five second pour" when serving vodka in bars I managed to discover what it's like to be very, very drunk (after all my official duties were over, of course). If you need any dirt on me for my step down you need look no further than my antics in Kansas City ... I can't wait to return!

September 22nd to 29th - San Francisco Leather Week

Monday 22nd September - I flew to San Francisco to take part in their leather week activities. A friend kindly arranged for David to fly out on American Airlines and join me. Thank you, Chuck! That night we were invited to meet the San Francisco Gay Mens Chorus at their weekly rehearsal.

Joe Gallagher (IML 1996) cutting John's hair

Tuesday 23rd September - Dave and I explored the Castro in the morning, then we both had haircuts from Joe Gallagher (see above). Later in the evening we were entertained for an excellent dinner by Richie Chameroy "International Mr Bootblack 2003".

Wednesday 24th September - Off to Stompers Boots in the morning, had lunch with Robert Davolt who writes a column for, then met Chuck from Blow Buddies in the evening. (Blow Buddies provides free, confidential STD/ HIV check ups and tests three evenings a month.)

Lenny Broberg (IML 1992) bares his bottom to the world

Thursday 25th September - Our host for the week, Bob, took us to see the giant Redwood trees at Muir Woods. Then in the evening we attended a fundraiser for Magnet at Daddy's bar. Magnet is a new health centre for gay men and is based in the Castro.

Michael Dumont "Mr Hayes Valley Leather 2003" organised the evening and Lenny Broberg (IML 1992) was the auctioneer. Lenny managed to persuade Donald Dotson, Stephen Blackwell and me to bare our butts for $200 - so we grabbed the microphone and got him to bare his for $350! Luckily Dave was in the ideal place to catch the moment (see above).

John barefoot in street for a professional photoshoot
Photo credit:

Friday 26th September - During the afternoon I had a photoshoot with a professional photographer friend, Ulli from It took a lot to persuade me to remove my boots for this photo, but I have to agree I like the result. In the evening I went to the Powerhouse bar to meet and greet the Mr SF Leather 2004 contestants and the SOMA 2004 Calendar men.

John (IML 2003) with the Mr San Francisco Leather winner and runners up
Photo credit:

Saturday 27th September - was taken up mostly with rehearsals and script rewrites (from American to English!), because that evening I was the emcee for the Mr San Francisco Leather 2004 Contest. There were five contestants and Julian Marshburn "Mr Daddy's Leather 2004" (second from left, above) won the title. Entertainment was provided by Marianne Kooken, Snatch and Lenny Broberg (IML 1992), whom I accidentally introduced as "the oldest living IML"...

John giving Donna Sachet a dollar bill in his teeth

Sunday 28th September - No rest for the wicked. On Sunday morning Dave and I were up bright and early to attend Bob and Donna's Leather brunch in the Castro. Donna Sachet sang for us, so it seemed only polite to get on all fours and offer her money in gratitude (pictured above). At noon we were whisked off to 12th Street Stage where I helped to annouce all the current titleholders to the crowd. Who knew there would be so many titleholders in San Francisco?!

John meeting Armistead Maupin at Folsom Street Fair

Sunday (cont.) - In the afternoon Dave and I looked around Folsom Street Fair and met author Armistead Maupin. At 4pm we joined Joe Gallagher and STOA in the Leather Lounge, and at 5pm we met the guys from Gotham Piercing. At 6pm the fair was closing so we left to have dinner back in the Castro before one last round in Daddy's bar.

Monday 29th Sept. - we flew overnight back home to London, but I only had one day to rest before heading off to Hamburg ...

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