Leather Community Events & Organizations:

The gay leather community is a loosely knit community composed of individuals, partners and groups who typically like to wear leather accessories and garments, most often like those of the post-WWII biker culture. Many also share an interest in a common group of fetishes.

Traditionally, leather culture has been most often associated with BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sado/Masochism) practices and its many subcultures.

The leather culture also includes people for whom wearing black leather clothing expresses heightened masculinity, love of motorcycles and independence, appropriation of erotic power, engagement in sexual kink or leather fetishism and participation in leather cultural events. The broader leather culture includes gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual and pansexual practitioners.

The common foundation the leather community or leather culture is built upon are the principals of trust, honor and respect. Leather also represents a state of mind embracing power, lifestyle, shared experience and a world view that provides cohesiveness to a community of kindred spirits.

Additional Information:

International Mr. Leather:

International Mr. Leather (IML) was established in 1979 by Chuck Renslow, owner of the Gold Coast in Chicago, and his partner Dom Orejudos. The IML contest grew out of the Mr. Gold Coast contest. Held each May, the conference now spans several days, and includes the IML competition, speakers, socials, themed dance parties and a leather market. To compete, IML contestants must either be the winner of a bar, local or regional leather contest or be sponsored by a leather bar, business, club, or organization. In 2016 59 contestants competed for the International Mr. Leather title, in 2017 63 contestants completed, in 2018 71 contestants competed.

IML 2022 will be held May 22-30, 2022, the host hotel is the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago.

Pre-IML Contests

International Naturist Organizations:

CMEN holds its Mr. CMEN Leather contest each year during the West Coast Gathering each September, the winner is sponsored as a contestant for IML the following May.

Gay Naturist International holds a Mr. GNI Leather contest at the GNI Gathering each August, the winner is also sponsored as a contestant for IML.

Mr. Los Angeles Leather:

Mr. Los Angeles Leather is selected at LA Leather Pride. Several leather bars and organizations in the greater Los Angeles area hold annual “feeder” contests, with the winners then competing for Mr. Los Angeles Leather. Event hosted by the Los Angeles Leather Coalition. The 2020 contest was scheduled for March 28, 2020, it has been postponed to March 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, with the winner of the Mr. LA Leather contest representing Los Angeles at the IML contest in May 2021. Local feeder contests are:

Other West Coast metropolitan area pre-IML contests:

Other California pre-IML contests include:

  • Mr. Bolt Leather – April 25, 2020, Bolt Sacramento
  • Mr. OCIC – TBA, Sponsored by Orange County Imperial Court

Regional pre-IML leather contests:

Some states have similar contests, including Oregon State Leather.

Major Leather & Fetish Festivals:

United States:

Off Sunset Festival is the Los Angeles leather and kink Street Fair, held on Santa Monica Blvd, between Hoover and Sunset, Silverlake. It is now at the end of LA Leather Pride Weekend each March.

Cleveland Leather Annual Weekend (CLAW) is a large annual convention for people into leather, normally held in Cleveland, Ohio every April.In 2022 CLAW will be held in Cleveland April 28 – May 1, 2022.

Olympus Leather Weekend – Weekend includes workshops, social events, play events and the International Olympus Leather Contest, will be held in San Diego, CA (virtual July 24, 2021).

Folsom Street East is held in New York City each June, it is the largest outdoor fetish street festival on the East Coast, first held in 1997.

Up Your Alley is held in San Francisco’s South of Market District each July (July 31, 2022).

Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, the self acclaimed biggest leather event in the world, was first held in 1984. It is held in late September each year.  (September 25, 2022).

Onyx 27 will be held in Fort Lauderdale October 6, 2022.

Leather Getaway (Sponsored by CLAW) large annual convention for people into leather, Los Angeles, November 23-27.


Berlin’s Easter in Berlin Leather Festival, Europe’s biggest gay leather and fetish event which takes place every year at Easter, was first held in 1975 (April 8-13, 2020).

Folsom Europe street fair is held each Fall in Berlin (Sept. 9-12, 2021).

Amsterdam Leather Pride will be held October 28-31, 2021, first held in 1996.

London’s Fetish Week each July, which began in 2010, includes men who enjoy leather, uniforms, rubber, sports and other fetishes (July 2022 TBA).

Other Local Leather and Fetish Events:

Los Angeles Pup Pride and Contest – October 22-24, 2021 in North Hollywood

Palm Springs Leather Pride – October 27-30, 2022, Palm Springs, CA, Sponsored by Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert

West Coast Rubber Contest – April 2022 in Los Angeles, TBA

Leather Archives & Museums:

The Leather Archives & Museum opened in Chicago in 1996, and moved to its permanent 10,000-square-foot, two-story home in 1999. The Museum preserves material from various leather communities, houses exhibits relating to leather community history and sends traveling exhibits around the country. 6418 N Greenview Ave. Chicago, IL 60626, 773-761-9200.

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives – is the largest repository of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) materials in the world. The Archives were founded as the One Institute in 1956, the educational arm of ONE Inc., founded 1952, publisher of ONE Magazine, the first widely distributed publication for homosexuals in the United States. ONE Archives moved to its current location provided by the University of Southern California in 2000, and has been a part of the University of Southern California Libraries since 2010. 909 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007, 213-821-2771.

Local Organizations:

Southern California:

Los Angeles Leather Coalition (LALC) – Coalition of LA Area businesses and community organizations (CMEN is an LALC Community Partner), also hosts the Mr. LA Leather Contest each March

Northern California:

Other States:

National Leather Organizations:

Other Information Resources and Conferences:

Trust, Honor and Respect

Information on this page is provided for educational purposes. Please note that CMEN does not control the content of linked web sites, the organizations who own these web sites accept sole responsibility for their content.

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