The annual International Mr. Leather ( IML ) global conventionpushed back from its usual Memorial Day weekend to Sept. 25-27 because of the coronavirus pandemichas been officially cancelled for 2020.
On the event's website, it states, "As you know, we have been monitoring the coronavirus situation closely following updates from the CDC, State, and local government. The governor of Illinois and mayor of Chicago have issued plans to reopen Illinois and Chicago in phases. Not until that final phase is reached will large group gatherings and conventions be permitted.
"Movement between phases is dependent on improvement factors and not dates on a calendar. With the uncertainty, we feel for the safety of our attendees, volunteers, vendors and staff that it is best to cancel IML/IMBB 2020 in its entirety now.
"After hundreds of hours of organization, reorganization, debate and frustrations with 2020 we have made this difficult decision. We know most will be supportive, but others will disagree with our decision. Please understand that this makes us as disappointed as it does you. However, the health and safety of our community and those around us is far more important, as well as the need to be compliant with the State and Local officials reopening plan.
"To honor this year, with great respect for the world's situation, we choose to not ignore 2020 and will put International Mr. Leather 42 and International Mr. Bootblack 28 in the books as "the year without winners". Instead, we move forward to the future and International Mr. Leather 43 and International Mr. Bootblack 29 when we can be together in May 2021.
"We look forward to releasing materials for 2021 over the next several days, and we cannot wait until our family can celebrate together again.
"We are aware that this cancellation will bring many questions, we implore you to seek the most current information on hotel and package refunds on our website IMRL.com after June1, which will be updated with several options to meet the individual needs of those who are affected by the change."