Chicago, IL Extreme cold and snow failed to deter a huge turnout in Chicago for the 2014 Mr Chicago Leather Contest January 24th- 26th at Touché, 6412 North Clark Street. Leatherfolk near and far packed the bar both Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon for the weekend's festivities with many visiting titleholders in the crowd.
The contest on Saturday night featured six men going for the title of Mr Chicago Leather 2014 with Miguel Torres was selected as the winner. Joining Miguel at the contest's end was 1st Runner Up Jonathan Saidler and 2nd Runner Up Clint Sabin. Miguel will now represent Chicago's leather community over the next year and compete at Mr. International Leather 2014 in May. Miguel is originally from Venezuela and has called Chicago his home since 2000. He remains active in fundraising for local charities and this past summer participated in Ride for AIDS, a two-day, 200-mile bicycling event for Test Positive Aware Network ( TPAN ).
Judges for Mr Chicago Leather 2014 were International Mr Leather 2013 Andy Cross, Matt Hengle, Mr Midwest Leather 2012, Jesse Driscoll. Mr Midwest Rubber 2013; Christina Court, videographer and editor for LA&M's Leather Preservation and Conservation Project and Mr Chicago Leather 2013 Nick Zuko. Returning from London England for his 11th year as contest emcee was International Mr Leather 2003 John Pendal.
The weekend activities began with a Welcome party on Friday evening. The Imperial Windy City Court of the Prairie State present the LA&M with a donation from their charity campaign. After introductions of the judges, staff and contestnats, the Windy City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence offered their blessing. Then followed a Roast of Mr Chicago Leather Nick Zuko hosted by Thib Guicherd-Callin, Mr. Santa Clara County Leather 2012
Saturday afternoon offered participants several options beginning with a Leather Brunch. Touché hosted a Fetish Flea Market and both the Leather Archives & Museum and Gerber/Hart, Chicago's LGBT Library & Archives hosted events during the afternoon.
The Mr Chicago Leather 2014 Contest began promptly at 10pm that evening with the contestants judged on their leather image, public speaking and the crowd favorite, jockstrap. Emcee John Pendal kept the pace lively and entertained with his unique humor and audience games while scores were being tallied. One segment included having Andy Cross in a true or false challenge of his experiences as International Mr Leather 2013. The final announcement of Miguel as Mr Chicago Leather 2014 met with roaring approval by those packed in the bar.
During the proceedings, Touché bar manager presented the Chuck Windemuth Leather Mentorship Award to Jeff Willoughby, Mr Chicago Leather 2005 for his years of coaching those new to the leather lifestyle. This award was established in 2013 to commemorate the late Chuck Windemuth who was Mr Chicago Leather 1991. Chuck spent many years mentoring to scores of young men coming into leather.
On Sunday, Touché hosted a second day for the Fetish Flea Market and a Victory Party for Mr Chicago Leather Miguel to cap off a hugely successful weekend.
For more information and photographs visit the bar's website, www.ToucheChicago.com or contact the bar manager David Boyer at David@ToucheChicago.com .