From Issue 3.6 - Summer 1997
This year's International Ms. Leather (IMsL) contest was held July 18-20th in San Diego, CA. The weekend brought together many leather luminaries including former IMsL titleholders Shann Carr (1988), Kay Hallanger (1991), Blair (1992), Amy-Marie Meeks (1993) -- who has produced the contest for the past three years -- Spencer (1994), Cindy Bookout ("1994 and a half") -- IMsL's associate producer -- San Jose's pat baillie (1996), and outgoing 1996 IMsL Jill Carter.
Meeks made good choices with the Hanalei Hotel and the Spreckles Theater. The host hotel was an ideal setting, with waterfalls, pools of koi fish, palm trees, and a Jacuzzi that seated 14 people. The weekend included a Friday night basket auction emceed by Queen Cougar -- which raised over $7,000 for the IMsL winner's travel fund -- workshops, a vendor fair, a post-contest party, and a victory brunch.
Saturday's contest was ably emceed by 1989 International Mr. Drummer Brian Dawson and the ever-vivacious former Ms. Southbay/San Jose Leather Miranda von Stockhausen, whose wit and personality kept the contest moving so well that attendees hardly noticed that three hours had gone by so fast. Miranda entertained the crowd with a selection of fabulous outfits, first appearing in a PVC cab driver get-up, and later emerging as a Russian dignitary, complete with long blond hair and an intense Russian accent -- and attitude to match!
When the scores were tallied, Genelle Moore from Lincoln, Nebraska edged out 10 women to capture the 1997 IMsL title. Genelle's brother, Ron Moore, was named International Mr. Leather in 1984, making the two the first international titleholding siblings. Moore was sponsored by Female Leather Exchange (FLEX). First runner-up was Ms. Fallen Angel 1997 Lisa Weiszmiller from Los Angeles, and second runner-up was Diva Marie from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Bay Area was well represented in the contest, with Ms. Golden Gate Leather Beth Downey, Ms. Santa Clara County Leather Sharon Kleinman, and Ms. Alameda County Leather Victoria Rose. Rounding out the field of contestants were Tammy Resnick, Mistress Kendar, Schelli Dittman, Karen Matroni, and Bobbi Lei d'Courage. Author and leather historian Gayle Rubin -- who was one of the co-founders of IMsL in 1986 -- served as head judge. The other judges were Leslie Anderson, Ms. Deaf Leather Cool Cat, Alan Selby, Stephanie Locke, Thom Dombkowski, International Mr. Leather Kevin Cwayna, and Lisa Sherman.
Mark your calendar now for the 1998 IMsL contest, to be held
next summer Atlanta.