What is IMsL?
“An amazing unforgettable celebration of Leather women and those who love them. “
Recognition and a social occasion geared toward the women within the Leather Community.
The gathering is presently produced by Sharrin Spector of IMsL Productions in association with the IMsL Foundation, Pat Baillie, Interim Board President, Sharrin was an organizer of the first lesbian BDSM conference. Pat is the founder and creator of LeatherWomen United, IMsL 1995 and in the process of forming a 501(c)3 called IMsL Foundation that focuses on education, supporting leaders and cataloging our own leather women’s history!.
The pair, assisted by the tireless efforts of a volunteer crew, present an annual bash, where the international leather community can gather and honor the philanthropy and dedication of members of this genre, with all the pageantry of the Ms. America contest (selecting International Ms Leather and International Ms Bootblack each year) and only a smidgen of the objectification. All the while the proceedings bring leather women and those who love them together and create fundraising to promote leather women efforts around the world.
This phenomenon was originally brought about by two major factors: the discrimination SM women faced in the 80’s due to the perceived anti-feminism of leather customs and the great need for fundraising for the queer community as a whole during the AIDS Crisis. The circumstance is above all else, a charitable event and a celebration of sex positivism. “For the first few years, all proceeds were donated; not even seed money for the following year was retained.” Now with the Foundation, the titleholders are able to travel the world, celebrate the growth of new communities of leatherwomen and provide support for local, national and global charities.
Is this a part of the Fifty Shades of Grey fandom? NO, a resounding and wide echoing no, this affair and the community around it started to take shape in the 80’s, when the queer world was living in terror as people fell prey to the deadly AIDS virus.”Women, particularly sex workers, were starting to die side by side with the countless gay men who were ill. Galvanized by an urgent need for fundraising and the sheer impetus to take action in the face of such devastation, gay and queer women stepped up to help” and because of them, IMsL was born, on a hot July day, in 1986. This years’ festivities will be held in San Jose, April 9-12, 2015.
For more information on this upcoming event see http://imsl.org/ or go to the event in April.