Illinois: International Mr. Leather Bans Barebacking
July 31, 2009
International Mr. Leather organizers recently announced that starting with next year's event, they will no longer allow vendors who promote barebacking, or unprotected anal sex. The annual gathering and contest in Chicago has attracted thousands of gay men since its 1979 launch. Vendors will also not be permitted to distribute or sell merchandise "tending to promote or advocate barebacking," IML President Chuck Renslow wrote in a letter to vendors. "While we have had some success developing medications that might make [HIV] infection more manageable, that accomplishment comes at a price. Not having experienced the deaths -- the loss of loved ones -- which preceded these medications, we have an entire generation who may not fully appreciate or comprehend the severity of the situation," Renslow noted. "Too many in our community believe HIV/AIDS is curable or manageable. Too few understand that HIV/AIDS infections dominate life."
Windy City Times (Chicago)