International Deaf Leather [Edit]

International Deaf Leather (IDL) was an organization for deaf leather people that began in 1989 and ended in 2021.

It was founded in 1989 as a chapter of the National Leather Association, called “NLA: Deaf Chapter”; its founders were Bobby Andrascik, Bob Donaldson, Jim Dunne, Michael Felts, Rolf Hagton, Philip Rubin, and Charles Wilkinson. Its name was changed to International Deaf Leather in 1991.

In 1991 International Deaf Leather held the first International Mr. Deaf Leather Contest, in Dallas, Texas; it was won by International Deaf Leather founder Philip Rubin.

In 1996 International Deaf Leather held the first International Ms. Deaf Leather Contest, in Chicago, Illinois; it was won by Cool Cat.

In 2005 International Deaf Leather held the first International Deaf Leather Boy Contest, in Washington, DC; it was won by boy alex.

In 2013 International Deaf Leather held an event with a theme called “Deaf Leather Village”; this was their first event where there was no contest held.

International Deaf Leather also gave out the Michael Felts Lifetime Achievement Awards and the International Deaf Leather Recognition Awards. Some of the Michael Felts Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to International Deaf Leather founders themselves – Michael Felts (1993), Philip Rubin (1994), Bob Donaldson (1995), and Rolf Hagton (1998). Another notable recipient of that award was Harry “Abbé” Woosley, Jr., a cofounder of the Baltimore Leather Association of the Deaf (BLADeaf), who received it in 1997. Notable recipients of the International Deaf Leather Recognition Awards include: “Chuck Renslow – IML” (among others) in 1995, Baltimore Leather Association of the Deaf (BLADeaf) in 1998,  “Skeeter of Mr. S Leather & Fetters Co.” in 1999, “Amy Marie Meek – International Ms. Leather” in 2001 (Meek produced International Ms. Leather from 1995 to 2006), and the Leather Archives & Museum in 2011.