The first IMsL competition consisted of a Meet & Great at the Eagle (?) and a single night event at Clvb DV8 at 540 Howard St. in San Francisco.  Cost for advance tickets was $20 or $25 at the door. The organization began in the fall of 1986 in the shadow of AIDS impacting the San Francisco leather community.  From the original program, it was also born of the need and desire for women to express pride and dignity as members of that leather community.  The organizing body was called International Ms Leather, Inc and consisted of Mistress Kathy, Peter Rath and Sky Renfro.  Judges were Barbara Behr, Tattoo Blue, Mistress Carole, Helen Ruvelas, Kat Sunlove, L. Thorn, JimEd Thompson, Alan Selby and Patrick Toner.  Proceeds went to benefit The AIDS Emergency Fund, Coming Home Hospice, Women’s AIDS Network, AIDS Alternative  Healing Project and AWARE.

Contestant Class

IMsL Class 1987

For IMsL 30, we are looking to create a class reunion during the April 1417, 2016 IMsL/IMsBB Weekend in San Jose, CA.  Below is the list of competitors for this year and we are looking to connect with them.  If you have an email or Facebook link, please let us know so we can invite them to the celebration.

  • Ginger Bryant from San Antonio, TX
  •  Mistress Destiney from Detroit, MI
  •  Ilene Dodd from Phoenix, AZ (deceased)
  • Bobby Foster from Palm Springs, CA (deceased)
  •  Pam Knight from Minneapolis, MN
  • Jae Larsen from Portland, OR
  • Mistress Stephanie Locke from Hollywood, CA
  • Shadow Morton from San Francisco, CA
  • Sister Mysteria of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence from San Francisco, CA   (deceased)
  • Veronica Carol Power from San Francisco, CA
  • Rainbeau from Oakland, CA
  • Rock-n-Roll Ramona from Columbus, OH (deceased)
  • Lisa Scott from Walnut Creek, CA
  • Jose Sission from Long Beach, CA
  •  Kim Wallace from Sacramento, CA


1987 Program Book

(Mobile version available here)


IMsL 1987 – Judy Tallwing McCarthy

IMsL 1987 Judy Tallwing1987 – A Native American from the White Mountain Reservation in Arizona, Judy was selected as the first International Ms Leather 1987. During the past year she has done an exceedingly fine job and taken great pleasure in representing leatherwomen. She is proud to be a judge at this year’s contest and has found the concept and purpose of IMsL to be very worthwhile.
[Ed. note: this bio is from 1988 when Judy served as a judge]


judy20102010 – Originally from the state of Arizona, Judy Tallwing McCarthy has a long-term history of political and social activism. Mother of six biological children, and now a grandmother, she participated in the early beginnings of N.O.W and the ERA movement. Her early love of painting continued to develop throughout her life, and today Judy is a recognized and accomplished fine Native American artisan. The Heard Museum in Arizona and the Smithsonian both house early paintings of Judy’s and the Smithsonian also has in it’s collection various documents with her signature from the political arena documenting the beginning of the women’s movement. Having raised numerous leatherkids throughout her years, she currently is “Daddy” to “Dandelion Dog Rescue Services” a no-kill animal rescue she established in 1995. To her joy, the leather community has been extremely supportive of the 501c3 non-profit shelter and for that she is extremely grateful.


We will also be looking for additional pictures. video clips or other resources to add to the history collection.  Start checking your personal archives and please support this effort to create the timeline that has brought us to today in our women’s Leather, Kink, BDSM, Sex Geek history.

If you know someone on the list who is no longer living, we are going to set up a memorial page so you can add their name, pictures and any short biographical information you would like to add.  Please send this information to