CHICAGO — Mr. International Rubber once again made history when Michal, Mr. Rubber Poland, won MIR 21. He is the first international fetish titleholder from beyond the former Iron Curtain.
Michal came out of a field of eight contestants to win the title. First runner-up was John Cheshire, Mr. Melbourne Rubber, and second runner-up was Pup Ranger, Mr. New England Rubber. Other contestants came from the American Midwest, Florida, Spain, the Netherlands, and San Francisco.
The contest was the highlight of a four-day event weekend taking place mostly at Chicago’s Center on Halsted community center but with other events taking place at bars and businesses across the city’s north side.
MIR Weekend also held classes in partnership with Chicago Hellfire Club and the first People of Color Meetup that has been on the formal schedule of a fetish event.
Si “Sly” Hands, MIR 15 who passed away earlier this year, was still part of the weekend. During the Friday night portion of the contest, MIR Chief Operating Officer Rubberwilli announced that the MIR travel fund would now be the Sly Hands Travel Fund. Some audience members actually sat at tables on the stage, keeping in the “speakeasy” theme, with the money from those going directly to the travel fund. Rubberwilli said on Saturday that more than $2,500 had been raised for this year’s travel fund.
During his speech on the last night of the contest, Rubberwilli also reaffirmed the openness of MIR.
“Mr. International Rubber, it’s a contest for a mister,” he said. “But I want to make it very clear, this weekend is open to everyone. Everyone. Regardless of your gender, where you’re from, your income, we really want to make sure everyone feels welcome at this event.”
Michal will represent the rubber community during the next year, following in the footsteps of MIR 20 Preston “Wex” So.