Great Lakes Leather Alliance-Michigan Community Bootblack Contestant Qualifications and Requirements

Special Notice: The Great Lakes Region consists of Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Iowa. It is preferred that contestants run in his or her respective state. However, if you are on the border of Michigan, including areas of Canada, with permission of the Michigan and Great Lakes contests, we may be able to accommodate contestants not living in the State of Michigan. Please contact us to discuss further.


Thank you for your interest in the Great Lakes Leather Alliance-Michigan (GLLA-MI) Community Bootblack Contest (herein "Contest"). The GLLA-MI Community Bootblack title (herein "Title") is a working one. It is an honored position that carries with it prestige and responsibilities. The following information is relevant to the Contest and year's worth of information relevant to holding the Title. By completing and signing the contestant application, you are agreeing to the terms of these Qualifications and Requirements with the GLLA-MI Producer (herein "Producer").


The conduct of the titleholder must uphold the goals and interests of the International Community Bootblack (ICBB) for its competitors. This is because the titleholder may eventually become a competitor at the ICBB ( contest after a successful win at Great Lakes Leather Alliance Weekend ( The titleholder will at all times conduct himself or herself to the high standard expected of a representative of the organization. You are expected to be respectful and congenial, to act with integrity and the appropriate decorum, to be reliable and to ensure a welcoming, safe, sane, and consensual environment. You will avoid behavior that is disruptive or would tend to bring the reputation of the Title or Contest into dispute; or which may place you in conflict or a perceived conflict with the interests of the Contest. Flagrant violation of this expectation may result in forfeiture of title.


As soon as any contestant becomes aware of it, the contestant must immediately contact and disclose to the Producer any relationship the contestant had, has or may have with any judge, any coordinator, judge's assistant, tally master and/or emcee that could or may be perceived as prejudicial to the outcome of the contest. The Producer will determine if the relationship should result in the withdrawal of the contestant from the contest. All contestants shall be prohibited from having private meetings or engaging in sexual activity or leather scene play with any of the judges during the contest weekend and prior to the announcement of the results. Any behavior that might create even the appearance of bias will be brought to the attention of the Producer, who will have the final say if the disqualification of the judge and/or contestant is warranted. To avoid accidental violation of this policy, all contestants, judges and officials should display their identification badges at all contests events.

Except as stated otherwise, the obligations of the contestant to the Producer and the Contest under this agreement cease upon the announcement of the new GLLA-MI Community Bootblack.

Contestant Qualifications and Requirements

Each contestant for the Title:

  1. Must be at least (21) twenty-one years old;
  2. Must have a demonstrated interest in Leather, BDSM or fetishes, as determined by the judging panel;
  3. Must be a resident of Michigan, unless the Producer grants an exception;
  4. Must not hold a current title unless approved by the Producer;
  5. Must agree to represent the title throughout the title year and refrain from competing in any other leather, rubber, fetish or bootblack title contest until the conclusion of the title year with the exception of the Great Lakes regional Bootblack contest (see #11);
  6. Must agree to return to the Contest next year to step aside from the title;
  7. Must agree to permit on-stage photographs to be taken for the use on the Great Lakes Leathre-Michigan website and/or related promotional materials;
  8. Must read, sign and agree to the terms of the statement of the contestant application and agreement, the responsibilities and expectations of the winner, and photographic release wavier and attach a photocopy of the first page of their passport or driver's license with the numbers blacked out;
  9. Must provide a personal bio of not more than (100) one hundred words and a 3"x3" head shot photograph (300dpi, jpg or png) for the program guide book and website;
  10. Each individual contestant shall donate (1) one select auction item to be used in the silent auction to raise funds for the travel fund;
  11. Must agree to compete at this year's Great Lakes Leather Alliance (GLLA) weekend (;
  12. Must have a fund raiser for the travel fund prior to GLLA weekend;
  13. Must be capable of obtaining a valid passport;
  14. Must not have any outstanding warrants or international warrants of a felony conviction at the time of the competition.


The judging categories and maximum scores for the contest are:

  • Interview and Personal Image (40 points Interview - 20 Points Personal Image): 60 Points
  • Speech (Maximum (2) two minutes): 40 Points
  • Formal Personal Image: 20 Points
  • On-Stage Question and Answer: 20 Points
  • Technical Proficiency: 60 Points
  • Total Maximum Score: 200 Points

Any time overages in a timed category will result in a 10% deduction by the tally master from the composite score of that category.

Scoring System

The contest will use five (5) primary judges for all contest scoring with an alternate judge also scoring. Unless one of the primary judges is unable to complete scoring all events, the alternate judge's scoring will be discarded. If a primary judge is replaced by the alternate judge, the scores from the replaced judge will be discarded and replaced with only scores from the alternate judge.

Scores in each category will be averaged among the five judges' scores. The contestant whose aggregate score is highest will be declared as the winner. In the event of a tie, the alternate judge's score will be averaged into the scores as well to determine the winner. If this still results in a tie, the Producer will determine the winner.

A minimum score of 140 points (70%) is required by any contestant to win.


The following is a notional schedule for the weekend. An exact schedule of the contest weekend will be provided to the contests at least one week prior to the event. Overall, Friday of the Contest weekend will be the meet and greet for the contestants and judges, and Saturday morning will begin with the contestant interviews for all GLLA-MI titles.

  • Interview and the first half of technical proficiency will be during the afternoon of the contest date. Interviews will be allotted approximately 15 minutes per contestant. The interview also includes the Personal Image. These sections take place during the day at the host bar and will be as private as possible. At each contestant's interview, only the contestant, judges, the judge's boy, tally master will directly participate.
  • The second half of technical proficiency will be the blacking of a "project boot." The boots much be presented to the judging panel for review at least 1/2 hour before the beginning of the evening portion of the contest. The judges will review all the contestant boots simultaneously without the contestants present.
  • The remaining components of the Contest will take place in public in the evening and will consist of Speech, Formal Personal Image, and On-Stage Q&A.

Please be present at least one half hour before the start of each part of competitions.

Interview and Personal Image

A) The interview process allows each individual contestant to meet with the judging panel to answer the judges' questions about the contestant's interest in leather, BDSM, fetishes, knowledge, community involvement, and willingness and ability to represent the title.

The interview process also allows the judges to ask questions from the contestant about ideas or any pertinent questions that may need clarification of a particular stand a contestant has taken. All questions are allowed and it is up to the discretion of the contestant to respond.

B) During the interview, contestants will be further judged on the attire that bests represents the contestant's personal image. Personal image attire is best described as distinguished and/or casual bar wear that most reflects the individual. The personal image category can embody a wide range of preferences associated with the persona of the contestant. There is no defined "look" but the contestant's personal image will be judged in combination with his interview.

C) Contestant interviews are public. Contestants not being interviewed will be sequestered.

Speech and Formal Personal Image

A) Each individual contestant will appear onstage to introduce himself or herself to the audience and briefly describe his or her background or interest in the Leather community, while wearing the attire that best represents the contestant's formal personal image. The speech category allows the contestant microphone time to speak on any topic. The contestant will be judged on the content, delivery and body language presented during the speech. During the speech, it is not encouraged to expound on a political "platform." Please note that the onstage speech shall be no longer than two (2) minutes. The contestant will be timed and NO WARNING SYSTEM WILL BE PROVIDED if the contestant is over the speech time limit.

B) Formal personal image attire is best described as full dress wear, which best reflects the individual during a formal event. The formal personal image category can embody a wide range of personal preferences associated with the persona of the contestant. There is no defined "look" but the contestant's formal personal image will be judged at the same time as their speech. The attire should be appropriate for the setting and compliment the speech that is given.


  • The winner is expected to attend and represent the title at one of the Michigan "Pride" events. Most of these take place in June. These are anticipated to be Motorcity Pride, Lansing Pride, Kalamazoo Pride, or Grand Rapids Pride.
  • The winner is encouraged to attend as many other local leather events and contests as they may see fit. However, the travel fund may not be used to reimburse travel expenses unless approved in advance by the Producer.
  • The titleholder is encouraged to black at community events. Tips raised at these events are for the titleholder to use as necessary to cover material expenses, however it is encouraged that these funds are used to help supplement the travel fund to GLLA.

The last obligation of the titleholder will be to act as the outgoing titleholder at the Contest in which the following successor is selected or appointed. Unless there is a conflict of interest, the titleholder may also be invited to act as a judge at the Contest the year after having served. An example of a conflict of interest with a contestant would be if a titleholder is or has been involved in a relationship with a contestant that is or could be perceived as being a conflict of interest.

It is everyone's desire and in everyone's best interest that all the titleholders enjoys a full and complete year. It may happen that contentious issues arise during a title year. It is the responsibility of both the Producer and the titleholder to communicate all such issues and concerns to each other as soon as possible. The matter will nearly always be resolved to everyone's understanding. In the rare circumstance that an issue cannot be resolved, the Producer may determine that is no longer viable for the titleholder to complete the title year. Upon such determination being made, it will be communicated to the titleholder and all benefits and obligations described in this agreement will cease. If requested, any title vest, back-patch, medallion, trophy, sash, etc. will be immediately returned in good condition to the Producer.