An Open Letter From Michael Condon

For further information or to make a contribution please email:

Friends and Colleagues:


The relationships of sexual outlaws don’t enjoy the benefits and legal protections of conventional marriage. This unjust situation is the result of bigotry and we're gradually changing it, but for now, for most of us, it's a fact of life.


We’ve all seen good people in long-term relationships lose their partners and find themselves financially as well as emotionally devastated. Plague is swift and terrible, even intelligent, caring people don't always plan their estates well, and it's my feeling that no one should have to face the loss of both a loved one, and, for example, his or her home at the same time. Biological families typically neither understand nor support our relationships, and while we often discuss what it's like to live without their emotional support, we seldom mention the absence of the financial assistance our heterosexual peers often take for granted in troubled times.


A shoulder you can cry on is a good thing to have when facing hard times, and so is a check you can cash to pay the rent, the mortgage, or other expenses. Grief is something we too often simply have to bear, but financial hardship is a problem that can be solved. It’s up to us as a community united by our unique sexuality and relationships to assist those among us who face these kinds of difficulties as part of catastrophic loss. James Hall was my “sash boy” for much too brief a time, I miss him, and am proud to help do this in his memory.


Generic Leather Productions of Washington (GLPW) has established the James Hall Memorial Fund in memory of James and his too-short tenture as NW Leatherboy 2005. The intent of the Fund is to provide short-term financial assistance to the surviving partners or other primary relationships of members of our community. While its primary mechanism will be an ongoing nationwide "rummage sale" conducted on eBay®, this site describes several ways you can help.


I've often used the word "community" without a clear definition of it. As my title year progresses, I have a growing conviction that the purpose of a community is, among other things, to educate and guide the young, support the integrity and growth of adults, care for the old and the infirm, and most of all, to come to the aid of any member who needs help.


If we don't take care of our own, no one else will.
Thanks for your help and support,

Michael Congdon

International LeatherSir 2005