Partner Larry Townsend

Larry Townsend founded the first leather literature-publishing house in 1969, authoring best-sellers like The Leatherman's Handbook (1972). After meeting Disney accountant Fred Yerkes (August 27, 1935 - July 7, 2006) in 1962, the famous WeHo couple founded the Hollywood Hills Democratic Club and the “Homophile Effort for Legal Protection” and its H.E.L.P. Newsletter, forerunner of Drummer. Until he died in 2006, the devoted Fred sustained the stentorian author who grieved solo for two years. "Behind every author, if that author is lucky, there is a lover-partner who is a producer who keeps the author up and running. They were one of those legendary couples who cannot live one without the other." When California legalized gay marriage in 2008, Larry whispered on his deathbed, “Fred and I would have liked to be married.” --Jack Fritscher