81-year-old recalls his life in Raleigh as a gay man in new book on older members of the LGBTQ + community

TARBORO, NC (WNCN) – The struggle and life of a gay man in Raleigh is now available to the world in the form of a book that tells the stories of 12 older members of the LGBTQ + community.

Ronnie Ellis, 81, shares his own memories in Not a second longer, and they’re a haunting reminder. He expressed these thoughts in a video promoting the post.

“At least 25 years ago, when I realized I was gay and I could go out, I still had this stigma, it was wrong. I had a friend who committed suicide because he was gay, and when we were growing up you were either getting married or you were gay, ”Ellis said.

Gays and lesbians can now marry their same-sex partners and openly serve in the military. But, as Ellis finds himself at book signings that celebrate the past and how far the world has come, he knows it’s still a struggle for many.

Ellis offered advice from his home in Tarboro to the Albemarle Fountains.

“Just be themselves and accept who they are, and I’m sure it’s difficult,” he said.

As for those who might turn away, he said there are many who will not.

“If they abandon you as a friend because you’re gay, that’s fine. It will be two or three homosexuals who will come in and take their place, ”said Ellis.

Ellis also found love for 44 years until the death of her partner Earl. He described how they met.

“Earl walked into the house and I looked at him and he was wearing a white shirt, it’s summer, and khaki brown pants. And at that point, when I looked at him, I thought you were a knockout and I told God if you let me have it, I would never want anyone else, ”Ellis said.

The couple were instrumental in preserving historic Oakwood, including the purchase of a Victorian Gothic steamboat cottage in 1972.

Now, so many years later, he asks that it be easier for everyone.

“I hope these young people have a much easier path to hope,” he said.

Not a second longer is a project of SAGE and Watermark Retirement Communities.


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About Larry Struck

Larry Struck

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