Living with Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100

Sat, May 31, 2008, 2pm

Hers is a busy schedule by anyone’s standards. If she’s not out dancing (doing a mean “electric slide”) or shopping for her neighbors at the retirement community, she’s guest of honor at one of the many engagements on her packed lesbian social calendar. What makes Ruth Ellis unique is that she’s 100 years old! And yet she still finds the time to share her remarkable story, offering us the rare opportunity to experience a century of our history through the life of one inspiring woman.

Born July 23, 1899, and “out” for as long as she could remember, Ruth was thought to be the oldest African American lesbian before passing in October 2000. Filmmaker Yvonne Welbon had the foresight to document Ruth’s life while she was still with us. The film combines interviews with Ruth and her friends, and rare archival material, together with clever reenactments of the period when Ruth’s home in Detroit (shared with her life companion) was the social hot-spot for African American gay men and lesbians.

Living with Pride exemplifies the tremendous gift our elders in the community offer us if we take the time to appreciate it. With undeniable charm, humor and joy for life, Ruth shows us that a life lived with pride is a life well lived.