In celebration of Women’s History Month, SAGE Metro Detroit shares stories from older adult women in metro Detroit’s LGBT community.
Ruth Ellis lived in Detroit from 1938 until her death in 2000. She opened her home to the community on the weekends as a safe space from the 1940s through the 1960s, a time when African-American gay men and lesbians had few social venues.
Ruth also personally assisted young people with money for college, books, and food. She unselfishly gave everything that she had to whomever needed it.
In the 1970s, Ruth moved into senior housing. Through a chance meeting in a self-defense class, Ruth made a connection to a group of younger women who embraced Ruth’s courage and pioneering efforts in living a happy life amidst great adversities.
(Information courtesy of RuthEllisCenter.org)