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Ronnie Gilliard Ellis Jr. met Earl, his partner of 44 years, in his thirties. But it wasn’t until the two were “well over 50” that they began coming out to others as a couple.
Now 79 years old, Ellis. Jr remembers growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina as a gay man and hiding his sexuality. “The gay bar was one block from my grandmother’s house, so I could walk to the bar and not get caught,” he said.