Ruth Ellis spoke for truth, love

By |2016-06-11T09:00:00-04:00June 11th, 2016|Opinions|

Enough, name calling and cruel rhetoric.
Recently the name of Ruth Ellis has been called forth in these pages. I write to say that I knew Ruth Ellis and I know many men and women who both held her living soul dear and continue to hold her memory close. These women and men identify as Arab-American, Asian-American, African-American and caucasian, they are people who identify as Christian, Jewish, Pagan and Muslim.
What do we have in common, those of us who loved and respected the living breathing Ruth Ellis. We share a common respect for our elders and more specifically for the courage, joy, and love that Ruth demonstrated. WeÕve smiled as we watched her dance, giggled as she copped a touch and listened as she told stories.
Stories which included her surprise when in her 70s she met a lesbian (J. Spiro), who happened to be white, and the joy that having lesbians of all shapes, sizes, and hues and young people in her life brought to her.
RuthÕs last public speaking presentation took place at Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Kofi Adoma, Jim Toy, and I were there.
RuthÕs health had begun to decline and I had to borrow a wheelchair to transport her from her home to my car and through the halls of McKenny Union. Her health appeared to return however, once we handed her the microphone. She was a mighty force that night — all 93 pounds of her.
For, Ruth spoke her truth. She spoke of courage, taking care of oneÕs health, and love. The crowd, students, faculty, community members — responded to her truth with a standing ovation.
Ruth led for more than 101 years. It is now our time to lead.
Courage, personal responsibility, and love. Ruth has set the bar. All hues are welcome.
Kathleen Russell

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.