This article examines Living with Pride: Ruth C. Ellis @ 100 (1999) by Yvonne Welbon, an independent documentary film centered on the life of African American lesbian centenarian Ruth Ellis to advance a queer of color theory of longevity. The analysis closely considers Ruth Ellis's assertion in the film that she: “. . . wasn't in—What you call it? . . . Closet. Never.” Although Ellis explicitly disavows “the closet” declaring instead that she was never in it, both in the film and commonly she is often referred to as “out.” The article addresses the ways in which “out,” along with Ellis's declarations of “never” and “wasn't in,” examined together as “never in,” render Ellis's living legible within black sexuality studies and LGBTQ cultural politics. Ellis advises at the end of the film that cultivating “atmosphere” interpersonally in daily life engenders longevity. Living with Pride puts forth a model of longevity that is personally and collectively grounded in black sexual difference and queer of color resistant social practices that trouble public health life expectancy discourses. Drawing on queer of color critique, black sexuality studies, and visual cultural studies, the article engages Ellis's formulation of black queer atmosphere as a site of imagining that advances the livability of racialized sexual difference.

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