Alexei Romanoff is a Ukrainian immigrant who grew up as an only child in New York City. As a kid in the 1950s, Alexei knew he was gay — but it wasn’t something he spoke about openly.

Now 82 years old, Alexei came to StoryCorps with his husband, David Farah, to remember the person who taught him to be proud of who he is.

We’re sharing this story as part of Stonewall OutLoud, our national effort to look back on life before the Stonewall riots in 1969, and to ask people to use the StoryCorps App to help preserve the stories of LGBTQ elders before they’re lost to history.

Photo: David Farah (L) and Alexei Romanoff (R) at their StoryCorps interview in Los Angeles, California in June 2015. By Jill Glaser for StoryCorps.

Originally aired June 7th, 2019, on NPR’s Morning Edition.