[Stevens] pulls out a yellow Post-It note from his worn brown leather wallet to show a handwritten list of all the organizations he’s involved with: American Veterans for Equal Rights, Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund, Atlanta History Center, Atlanta Botanical Gardens (he volunteers on weekends), Atlanta Prime Timers (for older gay men), and he’s on the board of his condo association as well.
“I can’t remember them all,” he said with a smile.
Stevens moved to Atlanta in 1958 while working for the fabric manufacturer Scalamandré, a high-end fabric and textile company based in New York.
“It was a gay-friendly industry so it was easy to be gay,” he said. “I didn’t come out until I was 25, but by the time I was 13 or 14 I knew there was something different.”
With Prime Timers, Stevens created a buddy system so everyone has a buddy to check in on every day, whether through the internet or by phone.
“There was one time when a member was hurt for several days in his home before someone inquired about him and he was checked on,” Stevens said.
He worries for other older LGBT people, especially those without much money.
“I’m concerned housing is too costly for many on a limited income. I live alone in a condo complex where there are 246 units and there are 30 gay people living there, I’m guessing,” he said. “Most of us live alone.”
Stevens is happy to grow old as an openly gay man.