First ever housing building devoted to Black trans community opens in Woodhaven

Photo courtesy of G.L.I.T.S.

Queens is now the home of the first ever multiple dwelling housing complex dedicated to the Black transgender community.

G.L.I.T.S Inc., a grassroots organization dedicated to supporting the LGBTQIA community internationally, hosted a ribbon cutting to celebrate the new home in Woodhaven on Friday, Nov. 13. The celebration coincides with the start of this year’s national Transgender Awareness Week.

The dwelling, named Glits One South, is not only the first complex dedicated to the trans community, who have historically faced discrimination in the housing market due to bias against their gender identity, but was also purchased by the trans community.

“The opening was the beginning of creating Black trans equity and designing the home of our future. Without the volunteers, staff, and my vision, this dream would have never come true,” said Ceyenne Doroshow, founder of G.L.I.T.S. (which stands for “Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society”).

Photo courtesy of G.L.I.T.S.

More than 70 people attended the celebration to witness this historic milestone, including Queens Borough President-elect and Councilman Donovan Richards and State Assemblywoman-elect Jenifer Rajkumar as well as several transgender community advocates such as Vanessa Wari, Qween Jean, Ciora Thomas, Joaquin Remora and Janetta Johnson.

“My district is a beacon of equality and opportunity for all, and I am proud to welcome Glits to Woodhaven,” said Rajkumar, who spoke at the event. “I applaud Glits’ new initiative to support the health and welfare of our trans youth. The critical housing services and leadership training provided by Glits will empower young people and help them get back on their feet.”

Councilman Richards commended Doroshow’s leadership.

“Black Trans Lives Matter. It’s not just a slogan. It’s our obligation to make sure we are standing with our friends in the LGBTQIA+ community every step of the way,” said Richards. “Homelessness, over-policing, unemployment and other conditions also disproportionately impact the transgender community. But its pioneers like Ceyenne Doroshow that have a dream for upward mobility. It’s important to support that mobility not only with words but with actions and funding for programs and housing.”

The program included a performance by the legendary Jas Van Wales and ended with prayer and a song selection by Pamela Lewis.

Photo courtesy of G.L.I.T.S.
Photo courtesy of G.L.I.T.S.

G.L.I.T.S. approaches health and rights crises faced by transgender sex workers holistically using harm reduction, human rights principles, economic and social justice, along with a commitment to empowerment and pride in finding solutions from their own community. For more information, visit www.glitsinc.org.