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Creating Healthy Living Environments for Queer, Trans Youth

December 2, 2020


By: Alex Cheung

“Imagine having a place to call home where you can feel safe and secure. A place where you can navigate through your own unique life experiences and are allowed the time to mature and foster a sense of independence.

This is rarely the narrative for queer and trans youth who face identity rejection, and the violence that stems from their gender identity and sexual orientation. Dr. Alex Abramovich, who conducted a study in 2018 on 2SLBGTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness in York Region, found that 77 per cent of respondents had experienced violence (verbal or physical) relating to their identity.

This pandemic has been challenging to all of us. Yet, it has been especially so for our most vulnerable. With physical distancing, social bubbles, and general uncertainty, we have many people, including 2SLBGTQ+ youth, not having any other choice but to stay in unsafe and abusive environments as the alternatives are few.

At Blue Door, we are committed to making a difference through our Inclusion Program. This program offers safety and security in a semi-independent living environment for up to four 2SLGBTQ+ youth to thrive in, and gain independence as young adults.

Our current challenge is finding a landlord, a community champion, to work with us in creating this space.

Before the pandemic started, I had high hopes that this was a no-brainer, and I still think it is. In Blue Door, the landlord gains a long-term tenant that provides accountability and stability. We understand and will work with the landlord as partners to ensure that their investment is protected.

However, for many unforeseen reasons, we are still searching.

Our ask is simple: we want to rent a three- to four-bedroom house in York Region that is accessible to transit. As with any other tenant, we will pay market rent, and are willing to pay a year in advance. In return, not only does the landlord enter a stable landlord/tenant relationship with Blue Door, but they be confident that together we are working to create safer housing alternatives for those who are most in need.

For more information or if you would like to contact us, email us at

— Alex Cheng is the director of community programs for Blue Door.”