After years of looking for a retreat property to buy for the organization, I called with tears in my eyes from a property viewing in Little Rock, Arkansas in May 2019. I had walked away from buying two properties earlier in the year because they didn’t quite feel right. I always trusted I would know when it was the right place because my instincts are strong and I feel guided by a powerful spiritual presence. “This is the ONE”, I said. “We have finally found it. This is the one.”
Things moved quickly from there and with the financial support of many grassroots donors, House of GG purchased the Oasis. The Oasis has 4 bedrooms, 2 full and 2 half baths, and sits on a 1/2 acre of property in the city in a mixed race neighborhood. I feel the property was made for our vision and is a rare and unique Little Rock home with a gorgeous salt water swimming pool, a huge screened in porch, multiple pergolas with wisteria and grapevines, huge oak trees, double ovens and a full size freezer and fridge.
Two weeks after House of GG purchased the Oasis, I suffered a stroke and spent most of the year in recovery mode. Then, just when I’d recovered and we were about to start the Spring retreat season, COVID hit and postponed our visitors. The good news is that this has given us time to make repairs and improvements on the property and we have been busy getting everything ready to be up and running. While we have not been able to host the official retreat weekends, I’m happy that almost 40 people from many different states have visited the Oasis since we bought it and we look forward to many more in the years to come.
In November 2021, we purchased the house next door, the Guest House, and now we have two houses connected on half an acre of land in the heart of the city!
When the pandemic ends, we will be hosting retreat weekends. These weekends will be a chance for individuals and small groups of transgender people, particularly black transgender women, to come together for fun, fellowship, relaxation, and deep restoration. So many black trans women are leaders in our communities and organizations today and the work is hard, our lives are hard, and the constant struggle for black lives is a long and hard road. The Oasis is a place to put down your defenses, take a break from all the hard work and living, swim in the pool, eat good food, laugh, listen to good music, watch movies, rock on the porch, and restore yourself so your ready to go back to you home community to continue in the fight for our lives.
Thank you to all who have helped make my dreams and the Oasis a reality and I can’t wait to welcome you all soon.