Haiti, Caribbean


Homosexuality is legal in Haiti, however homosexuals often face persecution and discrimination similar to most of Latin America and the Caribbean. Although homosexuality is technically legal, there are no laws in Haiti protecting LGBT people from these types of mistreatment. There is no recognition of same-sex marriage, and the topic has not surfaced in serious political discussion at the national level. The major presence of AIDS/HIV, the prevalence of poverty in, and the political and social influence wielded by the Roman Catholic Church in the Haitian population is a major factor to take into account for the LGBT minority in the country. There is no obvious or outstanding LGBT life in the country. The LGBT minority, as a result of income disparities in the country, is divided between the rich gays, lesbians and bisexuals (often in positions as NGO and UN aid workers, businesspeople, artisans, and government officials, usually consisting of whites and mulattoes) who live in such areas as Petionville (where they are a minority) and the urban poor LGBTs who live in the most desperately-poor areas of the country. They are also in the closet most of the time, although the only area that accepts an LGBT identity without discrimination is the voodoo ceremony; Voodoo, as a spirituality, possesses very little discrimination against gays, and gay participants in voodoo ceremonies are common.

 

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Haiti – Jacmel & Port-au-Prince (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Haiti occupies the island of Hispaniola, along with the Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean The total area of Haiti is 27,750 square kilometres (10,714 sq mi) and its capital is Port-au-Prince. Jacmel is a serene port town with an estimated population of 40,000 and growing. The city has not changed much since the late 19th century when the town was inhabited by wealthy coffee merchants, who lived in gracious mansions that adorned the town; the architecture of the city boasted cast iron pillars and balconies purchased in France. Today, many of these homes are now artisan shops that sell vibrant handicrafts, papier-mâché masks and carved-wood animal figures. In recent years, efforts have been made to revitalize the once flourishing cigar and coffee industries. The town is a popular tourist destination in Haiti due to its relative tranquility and distance from the political turmoil that plagues much of the country. Haitian

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Gay Haiti

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Intro: Probably the most immediate and visual source of knowledge about the LGBT life in Haiti is the 2001 film ‘Of Men and Gods‘ which documents the discreet world of gays and transvestites in this country where homosexuality is legal but not tolerated by the mostly Christian culture. Eighty percent of the country is Catholic and another fifteen percent are Protestant; needless to say, the Biblical curse is heavily upon gays here. Yet more than half the population also indulge in voodoo beliefs and rituals where it’s the spirit that matters, not the gender or orientation. During the reign of the Duvalier dictators (1957-86), as well as today, Haitian gay citizens are forced to walk a shadowy line between revealing themselves to a select few friends and living discreetly in the larger disapproving heterosexual society. Posted here are four stories about life in Haiti from different perspectives: (1) my own

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The Taxis in Haiti’s Port au Prince

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

By Richard Ammon March 2003 Updated July 2006 Also see: Gay Haiti Stories Gay Haiti News & Reports 2002 to present  Gay Haiti Photo Galleries A couple of years ago I took several taxi rides in various Japanese cities. The cars were newer models–virtually all white Toyotas–spotless inside and out; the seat backs had doilies and the drivers wore white gloves and neckties. Air conditioning was a standard amenity and the cars were clearly marked with lighted roof signs–yellow for engaged and blue for vacant. When they weren’t driving a customer the owners, in clean white shirts, dusted off their cars with soft feather brushes. Of course all this polish did not come cheaply; even the shortest ride could be seven dollars for a short lift downtown but the comfort and ease was worth it. The antithesis of these Asian comfort cars is to be found in Haiti. Taking a

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Haiti – Port au Prince (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Haiti occupies the island of Hispaniola, along with the Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean The total area of Haiti is 27,750 square kilometres (10,714 sq mi) and its capital is Port-au-Prince. Haiti’s regional, historical, and ethnolinguistic position is unique for several reasons. It was the first post-colonial independent black-led nation in the world, as well as being the only nation whose independence was gained as part of a successful slave rebellion. Haiti was the first in Latin America to gain its sovereignty (from France) and is also the region’s only independent Francophone nation (the other French-speaking Latin American countries are all overseas departments of France). The United States occupied the island from 1915 to 1934. From 1957 to 1986, the Duvalier family reigned as dictators. They created the private army and terrorist death squads known as Tonton Macoutes. Many Haitians fled to exile in the United States and Canada, especially

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