FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Queer in Haiti

I was born a masisi. I am an effeminate homosexual.

My sexual orientation was given to me at birth. I did not choose to be who I am. But I am not going to be ashamed of my sexual and gender orientation either.

Haiti has become a dangerous place to be homosexual. Recently there were protests against us. A mob of religious protestors armed with sticks, machetes and rocks beat two men to death in the downtown area of the city. This happened at the conclusion of the march against homosexuality organized by the so-called moral leaders. They say we are asking for rights that we don’t have the right to have. But we are human beings!

For myself, I am a student and being from a poor zone, I have always lived in fear. At the state university I experienced discrimination and was forced to leave because my professors said they could not teach a homosexual because it conflicted with their religious beliefs. Now I attend a small university where my professors are mostly diaspora and foreigners; they accept me for who I am and they do not authorize any discrimination.

In my neighborhood I experienced a lot of violence so we were forced to move to another neighborhood. I was beaten by some men when I was only 15 years old. They said I was an animal. They hit me with sticks and rocks. I thought that I would be killed by these men.

After this incident my mother said I must be more careful so I did not leave the house for five months. But one day I was obligated to leave to go to the pharmacy to get some medication for my sister. She had a fever. When I was on the street a man saw me and he started yelling at me, calling me a masisi. A large crowd gathered and they were pushing me, throwing trash at me, and hitting me and kicking me. I was so afraid.

I escaped and went home.

My mother took me to the police and said she wanted to make a complaint because her child was attacked. They said I was a pedophile and would be arrested. The police officer took me into the back of the police station and told me to give him oral sex. I cried and screamed. My mother yelled a lot and the police let me leave.  After that time we were forced to move to another neighborhood.

In this area we lived for six years. I had no friends. I did not talk to anyone on the street. The people thought I was deaf because I ignored all the talk around me. I did not respond to anyone. But then one day a young man saw me on the street who recognized me. He started saying things, and other people heard him call me a masisi. After that time they were all suspicious of me. My mother sent me to the countryside to live with my father’s family. In the countryside no one bothered me.

Soon I left and moved to another city to attend university. I did not return to Port-au-Prince. But I could never hide who I was. Anyone who spent time with me, who got to know me, anyone could see I was an effeminate homosexual.

I wanted a normal life. I wanted to meet other people who were masisi. I wanted to be in love and I was very depressed because of my situation. Every day I lived in fear.

After I was forced to leave university I entered into a serious depression. I did not want to live anymore. I had no hope at all. My heart was not at peace. For a few years my life was horrible. I had no work, no education, no opportunity for anything at all. My mother called me one day and said to return home. After the earthquake she moved to another place and she made arrangements for me to receive a scholarship for university. I study English, Psychology, Social Work and Computer Information. Now my life is a little better but I know that if people in the area discover who I am they are going to make violence against me. Every day I study while I wait for “the other shoe to drop.”

In Haiti our society has become very violent and hostile towards homosexuals.

This is different than in the past when people were allowed to live and were accepted. The Christians say that we caused the earthquake because of homosexuality and voodoo, that our sin is responsible. And it is not just Haitian pastors that say this, it is the American pastors as well. They took their American hatred and they imported it to our country. They gave it to us as “aid” and poisoned our society with their religious ideas, their culture and their beliefs. This is why I reject the influence of the foreigners in our country.

Today I say: I am Haitian. I am a human being. I am a masisi.

This essay originally appeared on the Kasama Project.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
Robert Koehler
Playing War in Syria
Tamara Pearson
US Shootings: Gun Industry Killing More People Overseas
John Feffer
Trump’s Trade War is About Trump Not China
Morris Pearl
Why the Census Shouldn’t Ask About Citizenship
Ralph Nader
Bill Curry on the Move against Public Corruption
Josh Hoxie
Five Tax Myths Debunked
Leslie Mullin
Democratic Space in Adverse Times: Milestone at Haiti’s University of the Aristide Foundation
Louis Proyect
Syria and Neo-McCarthyism
Dean Baker
Finance 202 Meets Economics 101
Abel Cohen
Forget Gun Control, Try Bullet Control
Robert Fantina
“Damascus Time:” An Iranian Movie
David Yearsley
Bach and Taxes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail