I recently met with Ernest Gaubert of KOURAJ Ayiti which is a grassroots organization with members in Cap Haitian, Gonaïves, St Marc, Port-au-Prince and Jacmel. It began as a social organisation Ami – Ami [friend to friend] in 2010 but the group soon realized they needed to expand to include advocacy around rights, access to healthcare, a response to homophobic and transphobic violence and general support particularly of young people who make up the majority of membership. The name was changed to KOURAJ to reflect a more activist and politicization of the group.
Although there are no laws against LGBT / ‘homosexuality in Haiti, there are few legal protections and homophobia and transphobia are widespread and often result in verbal and physical attacks as well as discrimination in the workplace and educational institutions. Ernest Gaubert, who is one of the founders of KOURAJ is also a Houngan and he explained that Haitian Voudou is inclusive of ’all gender expressions and sexual orientation’. Voudou in general is far more inclusive of sexual minorities and those considered outside the normative heterosexual conformist spaces in whatever ways this might be...¨ there is much more: