[Blackstudies-l] LGBTQ Festival Canceled in Haiti Amid Threats

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Fri Sep 30 06:44:22 EDT 2016


lisaparavisini posted: " A report form the Associated Press. Organizers of
a cultural festival in Haiti celebrating the Afro-Caribbean LGBTQ community
said Tuesday that it has been called off due to numerous threats of
violence and a subsequent prohibition by a government comm"
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<http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/> LGBTQ Festival
Canceled in Haiti Amid Threats
<http://repeatingislands.com/2016/09/29/lgbtq-festival-canceled-in-haiti-amid-threats/>
by
lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>

[image:
haiti_lgbtq_festival_canceled-jpeg-cdd62_473a1c81d1b4fd4f797d9eee186852e2.nbcnews-ux-600-480.jpg]

A report form the Associated Press.

Organizers of a cultural festival in Haiti celebrating the Afro-Caribbean
LGBTQ community said Tuesday that it has been called off due to numerous
threats of violence and a subsequent prohibition by a government
commissioner.

The four-day Massimadi film, art and performance event was supposed to
start Tuesday in the capital, Port-au-Prince, but organizers said it had to
be postponed after a prominent Haitian cultural institution known as FOKAL
and other co-hosts were threatened with arson and other attacks.

"FOKAL has been receiving threats of outrageous violence," said Lorraine
Mangones, executive director of the nonprofit Knowledge and Freedom
Foundation.

Charlot Jeudy of the gay rights group Kouraj, the main organizer of the
event, said he is determined that the arts festival by lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender Haitians and their supporters will be held at a
later date.

"There are very homophobic people who are against it, and the government
official who is responsible for the jurisdiction of Port-au-Prince has also
taken a decision to prevent the festival for now," said Jeudy. "But we
still plan on holding Massimadi in the future."

[image:
haiti_lgbtq_festival_canceled-jpeg-7d3ff_1c9510615d982b58b9dfafcb258c5a3a.nbcnews-ux-600-480.jpg]

Capital Commissioner Jean Danton Leger confirmed that he issued an order to
block the festival, telling a local radio station it was in part to protect
Haiti's "moral and social" values.

Leger had received a complaint in recent days from Sen. Jean Renel Senatus,
a lawmaker who considered the event an affront to traditional families.

Haiti's LGBTQ community has long remained largely underground because of
social stigma, although there are no laws criminalizing homosexual
relations as there are in a number of English-speaking Caribbean islands. A
2015 human rights report on Haiti by the U.S. State Department said that
"local attitudes remained hostile to outward" LGBTQ identification and
expression, especially in the capital.

The Massimadi festival was first put on in 2009 in Montreal by a group
called African Rainbow. It has also been held in Belgium. This was the
first year it was scheduled to take place in Haiti.

"Unfortunately the situation is getting more and more dramatic," said
Anthony Manuel Plagnes Paya, festival spokesman in Montreal. "Kouraj
members are threatened (with) death and are scared to go out."

Staff and volunteers at Kouraj's headquarters in Port-au-Prince said they
were determined not to be intimidated and believe tolerance is gradually
expanding in Haiti.

"LGBT people are coming out and accepting themselves more these days,"
Jeudy said. "They walk on the streets very proud."
*lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>* |
September 29, 2016 at 11:38 pm | Categories: News
<http://repeatingislands.com/?cat=103> | URL: http://wp.me/psnTa-r8k

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