Evangelical Christians and members of the global LGBTQI human rights movement have vied for influence in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. Each side accuses the other of serving foreign interests. Yet each proposes future foreign interventions on behalf of their respective causes despite the country’s traumatic past with European colonialism and American imperialism. 

In The Sexual Politics of the Empire: Postcolonial Homophobia in Haiti (University of Illinois Press, 2023), author Erin L. Durban shows two discourses dominate discussions of intervention. One maintains imperialist notions of a backward Haiti so riddled with cultural deficiencies that foreign supervision is necessary to overcome Haitians’ resistance to progress. The other sees Haiti as a modern but failed state that exists only through its capacity for violence, including homophobia. In the context of these competing claims, the book explores the creative ways that same-sex desiring and gender creative Haitians contend with anti-LGBTQI violence and ongoing foreign intervention.

As the episode neared its conclusion, Erin took a moment to shine a spotlight on the vital efforts of various organizations operating within Haiti, emphasizing the significance of their work and expressing a keen interest in bringing their endeavors to the forefront. The aim was not only to acknowledge these organizations but also to explore avenues through which individuals could offer their support, be it through donations, volunteering, or simply by raising awareness about their commendable efforts. These entities represent just a fraction of the many groups making a difference in Haiti, and include:

1. The Haitian Studies Association: An organization dedicated to scholarly research and academic excellence concerning Haiti and its diaspora.

2. The Lambi Fund of Haiti: A group focused on supporting economic justice, democracy, and sustainable development in Haiti through grassroots initiatives.

3. Partners In Health (PIH) in Haiti: A healthcare organization committed to bringing high-quality health care to some of Haiti's most remote areas.

4. Association of Haitian Women in Boston: An organization aimed at empowering Haitian women by providing them with resources to achieve social and economic stability.

Erin L. Durban is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, affiliated with American Studies; Gender, Women, Sexuality Studies; and the Center for Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Their scholarship works at the intersections of interdisciplinary feminist and queer studies, transnational American studies, critical disability studies, and critical ecologies.

Aleem Mahabir is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. His research interests lie at the intersection of Urban Geography, Social Exclusion, and Psychology. His dissertation research focuses on the link among negative psychosocial dispositions, exclusion, and under-development among marginalized communities in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. You can find him on Twitter.

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