Meet Marjorie Lafontant.
Marjorie is the Executive Director of Femmes En Action Contre La Stigmatisation Et La Discrimination Sexuelle (FACSDIS), an organization that fights against the discrimination and sexual violence faced by LGBT people in Haiti.
Marjorie empowers the LGBT community by holding workshops that inform women and men of their rights and how to defend them. Through her organization, Marjorie has fostered a safe space where women meet regularly to discuss personal and rights based issues, providing a supportive network.
As an openly lesbian woman living in Haiti, Marjorie can personally attest to the violence, discrimination and injustice the women of her community must deal with on a daily basis. LGBT women are often disowned by their families and shunned by society, and denied basic services and employment. Violent attacks where perpetrators rape, stab or beat LGBT women are all too common.
Marjorie encourages survivors of violence to speak out and report the attacks to the authorities. Once a survivor has filed a report, FACSDIS accompanies them throughout the judicial process. Impunity for perpetrators is rampant in Haiti’s justice system. But Marjorie is determined to bring justice to the LGBT community and empower women survivors, one report at a time.
Marjorie’s leadership has fueled a movement of empowered, brave LGBT women. Her work to defend and promote LGBT rights in Haiti is especially critical given this year’s protests against a gay marriage resolution and the LGBT community in general. Despite this challenge, Marjorie is more committed then ever to ensuring that all of Haiti understands that gay rights are human rights, and that all members of her community deserve and receive dignity and respect.