Kay Trans Haiti is an organization in Port-au-Prince that provides a safe haven for transgender people who have been abused or discriminated against.
Kay Trans Haiti is funded by a Spanish healthcare company and the United Nations Development Program. The center can accommodate up to 10 transgender individuals at a time and provides free lodging and care. Additionally, residents can avail of free services like psychological counseling. They can stay at the center for up to a year, after which they are expected to become self-sufficient. The center also provides rent assistance to its graduates for a year, providing them with a smooth transition to independent living.
The Kay Trans Center has helped create a safe space for transgender people in a city where they are often subjected to mistreatment and violence. The community around the center has become more welcoming, and residents can now go out to clubs and shop without the fear of being mistreated. However, in Haiti, the LGBT community still faces social stigma. In July, thousands of people marched against gay and transgender rights, calling for a repeal of a decree recognizing same-sex unions and tacitly allowing homosexuality. In 2017, the Senate passed two bills targeting LGBT Haitians, one of which would formalize a ban on same-sex marriage.
One of the residents of the center, Semi Kaefra Alisha Fermond, shared that her childhood was traumatic as she was not allowed to play with the children in the neighborhood. But now, she is proud of herself as she can wear women's clothes and go anywhere she wants. She feels safe and accepted at the center, something that she cannot experience at her mother's home. Some of the residents of the center have gone on to find jobs in Haiti or the Dominican Republic.