Yaisah Micaela Val is a 44-year-old trans woman who has long been uncomfortable in her own body.
"The harshest was the critics + don't walk this way, don't talk this way, don't breathe this way+. The police is after you to check and criticize everything you do," Yaisah told The Associated Press. "It's hard to realize at 5-6 years old that I am a scourge, that my body, even my existence causes disappointment, the shame of my parents."
Fifteen years ago, she went to the United States to undergo gender reassignment surgery and this resulted in the rejection of her family upon her return to Haiti.
"We told my family beforehand," Val said about her decision to come out. "And they said, 'You're going to be stoned.'"
But it's not what happened. Well-adjusted in her female body, Yaisah revealed her trans-identity to her fiancé three days before their wedding. Rest assured, the story ended well :).
The fiancé in question, Richecarde Val, did research on the Internet because he knew nothing about trans-identity and accepted his future wife.
They got married as planned and today they are fighting for more tolerance.
They work with the Kouraj association to provide support to trans young people in Haiti.
Yaisah recalls with some emotion "that there were threats but we also started receiving calls from moms who explained that their child was also like her, from people who call in tears because they have finally found words to simply explain who they are."
Yaisah Micaela Val has become the first famous trans woman in Haiti since she decided to share her experience. She advocates for more tolerance in this country where homosexuality and trans-identity are regarded as deviances.