Mm, that’s Voodoo…

For some reason I’ve become a little obsessed with learning about Vodoun (or Voodoo). Part of my ancestral genetic make up hails from the West Indies where what Americans know about Voodoo was created. Specifically speaking, Haitian Voodoo is a collection of traditional west African Voodoo, Arawakian, and Roman Catholicism.

I decided to write this blog about Voodoo because it is a relatively minor religion (depending on where you are in the world) and has influence over people. It also has something to say about homosexuality. It even has several Loa (or dieties) and specific Barons who are said to be the patrons to homosexual people.

Traditionally Voodoo has no specific edict about homosexuality like you find in the Judeo-Christian traditions. Erzulie Freda is the Loa of love and beauty and is very feminine, allowing gay men to exhibit stereotypical behaviour during religious ceremonies. There are some Ghedes and Barons who are invoked during some rituals. A particularly famous Baron is Samedi who is sometimes seen cross-dressing with a top hat, frock coat, a skirt and woman’s shoes.

 I couldn’t find any particular stories about the Barons or Loa. To Voodoo practitioners the spirits simply exist and each have their own personalities.

I found it interesting that obscure religions like Voodoo acknowledge homosexuality in their own way. Like the Loa they serve, homosexuality is just another aspect of life. However with the influence of the Roman Catholic church there are moments when homosexuality is discriminated against. However instances of that are very regional and has only been seen in the practitioners in the United States and the Caribbean.

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