Cuba Performs State-Sponsored Sex Changes

After ending a long-time ban on sex-change operations back in 2007, the Cuban government has begun to cover the procedure by their universal health care system, Mariela Castro (President Raul Castro’s daughter), told The Washington Post on Tuesday’s fifth Cuban Conference on Sexual Education, Orientation and Therapy. Though she didn’t say how many procedures have been performed since the ban’s lift in 2008 or the costs of the operations, she said “less than half” of the 30 patients approved have had the sex change. Some have protested the move due to general opposition or because the government is covering the high costs in the midst of economic troubles.

Now, if you’re thinking of hightailing it to Cuba for a free sex change, we’ve got some bad news for you. Only a certain number of procedures are allowed per year and they’re not offered to foreigners.

Castro, a sexologists and gay-rights advocate, runs the Center for Sex Education and prepares transsexuals for the operation. She also plans to write a letter to the Communist Party in the hopes of giving homosexual politicians a firmer stand in the government.