The streets of Havana were home to colorful marches, cultural events, and drag shows during the celebrations for International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia last Friday. The event’s scheduled included a gala bash at the capital's infamous Karl Marx Theater, where drag performers took the stage along with the popular musical group Los Van Van.
This is a big move for the island, which has a history of discriminating against gays. Discrimination against the LGBT community was magnified even more after Fidel Castro won the 1959 Cuban Revolution. The persecution of gays continued in the 1960’s up until homosexual acts were decriminalized in 1979. As a result, the island has slowly made political changes supporting gay rights; including providing medical service for free sex-change operations.
In 2010, Castro publically apologized for his treatment against the LGTB community. “In those moments I was not able to deal with that matter (of homosexuals). I found myself immersed, principally, in the Crisis of October (Cuban Missile Crisis), in the war, in policy questions,” he said.
The daughter of leader Raul Castro, Mariela Castro, 51, is now an outspoken advocate for gay rights in Cuba. “Join (us) to educate families about their great social responsibility to ensure that there is no discrimination of any kind,” she expressed to the AP.
What are your thoughts on Cuba’s modern day movement towards gay rights?