One of Raul Castro’s daughters, Mariela Castro, is an outspoken sexologist who has spearheaded the LGBT revolution in Cuba. Since 2000 she has been Director of Cuba's sexual education center, Cenesex, where, since 2008, she has presided over a restrained rainbow-ification of Cuba.
Sex-reassignment surgery has been legal since 2008 and is available free of charge through the state. Mariela has championed equality and acceptance of diversity and has organised street rallies to promote same-sex marriage complete with mock weddings and priests to bless the unions. Same-sex marriage is still not recognised by the state but perhaps it was Mariela who encouraged her uncle Fidel to admit in 2010 that the revolution’s persecution of ‘ideological deviants’ had been a ‘great injustice’.
Homophobia has not been completely eradicated but Cuba now has eight years of Pride Parades and an LGBT bar and club scene that is thriving, vibrant and flamboyant with whole swathes of Havana’s Malecón sea wall given over to LGBT socialising.
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