For Miguel, who still dreams of being a Social-Democratic woman
Yesterday I went to a conference on sexuality at the Museum of Fine Arts. For the last two weeks, a series on erotic art has been accompanied by films and talks. Just this Tuesday there was a chance to hear about the incorporation of transsexuals into society and the prejudices that still exist against them. So on the way to Alamar–where the Festival of Poetry Without End is underway–I dropped into the amphitheater in the old Asturian Center.
After the conference I had the chance to ask Mariela Castro a question that torments me every time I hear about tolerance for sexual preference. I still don’t understand that we accept the right of another to choose with whom they make love, yet we continue in this ideological monogamy they have imposed. If concepts such as “sick” have now been banished from the study of homosexuality, why does the adjective “counterrevolutionary” continue to be applied to those who think differently. For me, to call someone who doesn’t conform in their sexuality a “faggot,” is no different from calling someone who doesn’t conform in their ideology a “worm.”
As today is the day that these rights should be at the center of everyone’s attention, I want to show a short video of my brief encounter with Mariela. The audio is poor and so I have transcribed the dialog for those who are unable to hear everything.
Mariela: Including treatment for transgender people is something that’s called for in the law. We don’t ask for more.
Yoani: I’d like to ask if this entire campaign being undertaken, in some way, for society to accept sexual preference could, at some point, move to other roles and will also fight for tolerance of other aspects which could be points of view and political and ideological preferences. Will we also come out of these closets?
Mariela: I don’t know because I don’t work in that area. The ideological and political field is outside my responsibility. I think I am doing the best I can given my ability.
Mariela Castro Espin is the daughter of Raul Castro and his late wife Vilma Espin, and she is the niece of Fidel Castro. She is the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education and an advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.