Wendy and Ignacio

The Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, they all got ahead of us, as did even Spain itself, that country of espadrilles and tambourines that our grandparents described as timid and old-fashioned. Gay marriage is also a reality in several jurisdictions in the United States and in Mexico City, home of those movies with sombrero-wearing, pistol-toting cowboys. In just a few decades, modernity has left us behind, without a leg to stand on, facing too much prejudice, too much stuffiness. When did we Cubans become prudish and old-fashioned? What were our reasons or intentions for not joining the twenty-first century?

To the “anthropological damage” from being a society barely connected to the new communications networks, with a poor political culture and an almost childish inexperience in matters of civic expression, we must add the lack of evolution over the last fifty years in accepting differences. But there are always individuals who force a nation to quicken its pace, hike up its skirts and climb on the bandwagon of history. In this case their names are Wendy and Ignacio, who were not satisfied with the dawdling of the National Assembly in evaluating the legalization of same sex marriage. She, the push and pull of all the discrimination; he, harassed by homophobia and ideological intolerance. Wendy, managing a genital reassignment surgery through CENESEX*; Ignacio, with his political ideas provoking Mariela Castro to fire his fiancee from her job at an institution that claims to ensure the acceptance of plurality.

Although what will happen this coming Saturday, August 13, is not legally considered a “gay wedding,” nevertheless it is the closest we have come. Wendy has an identity card with a female name, but it will be difficult for the bureaucrats to understand why her birth certificate says “male.” They will both sign a document — before a notary — and leave the Wedding Palace as man and wife. They will return to their little house in the Playa neighborhood, conscious that they have set an important precedent, one that has given us a lesson, a jolt, a burst of energy. And it will fall to those of us who will witness this legal union, especially this servant who will act as matron of honor, to thank Wendy and Ignacio. Because for one afternoon, for one brief afternoon, they will have placed our country into the third millennium, into the desired time of “now.”

The wedding of Wendy and Ignacio will be this coming Saturday, August 3, 2011, at 3:00 PM in the Vibora neighborhood Wedding Palace at Maia Rodríguez and Patrocinio streets, telephone +537-640-7004.

Anyone who would like to go is invited: friends, acquaintances, curious neighbors, stigmatizers and discriminators of all kinds, official paparazzi, self-employed photographers, bloggers, independent journalists, CENESEX workers — Mariela Castro included — foreign and national press, homosexuals, gays, lesbians, transsexuals and heterosexuals. The doors will also open to people who think that now is the time for Cuba to open itself to modernity and modernity to open itself to Cuba, including — why not? — those who would vote, in an actual parliament, against these types of unions. In short, it will be a good opportunity for the tolerant, the intolerant, the political police and those they pursue every day, the silenced and those who applaud, those who hold to the letter of the Gospels and those who have no creed, to witness this moment with Wendy and Ignacio who overcame so many obstacles, among them having been born in a country wedded to the past.

Translator’s note:
CENESEX is the National Center for Sex Education, run by Mariela Castro, Raul’s daughter.

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121 thoughts on “Wendy and Ignacio

  1. Pingback: Cuba, celebrato il primo matrimonio gay

  2. Transsexual assaulted
    http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y2010/julio2010/14_N_7.html

    HAVANA, Cuba, July 14, 2010 (Mario José Delgado González, LGBT-CUBA-NEWS-TODAY / http://www.cubanet.org)-On Monday, July 12, around nine in the evening, three men stabbed Osmar Trujillo Quiñones, a 22 year old transsexual, known as Star. The incident occurred on a city bus, route P-12 in which Trujillo was traveling in the company of 8 other friends, also transsexuals.

    Maikel Marin, a 19 years transsexual known as Kira, one of the friend who traveled with the victim, told this reporter that they had taken the P-12, as they usually do, in the direction of the Sport City area, where they exert prostitution, when 3 delinquents began screaming offensives remarks to Trujillo because he had accidentally collided with one of them.

    Suddenly, one of the men pulled a knife and stabbed Trujillo 4 times in the belly, according to what reported Francisco Leroy Sanchez, 28 years old and known as White, another victim’s friends who accompanied him.

    Sanchez reported that, amid the chaos and confusion, the attackers jump from the bus and managed to run away and the driver, without stopping, drove the bus at full speed to the National Hospital, the nearest one, to save the victim life.

    The rampant violence against homosexuals is proof of the intense homophobia under the Castros’ regime. These types of attacks are happening right now. Where are the reports of the Human Rights Watch on the island’s anti-gay activities?

    The regime police often overlook evidence in anti-gay hate crimes, such as in this case. No arrests are made, and no charges appear in their reports. They just dismiss the charges. This is criminal behavior and must be punished.

  3. @#78
    They will also find a toilet seat & think it is a religious artifact based in ur erudite comments. LOL

  4. Humberto, changed my nickname after I couldn’t post with the other, even though my stalker could. I’m sure our stalker will be back using this one too. I like Help, as in my friends in Cuba screaming “Help!”

    Everybody in the world needs help, and if we all helped each other, what a wonderful world it would be.

  5. Help is the new Love Cuba? No matter! Must clarify that my B*lls shrink to the size of an atom compared to Yoani’s and the other dissidents in Cuba! Im actually a BIG CHICKEN but i HATE BULLIES and PURSUE JUSTICE while trying not to LAY AN EGG!

  6. Good article Humberto, unfortunately journalism is little more than PR to many journalists. Most reporting coming out of a dictatorship will be extremely skewed if the news agency wants a presence there. It’s even less likely that a fashionable dictator like Fidel will be criticized. And real journalism is even less likely when foreign reporters are put in a Cuban prison as has recently happened to a Spanish journalist.

  7. albert, I’m sure several of these loony bins are are posting under many different nicknames, but not all of them. Damir seems to have a style all his own, but you could be right, it might be a team effort in his case too. He has never revealed his identity and what he does for a living, although he claimed to live in Italy at one point.

    Strange that few of those who have nothing to fear won’t reveal their identities, while several of those who have everything to fear, like Yoani and Humberto, bravely show their face.

  8. Damir, you haven’t answered my question: What are you doing in the south of France enjoying Capitalism? It also looks like you’re enjoying that capitalist USA invention called the internet.

  9. WHY DO YOU THINK IM HERE! TO HELP BALANCE THIS TYPE OF APOLOGETIC TYPE JOURNALISM!

    HUFFINGTON POST!: More PR Shame: Associated Press Cooperates With Dictatorial Propaganda Machines – Thor Halvorssen-President, Human Rights Foundation-8/15/11

    Fidel Castro just celebrated his 85th Birthday. One would think that after 52 years of running a police state in Cuba, the media would accept that Castro is a brutal oppressor and tyrant. Comparable, no doubt, to any of the totalitarian despots still alive today. For example, Bashar al-Assad in Syria (41 years of dynastic tyranny) or Teodoro Mbasogo Obiang in Equatorial Guinea (31 years of bloody oppression). Yet, surprisingly, when it comes to North Korea and Cuba, one of the most trusted wire services in the world, the Associated Press (AP), cares more about business than about journalistic ethics and the truth.

    Evidence of the vicious nature of these regimes, and the lack of civil liberties and political rights that their citizens are granted, are more than well documented. Barbara Demick, in her latest book, Nothing to Envy, paints a harrowing picture of the “ordinary lives of ordinary North Koreans.” By tracing the lives of six defectors, Demick chronicles the effect of government propaganda and the harsh realities of survival. Human rights abuses in North Korea spread far beyond violations of freedom of expression: government-orchestrated poverty and starvation are responsible for the deaths of millions. Yet, the ruling Kim dynasty is so successful in covering up their crimes that, during the 1990s famine, many North Koreans believed government propaganda that the United States was responsible for food shortages. One woman Demick interviewed even blamed herself for the deaths of her family members. “It never occurred to her to blame the regime,” Demick writes.

    We had the chance to listen to Demick’s stories first hand at this year’s Oslo Freedom Forum. You can watch her speech here:

    CLICK LINK TO SEE VIDEO!

    Compare this to what the AP has said about North Korea in its efforts to cater to the regime, and, consequently, its announcement that it will be the first western wire service to have a bureau there. Then read what Michael Calderone of the Huffington Post and Isaac Stone Fish of the New York Times have to say. Isn’t it striking that the AP would partner with the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) without even once mentioning that it’s a state-run propaganda tool? Are the AP stringers in North Korea suffering from the same brainwashing as North Korean citizens?

    Now consider this recent press release from the AP commemorating Fidel Castro’s birthday:

    CLICK LINK TO VIEW PRESS RELEASE:

    Castro is proclaimed by the AP as an “iconic” leader and a “source of inspiration for many people throughout the world.” Ché Guevara is lauded as a “revolutionary hero” in the picture captions. Castro is no more “iconic” than Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, or Pinochet in historical context. However, it is highly unlikely that the AP would try to sell pictures and collections of Hitler as an “enigmatic” historical figure who is “still a source of inspiration.” Castro and Ché may, indeed, be a source of inspiration for ignoramuses, washed-up ideologues, tendentious institutions, or people who still believe that he accomplished some “good things,” (much as Hitler “created jobs” or Mussolini “made the trains run on time” or Pinochet “saved Chile from communism”) but it is shocking that the AP would sink this low to make a buck.

    Again, the AP has partnered with an official state news agency of Cuba, Prensa Latina, without offering any caveats. As Tom Blumer quipped recently on BizzyBlog, “the guess here is that the AP would have more of a problem cooperating with anything or anybody associated with Fox News than it does in cooperating with the island nation’s equivalent of the old Soviet Union’s Tass.”

    Please consider, dear reader, that in Cuba, ordinary citizens cannot invite their friends over, or hold any kind of meeting, for fear of being accused of subversion. Cubans cannot even host something as innocuous as a book club. Few of them even own books — leading to the creation of underground “independent” libraries whose operators risk prosecution and prison for such subversive acts as owning a copy of a banned novel or history book.

    There is no freedom of speech; Internet access is severely restricted; there is no freedom of press in Cuba; property rights do not exist (your stuff isn’t yours — it can be confiscated at the whim of the regime); Cubans have one currency while party leaders and tourists have another; you aren’t allowed to switch jobs without government permission (and the government is the dominant employer); and most jarring, you are forbidden to leave Cuba without the government’s written permission. Even the ignorant executive or venal cog in the AP machine writing should draw the line between the free and unfree world where you cannot vote with your feet and leave. Those who try to leave Cuba often end up drowning or eaten by sharks after days on a raft in the ocean.

    Is any of this undeniable reality of life under Castro mentioned in a single caption of the thousands of photographs offered by the AP? Not once. Castro, they repeat, is a “revolutionary hero.”

    Fidel Castro and Che Guevara are offered by the AP as sources of inspiration. Hitler, Mussolini, and Mao, all cold-blooded killers, are also inspirations. But for whom? A new generation of psychopaths and dictators? For shame.

    Thor Halvorssen is president of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation and founder and CEO of the Oslo Freedom Forum. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

    Pedro Pizano is the global media liaison for the Oslo Freedom Forum and the Public Advocacy Coordinator for Human Rights Foundation . Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thor-halvorssen/more-pr-shame-associated-_b_926363.html?ref=fb&src=sp#sb=1500734,b=facebook

  10. @#116
    Sorry to tax ur intellectual superiority but can u provide any facts to the contrary that is not u that is using different nicks in order to disrupt? Perhaps u haven’t noticed in ur grandiose intellectal haze … mystery of mysteries most of time u surface, all this other “contributions” w/nicks show up…
    I would like to remind u of ur statement about ur computer mastery & how u were able (if u choose to) to switch IP addresses to get around the rules this blogg & about how easy would be for a person of ur savvy to disrupt its functioning …

  11. If anyone wishes to read the author of #116 his intellectual superiority & mastery of facts please read his comment
    #37Damir in “Septiembre 17th, 2010 at 21:34” from the blogg titled: “The Evil Master”

  12. @#114
    Funny u talk about insults …
    “… Hypocrites will continue to insult me because, as they themselves said: hate is the most common result of supressed opposite feelings, but there’s nothing they can do about the facts. They are usanians, they have blood of the world on their hands and they are stupid…”

    U quote from long past history & ignore the lessons learned from that history, the changes those lessons produced from past horrors have made our world much better & aware that there is much more to do yet u r stuck in the same hate of all choosing not to move, preaching hate in stead of unity, name calling, bullying & denigration just like the dictators of all.
    It is no surpise to me, obediently following superiour intellectal masters like a puppet. Like a good servant u follow the tactics they tought u to the letter: shout, insult, abuse, twist facts & smear.
    Atta boy … pal

  13. As if I ever needed a confirmation about the level of intelligence of the particular poster, there’s the post 109, which reveals it in all its’ glory.

    It would be impossible to explain to the ideological faithful, brainwashed with “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” nonsense that s/he is reading two different posts written by two different people.

    The second:

    ” Help
    Agosto 14th, 2011 at 22:14
    Damir: “My wife just bought some Che Guevara t-shirts for my kids, herself and me. We are sporting them on the beaches of Southern France, and inerestingly, there are many more of these around.”
    Cool, more rich capitalists sporting t-shirts of a rich capitalist revolutionary on the beaches of rich capitalist France. Wait a minute… doesn’t Damir hate capitalism? ”

    is a C O M M E N T made on the previous post of mine:

    “115Damir
    Agosto 14th, 2011 at 03:23
    And the fact that Mary Jo does NOT speak Sapnish, makes me want to cry. And laugh.
    At the same time…
    My wife just bought some Che Guevara t-shirts for my kids, herself and me. We are sporting them on the beaches of Southern France, and inerestingly, there are many more of these around.
    No reduction here, dear Mary Jo. I guess, the fabulous successess of that wonderful paradisiac system, known as “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” has achieved, again, what communism never could:
    It made communism looking GOOD.
    Hasta Septiembre companeros.”

    You’d think even a stupid person would realise the difference… But s/he didn’t.

  14. There:

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/08/subway-internet-shuttering/

    usa is coming out of the closet on opressing of its’ own people. Hypocrites will continue to insult me because, as they themselves said: hate is the most common result of supressed opposite feelings, but there’s nothing they can do about the facts. They are usanians, they have blood of the world on their hands and they are stupid.

    Hence a page like this one can exist and serve as a billboard for those nonexistent “MILLIONS” of people who in reality never come to read it.

    But delusions among the support brigade (all 1 and a half person handling 10 different nicks) are strong. Invincible, really…

    : o

  15. =Eight years on the battlefield, at war against a ruthless enemy. An enemy so evil, so inhumane that I have asked myself whether I have been fighting the Devil himself. I have had dread as a constant companion and there have been many days where he’s been screaming into my ear and piercing my very soul.=

    =Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet has been more than a political prisoner. He has been more than a freedom fighter and more than a hero for the dignity of mankind. Biscet has been my field general, and he has inspired me into action not through his words – he’s never really voiced orders – but through his deeds. Through his sacrifice. Through the absolutely selfless and dignified dedication to what is right and just and true.=

  16. “t’s wrong to state that Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet has been freed. His unwavering dedication and his sacrifice borne of his love for freedom and his fellow man, proves that despite the untold abuses against him, despite the pain and suffering and humiliation his captors imposed upon him, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet has always been and will always be a free man.”

  17. Are u saying that u sharea wife & kids ? or are u the same person using different nicks?

    115Damir
    Agosto 14th, 2011 at 03:23
    And the fact that Mary Jo does NOT speak Sapnish, makes me want to cry. And laugh.
    At the same time…
    My wife just bought some Che Guevara t-shirts for my kids, herself and me. We are sporting them on the beaches of Southern France, and inerestingly, there are many more of these around.
    No reduction here, dear Mary Jo. I guess, the fabulous successess of that wonderful paradisiac system, known as “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” has achieved, again, what communism never could:
    It made communism looking GOOD.
    Hasta Septiembre companeros.

    Help
    Agosto 14th, 2011 at 22:14
    Damir: “My wife just bought some Che Guevara t-shirts for my kids, herself and me. We are sporting them on the beaches of Southern France, and inerestingly, there are many more of these around.”
    Cool, more rich capitalists sporting t-shirts of a rich capitalist revolutionary on the beaches of rich capitalist France. Wait a minute… doesn’t Damir hate capitalism?

  18. YOUTUBE :DOCUMENTARY: “Las Torturas de Castro” (Castro’s Tortures)- Spanish with English sub-titles

    Las Torturas de Castro, constituye uno de los documentales mas completos jamás realizados en el Exilio Cubano, el cual recoge en apretada sintesis las torturas llevadas a cabo por el Régimen de Fidel Castro en Cuba a través de la voz de sus propias víctimas. Es un material que merece ser visto y divulgado una vez que lo vea. Las Torturas de Castro, bajo la dirección de Luis Guardia y la producción de Pedro Corzo.

    U.N. torture sleuth says Cuba blocked visit- By Robert Evans-GENEVA | Wed Jun 9, 2010
    (Reuters) – Cuba has told the United Nations special investigator on torture that he cannot visit the island on a fact-finding mission although an invitation was issued to him last year, the official said on Wednesday.

    Austrian lawyer Manfred Nowak, known for his frank talking to both developed and developing countries on the issue, said in a statement Havana had told him it could not receive him before his mandate runs out at the end of October this year.

    “I regret that, in spite of its clear invitation, the government of Cuba has not allowed me to objectively assess the situation of torture and ill-treatment in the country by collecting first-hand evidence from all available sources,” he declared.

    But in a response from its diplomatic mission in Geneva, Cuba said the invitation remained in force, although it needed no assessment of the rights situation in the country.

    “There has not been one case of extra-judicial execution or of forced disappearance in Cuba,” a statement said. “Few countries can boast of the results achieved in Cuba in the treatment of people in prison and their full reinsertion into society.”

    Nowak said Cuba invited him in February 2009 to make a visit but since then had failed to agree on a date.

    Nowak has been six years in his post, formally titled special rapporteur to the U.N.’s Geneva-based Human Rights Council, and has already made clear he will step down when his mandate is over.

    Diplomats at the council — now holding a three-week session — said Havana was showing special sensitivity over its jailing of dissidents, one of whom died in prison in February. Cuba says it has no political prisoners and jails only criminals.

    Earlier this year, Nowak told reporters he had been frustrated by the lack of cooperation he had received in his investigations from many governments — including some, like communist-ruled Cuba, who are members of the 47-nation council.

    Another investigator, Australian lawyer Philip Alston, said last week that the council — where a developing country bloc that shields its members from criticism holds a clear majority — was ignoring killings in countries like Iran and Sri Lanka.

    Alston, who reports on extra-judicial executions and has just authored a report strongly critical of U.S. unmanned rocket attacks on suspected terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan, said the council had a single-minded focus on Israel.

    Nowak, who also angered the former U.S. administration of George W. Bush with criticism of conditions at the Guantanamo detention center on Cuba, has also made no secret of his disillusion with the council itself.

    (Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

  19. Damir: “My wife just bought some Che Guevara t-shirts for my kids, herself and me. We are sporting them on the beaches of Southern France, and inerestingly, there are many more of these around.”

    Your wife sounds like a real brain, like you. Viva la merchandise. Viva la stupid dupes who would wear a Che Guevara tee shirt.

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