A Cuban Revolution

Life throughout the world can be challenging to say the least for gay people though it’s always good to see changes happen for the better in former countries that persecuted and imprisoned us just for being gay!

Earlier this month Cuba celebrated International Day Against Homophobia for the fourth year just like the NRC did in Newry. Leading the way in campaigning for increased equality for the LGB and T population was none other than Mariela Castro Espin, niece of the famous Fidel and daughter of the current President, Raul. As Director of the Cuban National Centre for Sex Education she certainly is well placed to not just campaign for change but to make it happen as well and making it happen is just what she is doing.

It is fantastic that this is taking place in a country that following the 1959 revolution made a great effort to rid themselves of homosexuality, seen as a Capitalist product including expelling, imprisonment and confinement to forced labour camps. Former President Fidel Castro in 2010 went as far as admitting that Cuba’s persecution of homosexuals was a “great injustice” and took sole responsibility for it even going as far as saying homosexuality is a “natural aspect and tendency of human beings”

In recent years Cuba’s gay community have made incredible strides in terms of acceptance and visibility. With their world famous national health care system, HIV infection throughout their population is now one of the lowest rates in the world.

Commenting at IDAHO Mariela asked “Why should we discriminate when it comes to race, religion and sex? No differences should exist in any way” Now there’s a challenge for everyone living in this part of the world!

Closer to home you can visit www.gaynewry.com for information on local LGBT happenings or call in to the NRC Centre at 82a Hill Street in Newry or phone us on 028 3025 0528. Opening times: Monday to Friday 7pm to 10pm. Saturday 2pm to 6pm.

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