In recent years we Cubans have witnessed through the media — mainly from TV — the work in favor of respect for sexual diversity. A psychologist of guerrilla ancestry, called Mariela, surname Castro, directs the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) and is its most visible face — perhaps in consideration of her creating it, being its principal “in-chief” and fundamental instigator — of this noble campaign. It is a path based on respect and involves freedoms and legal recognition being established to remove old prejudices and discriminatory structures.
Cuban television. from its massive reach, is playing a leading role in this human task. Almost daily we see education-oriented spots to that purpose. But the just performance of this project is clouded by the remnants of a society still sexist, which you can not change its way of thinking if it doesn’t see the example in the sponsors.
The faint silhouette of two men kissing, men walking with hands intertwined, two razors in the bathroom and two briefs hanging from a clothesline – as if every Cuban had only one pair — are some of the spots. It is likely that the “daddy’s girl” is also vindicating the actions of her uncle and father, who were particularly harsh with male homosexuals.
But is Mariela missing something? What about Eve? Perhaps she would prefer that some of the the space now being given to homosexuals as a way to combat sexism, but omitting lesbians, be put at the service of supporting the rights of women. As director of CENESEX and advocate for the GLBT community, she should expand her audiovisual campaign without contradictions and ambiguities, as both sexes are due the same respect and equal rights.
Maybe the anti-democratic guerrilla is a totally bad example, with the false paternalism that has controlled Cubans in almost every aspect of life, and which for many years showed signs of homophobia and even discrimination against and violations of the rights of their fellow citizens.
February 17 2012