Social activism against homophobia


Mariela Castro, director of the National Sex Education Center (CENESEX), indicated that the defense of free sexual orientation and gender identity by people, groups and social networks has made it possible to cover the entire country this month, when the 4th Cuban Meeting against Homophobia is being held.

"We organize activities all year round, but they are given a high profile only in May," she said at a press conference.

"The main ceremonies will take place in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba this year," she announced.

"These issues have been discussed on radio and TV shows, as well as in websites and blogs," she added.

"New organizations have been established in the last few years, including Isabelas in Santiago de Cuba, Oremi in Havana, and Fénix in Cienfuegos. They are all made up of lesbians working with CENESEX and the Federation of Cuban Women. Men for Diversity (HxD) has just been set up, and there have been meetings of transsexuals on a monthly basis," she added.

She highlighted the importance of having new institutions participating in the National Meeting and the Cuban Communist Party's Ideological Affairs Department holding a dialogue to promote further understanding of these realities.

"We are working very closely with teacher training schools because academic staff plays a key role in sex education and awareness-raising," she noted.

"We have been working to incorporate these issues into school curricula, and implementing training and sensitization activities for police and court officers," she recalled.

"There is no news yet about the bill we submitted to parliament to amend the Family Code (recognize same-sex marriages)," she regretted.

"Our idea is not simply to amend the law, but to convince and educate people on a permanent basis," she concluded.

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