Mariela Castro yesterday lead a parade of hundreds of Cubans through the streets of Havana as part of the International Day Against Homophobia. Last year Mariela’s father, Raul Castro, replaced Fidel Castro as president of Cuba. Cuba has come a long way in accepting homosexuality. In the 1960s, shortly after the revolution, homosexuals were fired from state jobs and many were imprisoned or sent to work camps. Others fled into exile. But that began to change in the 1980s, in large part to the work of Mariela Castro’s center. Recently, the government has even agreed to include sex change operations for transsexuals under its free national health system, another project championed by the center. Mariela has also been campaigning for marriage equality in Cuba as well, although that movement has seen little advancement.
It’s a great thing that Mariella Castro is doing.