Transgender people and sexual rights in Cuba

Knowing the reality of transgender people is complex for any society, especially if you think from heteronormative parameters. However, rethinking the human paradigm is the challenge of the States and for this, public policies must be imposed to achieve higher levels of social equality.

Since 2007, and with the Cuban Activities against Homophobia and Transphobia (JCCHT), sexual rights are part of activists, decision makers and Cuban institutions speeches. Its formulation has expanded in accordance with the interaction between patriarchal power and the desire to be part of non-hegemonic identities.

Although, at present the presence of transgender people in society is indisputable, it can not be denied that they have been marginalized and invisible in many heteronormative societies. The non-correspondence between the biological and the socio-generic sex has motivated conflicts for individuals with a negative consequence for their sexual health, self-esteem and limitation of the full and responsible enjoyment of sexual rights.

In our country the Transcuba Network, created in 2001, has exposed the situation of transgender people in different scenarios and has trained activists on issues of sexual diversity, Sexually Transmitted Infections, HIV-AIDS, among other topics. In addition to the institutional support of the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX), with the Commission for Comprehensive Care of Transsexual Persons and the annual celebration of the JCCHT, it has made significant contributions to understand how discrimination is rooted in culture, based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

At the same time, CENESEX has developed awareness-raising and educational work for activists, academics and researchers in the country, as well as contributing to the training of police officers, legal operators and managers of public health services, among others.

In addition, the director Mariela Castro Espín, deputy to the National Assembly, has promoted legislative management in favor of people with non-heterosexual identities, such as the principle of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation in the Labor Code in 2014.

Similarly, the Care Commission has accompanied the surgical intervention of genital readjustments of more than thirty people since 2007, and had attended to 492 people for various reasons at the end of 2017.

But much remains to be done and it is a challenge for Cuban society to think from the diversity of the nation. Equal marriage, the recognition of homoparental families, adoption and assisted reproduction are demands that are installed with greater force in the public debate.

To achieve the enjoyment of sexual rights by all, we must transform society, from the responsibility that corresponds to us, but always with the aim of enhancing the dignity of people.

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