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Leading this unique revolution on the behalf of the LGBT community is activist Mariela Castro Espín, the 52-year-old daughter of Cuba’s President, Raúl Castro, and niece of Fidel Castro. Heterosexual and a married mother of three, Castro Espín is going into her eleventh year as director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) in Havana. These series of events represent Cuba’s participation in the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which takes place on May 17.
Events not to miss include the conga (May 9), where Cubans of all types and stripes shimmy and shake up Calle 23 from the Malecón to Pabellón Cuba, HQ of the annual anti-homophobia celebration. In addition. Parque Almendares will be hosting different activities from 12 noon to midnight, closing with a music show starting at 9pm.
Background – International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
May 17, or the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT)—as it is widely recognized—is an essential feature in the international LGBT rights calendar. In the 10th edition, in 2014, commemorations took place in over 120 countries, in all world regions.
The day aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide. The date of May 17 was chosen to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990. The day was conceived in 2004. A year-long campaign culminated in the first International Day Against Homophobia on May 17, 2005.
Program Highlights (VIII Jornada Cubana contra la Homofobia y la Transfobia – La Habana-Las Tunas 2015)
May 5 10:30am, CENESEX Opening of the photographic exhibition Continuing Forward by Byron Motley
Teatro de la CTC May 6-9 9am-3pm: Scientific Day for more inclusive work spaces Parque Almendares 12m-12pm: Recreational/cultural fair “Me incluyo” [Count me in] 5-7pm: For kids 9pm-12am: Musical performances
UNEAC May 8 10am, Conversation with Jorge Perugorría and part of the cast of the film Fátima; Reading of excerpts from the short story Fátima y el Parque de la Fraternidad by Miguel Barnet Lanza (UNEAC President) Teatro Karl Marx 8:30pm, Award ceremony of the CENESEX Prize. Cuban gala against Homophobia and Transphobia. Concert with Issac Delgado and guest musicians. 23 e Infanta hasta el Pabellón Cuba May 9 11am, Cuban Conga against Homophobia and Transphobia Pabellón Cuba 11:30am: Panel for sexual rights; Ecumenical celebration and fo love by the Martin Luther King,, Jr. Center, the Ebenezer Church and the Cerrando Brechas group; Book launching / reading; Promotional activities for sexual rights and health; Musical performances, book sale, promotional actions; Conversation with the crew of the film Vestido de novia Parque Almendares 8pm-12am: Festivity For Diversity
Las Tunas. Puerto Padre, Fuerte de la Loma May 15 9am: Opening of the event in Las Tunas
? Cultural activity
Las Tunas May 15-16 Two days of activities
Ciudad Deportiva, Estadio Juan Ealo May 23 9-11am: Sports Festival For Diversity
May 2015 This article formed part of the May 2015 issue of What’s On Havana The definitive monthly travel & culture guide to Havana Download our current issue of What’s On Havana, your definitive travel, culture and entertainment guide for all things happening in Havana, Cuba’s bustling and enigmatic capital city. We include features from around Cuba written by the best international travel writers covering Cuba. Our monthly online digital magazine is also available in Spanish and French.
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