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Contemporary LGBT rights in Cuba with Mariela Castro

Tuesday, May 29, 2012,
7 – 8:30 p.m.

PROGRAM LOCATIONS:
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Wachenheim Trustees Room
Fully accessible to wheelchairs
First come, first served –
Seating is limited and will be first come first served.
Initial funding of the LGBT Initiative provided by Time Warner Inc.

In 2010 the Cuban government began providing sex reassignment surgery free of charge as part of their universal healthcare. This was the result of several years of work by the Cuban National Center for Sex Education under the leadership of Mariela Castro Espín, niece of Fidel Castro and daughter of current Cuban president Raúl Castro. The current developments in LGBT rights in Cuba are remarkable given the discrimination suffered by gays, lesbians, and transgender people in Cuba in the 20th century, as well as comparison with current LGBT movements in the U.S. and abroad. Please join us on  Tuesday May 29th at 7pm in the Trustees Room of the New York Public Library ’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building as Mariela Castro Espín and Rea Carey, Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, discuss the current international context of LGBT rights, including issues of sexual identity and orientation in contemporary Cuba.

Mariela Castro Espín is the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX). She was President of the Cuban Society for the Multidisciplinary Study of Sexuality (SOCUMES) from 2000 to 2010. She is president of the Cuban Multidisciplinary Centre for the Study of Sexuality, president of the National Commission for Treatment of Disturbances of Gender Identity, member of the Direct Action Group for Preventing, Confronting, and Combatting AIDS, and an executive member of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS). She is also the director of the journal Sexología y Sociedad, a magazine of Sexology edited by her own National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX). She is the author of 9 books, published in Cuba and abroad, among them Transexuality in Cuba (Havana, CENESEX Publishing House, 2008). In 2009 she was awarded with the Public Service Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS), and in 2012 she received the Eureka Award for Academic Excellence, given by the World Council of University Academy (COMAU).She is married with 3 children.

Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is one of the most prominent leaders in the U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights movement. Carey, who came to the Task Force in 2004 as deputy executive director, has served as executive director since 2008. Through her leadership, Carey has advanced a vision of fairness and justice for LGBT people and their families that is broad, inclusive and unabashedly progressive. Prior to her work with the Task Force, Carey worked extensively in HIV/AIDS prevention and in the LGBT community as one of the co-founders of Gay Men and Lesbians Opposing Violence and the founding executive director of the National Youth Advocacy Coalition. She has also served as an advisor to major donors and foundations, and has served on the advisory boards for such wide-ranging publications as Teen People magazine and the Georgetown University Journal of Gender and the Law. She serves on the Advisory Board of theLGBTQ Policy Journal, of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government

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  1. Walter Lippmann

    Here’s a long, detailed interview with Mariela conducted by Trabajadores journalist Paquito in April 2012:

    Here’s a long, detailed interview with Mariela conducted by Trabajadores journalist Paquito in April 2012:

    Mariela Castro: Socialism with Discrimination is Inconceivable

    excerpt:

    We cannot believe that by eliminating homophobia we would be eliminating the problem of discrimination in Cuban society. We need to eradicate the trend, the archaic model of an exploitative society that makes up parameter

    excerpt:

    We cannot believe that by eliminating homophobia we would be eliminating the problem of discrimination in Cuban society. We need to eradicate the trend, the archaic model of an exploitative society that makes up parameters to establish differences and inequalities. We cannot keep on reproducing these.

    This is why the educational work we do is aimed at transforming our consciousness, our culture. I hope that at some point our conga against homophobia that is danced along our main avenues becomes a tradition. We’ll have to make it more artistic, find better ideas to make it richer as a cultural option, so that perhaps it becomes a historical tradition and one day, when there is no longer homophobia in Cuba, somebody would say, “remember when in Cuba this was done because there was discrimination and this conga was danced to call people’s attention to the need to eradicate homophobia!”…

    Read the complete interview here:
    http://www.walterlippmann.com/docs3416.html

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  2. Conner Gorry / SeniorEditor,MEDICCReview

    MEDICC Review, the only peer-reviewed journal in English dedicated to Cuban health and medicine just published Revolutionizing Gender: An Interview with Mariela Castro. Fro scholars and health professionals interested in the past, current and future of gender issues in Cuba, this is a must-read.

    http://www.medicc.org/mediccreview/articles/mr_246.pdf

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