Cuba Needs a Happy Medium

Dariela Aquique

Being different isn't bad.

An entire movement of opinions around diversity has been stirred up as a result of the May celebration in Santiago de Cuba of national activities focused on the “Campaign against Homophobia.”

With respect to this, I’m relating my points to a certain comment that disagreed with me in one of my previous articles: “Gay Pride in Cuba (A Constant Battle).”  That opinion was submitted by a regular and dear reader with the pen-name “La Giraldilla.”

Evidently, Cuban assimilation of new directions that take on any social-political focus regarding gays in Cuba is still very weak. The work of the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX) is still incomprehensible for many citizens.

It takes some effort to strip a society of a discriminatory mentality that dates back centuries, as the most obstinate elements refuse to accept even the slightest changes.  With the LGBT community itself (consisting of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered individuals), there exist attitudes of exclusiveness and certain differences have been established.  These conflicting positions include:

– More defined gays and lesbians rejecting bisexuals and branding them as hesitant.

– Bisexuals rejecting absolute gays and lesbians calling them limited and sectarian.

– Both groups criticizing transvestites and transgendered people to the point of even considering these pathologies.

How then can it be expected that heterosexuals adopt completely tolerant attitudes.  We have a long way to go.   This will involve educating people in a different perception of society and its members, regardless of their orientation or preference.

This is my opinion and what I expressed in my article cited above:

Does one feel pride or shame for being a man or a woman, black or white, or hetero or gay?  To me there aren’t any differences; people are as they are and that’s it.  There are no conditions – neither as a red flag nor as a scarlet letter.  My words have nothing to do with homophobia, just the opposite.

The “happy medium” I mentioned in the previous article is the virtue of wanting, respecting and accepting everyone as we are.  All this is without discrimination but also without adulation, because we could then fall into the realm of justification, and when there’s justification there’s no real convincing.

Another reaction to demonstrators

Coincidentally, an entire movement of opinions around certain isolated actions of demonstrators against the country’s politics occurred recently in Santiago de Cuba.

Last Friday afternoon (June 17), in the vicinity of the Saturnino Lora Provincial Hospital, groups of citizens squared off against other citizens only because one of the sides expressed their disagreement with the system.

I hope I don’t have to witness a scene as atrocious as those I experienced in the 1980s, with the now-infamous “acts of repudiation” committed against supposed “counter-revolutionaries.”  The most terrible confrontations are those of regular people against other regular people.

What’s also missing is a call for acceptance, respect and tolerance of the diversity of ideas.

Let’s hope that in a short time we will be able to overcome our limitations of acceptance and stop being divided, not only in terms of sexuality, but also in terms of race, religion and political ideals..

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