Faggots and Homophobes

Irina Pino

Two friends.

HAVANA TIMES — They are called faggots, pussies, chickens, crazies… but these are all derogatory names. Calling a man a “faggot” is the worst insult you can give him. And that’s because homophobia is as deeply-rooted and entrenched as machismo itself.

We say “we’re going to fight against homophobia” and the action we’re talking about is social inclusion, not fighting against those who can’t stand this social group. But why do social groups exist? Why alienate them? Aren’t they human beings just like the rest?

On a morning TV show, a journalist, who appears gay – I think he’s the only one I’ve seen -, gave several interviews to those who took part in the annual conga parade against homophobia. The interviewees’ responses were all the same and they were very happy with that color-filled activity. However, a conga march in costume one day a year isn’t going to resolve the problem. It was strange to see that crowd carrying signs with messages which are far-removed from their real priorities, their more pressing rights, such as homosexual marriage and adoption.

Can you imagine a gay president? I mean, an openly gay president. That would be extraordinary, and would break all of the established norms as we know them.

Let’s see here, why aren’t there any programs on Cuban TV that deal with issues relating to homosexuals and their reality? I saw a very interesting program on the Venezuela based Telesur that dealt with gay issues.

A lot could be said about homophobes. My neighborhood has always been plagued by these people, young men who mock poor gay men and abuse them. One of them, the most undercover, had to sneak the guys he met out and about through the hallway at home, in the early morning, so he could have sex because his father was the most awful homophobe of them all and used to beat him if he gave any sign of his sexuality. So he had to put on a certain voice when he spoke and dress in a masculine way.

This young man used to skip school quite regularly because his classmates used to laugh at him and he couldn’t take it. When Cuba found out about AIDs, he was called to the polyclinic to have a test done. I don’t know if you remember one of my previous posts where I talk about when I was also given an appointment for the same test, as I spent a lot of time with him and we were friends. I sometimes heard rumors that I was a lesbian because I used to go out with him, but I didn’t care about those in the least.

And why did they call him and not other young men on my block who are well-known for being promiscuous?

I have always identified myself with homosexuals, I enjoy their company, we get on well, maybe because we have common interests.

My other friend used to wear bright-colored clothes, wearing pink and yellow, “the center of attention,” he didn’t hide his soft nature neither. He wasn’t ashamed of anything. The undercover gay used to call him “Queen of the float with a balcony facing the street”.

And to end my post, let’s talk about the homophobes who love to play on both sides, I always knew about their double standards, because I know that some of them have had sexual relations with my two friends, in secret. Of course, they declare themselves to be “machos” in public, making themselves pass off for ladies’ men, saying that they pick up girls at parties and then screw them, when really they are given to other impulses and let these faggots perform oral sex on them, even penetrating them.

I knew everything, and I saw how phoney the facade they projected to the rest of the world was. One of these guys, the best of all of them, told my friend after being with him: well, thanks a lot, it’s been a pleasure…

Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.

Irina Pino has 265 posts and counting. See all posts by Irina Pino

One thought on “Faggots and Homophobes

  • As a Canadian, I have to say we live in one of the best countries in the world when it comes to acceptance of gays, lesbians, transgendered etc. people. But it has taken us a long time to get here and there are still pockets where anything other than heterosexual isn’t tolerated.

    I come to Cuba every year for 3 months in the winter. When I first started over 30 years ago, I met two gay men who lived together on the beach in Guanabo. They were not harassed and their neighbours knew there relationship and really it was the beginning of gays being accepted in your country.

    Seven years ago, I met a young man who I was sure was gay, but we never talked about it, until he started hanging around with another young man who was obviously gay. When I spoke to my friend about it, two years ago, he told me that his friend was gay but he wasn’t!!!! This year, when I questioned him again – he admitted he was gay. This is after knowing me and my same-sex partner for all these years. But he has asked me to not say anything to his father because his father doesn’t know he is gay, even though his boy friend lives in their home with them!!!! I told him his father isn’t stupid and must know the story, but he denies his father knows.

    So the reason for this is to point out that things are changing in Cuba, but it will take a long time. It will take the government to change the laws and the church to recognize same-sex marriage and when that happens, you will know that things are changing. In the meantime, we rent an apartment from a Cuban woman and she has a woman who is a lesbian and young gay man working for her and nobody cares who is in love with whom!

    It will take time, but it is happening…Thanks a lot for your posting.

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