By Irina Echarry, Photos: Caridad
HAVANA TIMES, May 10 — Yanira and Tahimi met two years ago in this same garden space that Sara Gonzalez now shares with friends and trova musicians. Since then they’ve only seen each other in the street because Yanira’s family won’t understand that “their little girl” is romantically involved with another woman. On the other hand, Tahimi broke “all the rules of morality,” according to her mother.
To mark Cuba’s “Campaign against Homophobia,” Sara invited different artists to her open musical session to sing together for love and diversity.
Old songs by Silvio Rodriguez and Noel Nicola (Acerca de los padres and Te perdono) were heard along with other newer songs by trova musicians Ariel and Liliana. Hacheros (woodcutters) was especially welcome because it spoke to those “who walk around with the executioner’s axe in hand,” those who “watch out for order, morals and work” and who are capable of anything in the name of following their orders.
Heidi Igualada dedicated a number to the Mexican artist Frida Khalo and expressed her desire that the ghost of homophobia be driven out of existence. Eduardo Soda, after celebrating the moment, sang a beautiful song about the love of two women.
Angel Quintero confessed to the disappearance of his machismo on the day he ended up at the El Mejunje cultural center in Santa Clara and how that place inspired him to write the song Rojo Fucsia. A line in it goes, “From red fuchsia life displays its other heart in the maiden who being a male puts on her makeup.” “…red fuchsia (a lipstick) is freedom.”
The love between two males was extolled by Manuel Argudin when he performed the well-known song by Pablo Milanes in which he reminds us, “We are not God, let’s not make that mistake again.”
The evening concluded with a song from the 1950s — Tu me acostumbraste (You got used to me) — which Sara said was the first time she saw the issue of the sexual preferences being dealt with. The audience sang along with the musicians in an atmosphere of total communion.
Singing about diversity often will help us reach the day when couples like Yanira and Tahimi don’t have to conceal their romance out of the fear of marginalization and rejection.
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