Gay Cuba

› Gay Cuba

During the early days of the revolution, homosexuality was forbidden and marked as contra revolutionary and a bourgeois perversion. In 1961 "Maricones" (Cuban slang for gays) were sent to hard labour camps for their re-education and re-integration in the Cuban society.

In the camps the gay people were guarded by the military
UMAP Brigades, UMAP stands for "Unidad Militar de Ayuda a la Produccion" (Military Unit to Help the the Production).

After 1980 the famous Cuban movie "Fresa y Chocolate" opened the debat in Cuba, about the situation and the civil rights of homosexuals in Cuba.
Important work to improve the quality of life for gay and lesbians in Cuba is done by Mariela Castro, daughter of the present president Rául Castro.
Mariela Castro Espin is director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education(CENESEX). She organizes the Aids prevention an acceptance programs for homosexuality. Mariela Castro is the promotor of a project to allow transgendered people pass a sex change surgery without charge and she invited foreign top surgeons to educate the Cuban medical teams.


There are no Gay or Lesbian bars and clubs in Havana, years ago the last place was closed in a police action. The gay people meet and cruise in front of the YARA cinema on La Rampa (the 23th street) or around the Coppelia across the street. Saturday nights they have gatherings along the Malecon at the end of the 23th street, but most of the gay Cuba life happens on private(gay) parties.

To life in the city

Return to top