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Minority Rights Group International campaigns worldwide with around 130 partners in over 60 countries to ensure that disadvantaged minorities and indigenous peoples, often the poorest of the poor, can make their voices heard.

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'¡Homofobia no! ¡Socialismo sí!' Identity, culture, gender and sexuality in today’s Cuba


Audio-visual conclusions from a research trip to Cuba in May 2016

This website investigates the relationship and intersection between Afro-Cuban culture and ethnicity, Santería religion and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) communities, and hopes to reflect their celebratory, and critical voices, at a time of great change in Cuba.

Afro-Cuban ethnicity and culture, Santería religion, gender and sexuality In May 2016, MRG led a research trip to Cuba, which principally sought to investigate the relationship and intersection between Afro-Cuban culture and ethnicity, Santería religion, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) communities. We also hoped to reflect both their celebratory and […]

15 min read

‘This is not a Gay Pride, this is a Cuban Conga.’ On 14 May 2016 Havana played host to a thousands-strong parade to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Led by an Afro-Cuban motorbike-riding drag queen dressed as a witch, Havana’s LGBTQI community and their allies came out in force under a scorching […]

The Cuban Conga in Havana to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia boasted a vibrant and vocal cohort of transgender women. The celebrated guest this year was trans US actor Candis Cayne, who led the parade alongside Mariela Castro, daughter of President Raúl Castro and head of the National Centre for Sexual Education, […]

Yasmin Silvia Portales, Afro-Cuban, Marxist, feminist and LGBT rights activist (pictured above) As a person who identifies as a black, bisexual woman have you experienced discrimination? I’ve experienced discrimination since I was a child. The first time it was gender discrimination. I was playing in my grandmother’s house and I made a big jump. She […]

13 min read

Creative Director Lyall Hakaraia formed part of the research team who travelled to Cuba for this project. Here he speaks about a piece of wearable art he made as a response. What was the inspiration behind this piece of work? Our aim was to make a piece of art together with an artist from the […]

An interview with Tomás Fernández Robaina, one of Cuba’s most prominent gay, black history scholars, a researcher at Havana’s National Library, and self-confessed francotirador (sniper) of Cuban society ‘I am aged 75 and surprised by my country. I thought I would be living another way.’  Informed consent was gained for all of the video footage […]

The significance of place for Havana’s LGBTQI communities ‘Here we are at a very historic hotspot for all the LGBT people to get together… to socialise basically. They get together here after 10pm. It’s like a tradition.’ Luis A. Paz 23rd Avenue in Havana’s Vedado neighbourhood, known as La Rampa, is the historic centrepoint of […]