The Heart of Gay Cuba

Published Date Author: , March 22nd, 2011

Gay CubaCrowds of gay and trans people wait outside a ruined hotel with trees growing out the windows. Inside, a disco beat pounds. The throng files in and starts dancing, while a couple of lesbians kiss passionately in the middle of the courtyard. This is not a trendy nightclub in Havana–we’re in a small city in the central province of Villa Clara, an area that many tourists pass through without a second glance. The club is El Mejunje (which means, “The Mixture”) and they’ve been having discos and drag shows here for 20 years.

El Mejunje was founded by Ramon Silverio, an impoverished local kid who loved it when the travelling circus came to town. Silverio worked in education and theatre, and dreamed of a place where artists, rock musicians, drag performers and intellectuals of all kinds could gather and find acceptance.

“Ramon Silverio is a very important cultural figure in Cuba,” a local tourism worker tells me in Spanish; however, the easy-going ambience here is not just because of him. “The city culture is very friendly and accepting; tranquilo,” the worker says. Gays and lesbians can walk on the streets with no fear of violence. Transwomen can dress as they wish–people won’t assault them or call them names, though they may say, “Que bonita!” (“How beautiful!”)

Full Story from Pink Planet

Click here for gay travel resources in Cuba.

Comments reader  One Reader Comment

Andrea Grater - Gravatar

www.lanuestra.com Andrea Grater said on March 22, 2011, 4:15 pm:

Will have to remember this when we go next year to Cuba.

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