Yesterday, Cuba had a gay pride celebration.
That is not a sentence I would have expected to write while Fidel Castro is still alive, but the pace of change in favor of LGBT rights worldwide seems to be quickening.
There is one very odd aspect of the current Cuban attitude about gay rights. It is the inverse of the situation in the USA.
In Cuba, the political and government leaders are driving the general population toward acceptance of gay people. I know! That is certainly not what I would have guessed. I would have assumed that the repressive Castro regime still persecutes gay people. It had, afterall, swiftly shed the honorable tenants of its revolutionary roots soon after gaining power.
Andrea Rodriguez, writing for the Associated Press, tells us this:
The gay rights movement should be careful not to "flood" Cuban society with a message that many are not ready to hear, physician and gay activist Alberto Roque cautioned.
And Mariela Castro said gay activists should opt for more subtle ways to chip away at deep-seated homophobic attitudes.
Defending equal rights for Cubans, of all sexual orientations, is a key principal of the Cuban revolution led by her uncle Fidel Castro, who overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959, she said.
"The freedom of sexual choice and gender identity (are) exercises in equality and social justice," she said.
Havana, here I come!