By Genoa Barrow | OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer
With the normalized use of expanded pronouns, the worldwide LGBTQ community continues to fight for their right to live in the skin they’re in.
During our recent visit to Cuba, we had the opportunity to meet and talk with members of Afrodiverso, an Afro-Cuban LGBTQ organization based in Havana. Through a translator, they spoke candidly about their lives, breaking down barriers and their fight to live how they want and love who they want. Among them were leader Argelia Fellove Hernandez, who spoke passionately about their work raising awareness; Yanet, who talked about her son’s unconditional love for her; and Gomez, a transgender man who talked about discrimination he has experienced while being out and open in Cuba.
Cuban voters in September overwhelmingly voted to pass the Cuban Family Code referendum. The historic vote, which included protections for the LGBTQ community, has been called “the most inclusive, progressive and revolutionary code in the world.” The law passed three months before the United States solidified protections of its own marriage equality rights with the Respect For Marriage Act. It gives the Cuban people the right to define family as they choose, legalizing same-sex marriage and allowing same-sex couples to legally adopt children. It prohibits discrimination based on identity and sexual orientation.
Members of the Afrodiverso group also shared their desire to operate their own businesses and earn money for themselves and their cause.