I don’t know where you are in the world, but where I am its cold. Not sub-zero cold, but its still pretty freezing. Whenever have to go outside, its an adventure. So yeah, let’s just say I long for a vacation.
How about a beach in….Cuba?
Recently, the Obama Administration announced that it would be overhauling its policies regarding Cuba. For those unaware, the gist of it is that since the 1960s the United States has had an economic embargo place on Cuba limiting travel and economic trade to the island.
This may soon change. President Obama is scheduled to meet with Cuban Dictator Raul Castro on April 11th, 2015 in Panama.
Added to that, Mariela Castro, heterosexual daughter of President Castro, has been a vocal public advocate for Cuban LGBT rights as director of the state-run National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX). This comes somewhat as a shock and relief for many gay Cubans since, in the recent past, homosexuals were imprisoned just for being gay.
Now things have appeared to change…Maybe.
What all that means is the beaches of Cuba may soon be a hot LGBT travel destination….or not.
While Americans can technically travel to Cuba, the trips are limited to person-to-person guided tours costing as much as $6,000 per person. So no sitting on the beach all day drinking mojitos, even if you do have the money to spend.
This limitation may be lifted once a deal is struck by the Obama Administration, but even then, casual tourism to Cuba may be a ways off.
In the meantime, we can at least learn about our gay brethren of color in the country.
Thanks to photographer Mariette Pathy Allen and others, we can do that from afar.
Mariette Pathy Allen
Mariette Pathy Allen has spent the last 35 years photographing and advocating for the lives of LGBT and Transgender people. Her new book, TransCuba features 80 striking images of Transgender women living in Cuba.
Photographer Mariette Pathy Allen traveled to Cuba for the first time in 2012 and became friends with two transgender women, who then introduced her to others in the community like Erika, pictured with her boyfriend in Cienfuegos. – Daily Mail UK
Another scene at Mi Cayito beach. Transgender Paloma kissing with her boyfriend.