Havana and the neighboring province of Matanzas were the centers for the parades, gala performances and debate in this year more participatory ninth Cuban Campaign against Homophobia and Transphobia.

The activities began on May 10 with the central theme: discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace.

Havana and the neighboring province of Matanzas were the centers for the parades, gala performances and debate in this year more participatory ninth Cuban Campaign against Homophobia and Transphobia.The objective is to generate a dialogue that contributes interesting approaches to the social inclusion of people with non-heterosexual orientation, said the campaign’s general coordinator Manuel Vázquez.

These topics were debated on the basis of experiences in Cuba and other countries, he told The Havana Reporter.

Public policies, legislation and inclusive legal practices for the LGBTI community at workplaces, sexual rights activism, and gay marriage were amongst the issues addressed by experts and activists.

The Cuban conga against homophobia was again one of the activities that attracted most attention during the campaign.

This year’s parade covered a longer route from the area known as La Piragua along the Malecón Avenue (sea wall drive) to the Pabellón Cuba exhibition site on 23rd Avenue, one of the busiest in the capital.

The University Students’ Federation provided the music for the conga that featured multicolor flags, posters and activists singing together.

Many people got involved in the campaign to raise awareness of a person’s right to free sexual orientation and gender identity, the director of the National Center of Sexual Education, Mariela Castro, said.

She commented that the current context in Cuba shows that social awareness has increased, and so has the political will, concerning the battles for the rights of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.

Castro stressed that “the Cuban people are ready to continue to make progress on these comprehensive issues of justice and social equality.

In a call for faster legislative answers Castro added that the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party held April 16-19 had advocated for the right to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The traditional campaign gala night was held on May 13, with performances by internationally renowned artists such as Spanish singer Marta Sánchez, her first performance in Cuba.

The Acosta Danza Dance Company, the Chilean-Argentinean band Los Quintanas, Cuban singers Cucú Diamantes and Juana Bacallao, the Camerata Romeu Chamber Music Ensemble, Mano a Mano Choir, the Santiago Alfonso Dance Company and transvestite artists also performed at the gala.

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