Wedding in Havana
News from Cuba | Monday, 22 August 2011
Editorial from La Alborada
This month, an unusual marriage took place in Havana: a transgender woman married a gay man. The union, which was set for the same day as Fidel Castro's birthday --and not with a friendly purpose--, had been heavily publicized in advance, guaranteeing that it would become a media event.
What was the meaning of it? A transgender woman achieves the identity of a heterosexual, not lesbian, woman. She would, it seems, be looking in marriage for a publicly-recognized stable relationship with a heterosexual man. A gay man, on the other hand, would be looking for a similar relationship, but with another gay man. Why would she marry a gay man, and why would he marry a transgender woman?
We don't know. The press did not find out what the bride and groom felt about and for each other, and why they decided to marry, which would have been the most interesting aspects of the news. If there was a message for the Cuban people, who in the main are still wrestling with gender issues, it was a garbled message. The wedding was called a gay marriage, but it wasn't. The sex-change operation was provided for free by the Cuban government, at the center that is headed by President Raul Castro's daughter, Mariela, and the marriage was official. The groom suffers from AIDS, a disease for which the Cuban government provides extensive treatment for free. Yet, the wedding was attended by well-known dissidents, according to the BBC, and Yoani Sanchez served as "godmother," or "maid of honor" in another report. Leaders of the Ladies in White, who do not miss an opportunity for publicity, were also present.
The bride said, according to the Guardian, that "I think this has been politicized by the Cuban government. I have not wanted to make this into a circus or something really political." Right: just a wedding like any other, publicized in advance, with the international press invited and ready to take political statements from dissident figures..
Mariela Castro congratulated the bride. "One of our accomplishments has made it possible for Wendy to get married," she said. "It seems she found the love of her life and we wish her many congratulations, because all of our work has been for this, the well-being and happiness of our sisters."
Castro, who was not invited, also expressed an opinion concerning the character of the much-publicized wedding. According to the AP, she noted that "U.S. government funds exist here to create LGBT (lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual) groups that oppose the position of the National Sex Education Center."
That could explain a lot.