Friday, April 9, 2010

International Day against Homophobia celebrated in Cuba -- three reports from Havana - Mariela Castro Espín

Havana, 16 May, 2009 -- Prensa Latina -- International Day against Homophobia was observed here today, with the participation of a diverse, largely youthful public.

In the early hours of the morning, the day's activities began at the headquarters of the Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAC) and the Pabellón Cuba, in the central district of El Vedado.

Mariela Castro Espín, the director of the National Center of Sex Education (CENESEX), presided over the inauguration of the day's events with a parade and the opening of the panel on "Sexual diversity in the Cuban family." PhotoMariela Castro Espin, director of CENESEX.

On display at the UNEAC headquarters were the most recent issues of Sexología y Sociedad (Sexology and Society), the journal published by CENESEX and distributed at no cost through the network of libraries and universities of the country, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund. The journal covers subjects such as comprehensive services to and social inclusion of transsexuals in the island; sexuality as a social determinant of health; and violence against women.

Referring to the impacts on Cuba of the observances of International Day against Homophobia, Espín explained that research comparing the situations before and after the first observance in 2008 is being conducted. Photo 

Poet and essayist Miguel Barnet, the UNEAC president, said that, as the vanguard of society, writers and artists respect and support this scientific and educational program, led by Espín and her team. ``This is a day against ignorant thought that prevents us from advancing, a task on which our artists cannot turn their backs.  We must pay attention to the latest and most advanced thought'', Barnet said.

The gathering was attended by Cuban national literary award winners Nancy Morejón and Reynaldo González, as well as writers Senel Paz, Ana Lydia Vega, Leonardo Padura, and Lina de Feria, among others.

Talks, book sales, expositions, film showings, and concerts will be held throughout the day, which are all free and open to the public, and will end after midnight. Read more - International Day against Homophobia celebrated in Cuba -- three reports from Havana

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