The heterosexual family was clearly defined as the essential unit of society
Homosexual relationships were explicitly condemmed
While same sex sexual activity has existed in all times and places, the idea of “sexual
orientation” towards members of the same sex dates to the late nineteenth century
Macho vs. Maricón men
- Macho - men who were “masculine”, more accepted
- Maricón - men who were “feminine” more prejudice against
The category of “homosexual” was not a meaningful category in the Cuban context
- It wouldn’t be appropriate to call them homophobic because they didn’t even
recognize these people
The traditional ideas grew out of Cuba’s spanish and African heritage, along with US
presence in Cuba
Imperialism is gendered and sexualized, cuba is seen as submissive
*The revolutionary government made eradicating the sexualized idea of Cuba a priority.
Repression of homosexuality reached its highest point during the first decade of the
The military draft of 1963 was a means of seperating out those who the governemnt saw
as “unfit”, this included openly gay men
- They were sent to UMAPs “Military Units to Aid Production” beginning in 1965
- Something between a concentration camp, prison, and rehabilitation
- Vagrants, counterrevolutionaries, homosexuals, juvenile delinquents, and
religous followers
- There was national and international protesting against these camps
- The protesting of the UMAPs was not due to a positive view on gay rights,
but against the cruelty of the camps
- “A deviation of that nature clasheds with the concept we have of what a militant
Commuist must be.” Fidel Castro
When prostitution was outlawed in 1961, the prostitutes were offered rehabilitation and
schooling as a chance to fit in with society
Homosexuality was a psychiatric disorder and could be caused by contact with adult
- They thought you could cure it by exposing them to masculine men
Lesbianism is understudied and there is little known about the way lesbians were treated
during this time, but it is safe to say they were discriminated against aswell
● The dichotomy currently common in the US and Europe between heterosexual and
homosexual os a cultural construction
○ The idea that indicvuals possess a “sexual orientation” to same or different sex is
culturally and historically specific
○ Prior to the 19th century same-sex activcyt was a thing, but it was not seen as an
identiy or a sexual orientation
○ Identifying it as an identity or orientation played a part in its view as abnormal
● Macho vs, Marcioon
○ Macho- stereotypically male
■ A male could be macho and have sexual relations with a man because of
his masculinity
○ Marcion- a more effeminate man that did not adhere to normal masculinity
■ Levels of stigma against marcion men how had sexual relations with other
men were comparable to the stigma against homeosxuals in the US
● This prejudice could not be labelled as homophobia since the
category of homosexual was not even recognized.
● Traditional views towards homophobia grew out of Cuba;s Spanish, African. And most
likely indigenous heritage
○ Also influenced by the increasing presence of US ideals
■ The US was very homophobic
● “Imperialism is inherently gendered and sexualized”
● Cuba was part and parcel of European imperial endeavors
○ Cuba, or the Orient, was passive and feminized, therefore waiting for European
○ Manly notions of conquest defined the relationship between Cuba and the US
● Cuba was a tourism sight for pleasure and sin
○ The revolution government made eradicating this sexualized view of Cuba
○ Sexuall reform became important to symbolizing the revolutions rejection of US
● Sexual reform did not incorporate ideas about gay rights
○ Even though in 60s and 70s US there was a gay rights revolution
■ Were beginning to recognize the gay identity
● Repression of homsexuality was at its highest during the beginning of the Revolution
○ Aided by the addition of Soviet ideology
○ Military draft allowed for authorities to divide subversives and those unfit
■ They sent them to a concentration camp, prison, and rehab program
○ Openly homsexual men fit into this categotu
■ A homesexal could never embody the conditions and requirements of
conduct that would consider him a true Revolutionary
● Rehab not new to the Revolution
○ Make the ideal woman through the Ana Betancourt Schools for Peasant Women
■ Cementing views on women’s place
○ Prostitution outlawed in 1961 and they were over sent to rehabilitation and
● Fun fact: Catholics and Gays were sent to UMAPS
○ Nationally and internationally there were protests of the UMAPS
■ These protests not for a positive view of gay rights, byt the cruelty of the
● Being gay was a psychiatric disorder, caused but contact with adult homosexuals and
cured through exposure to masculine straight men
● Not until the 1989s that US style ideals about gay liberation and identity begain to take
○ Western and Soviet thought retreated from the criminalization and stigatization of
○ Gay acts decrominalised by 1979
■ Flaunting it was illegal
● Strawberry and Chocolate - Tomas Guiterraz Alea’s 1994 film
○ Symbolized the political and social closing of the Special Period
○ Tells the tale of a Revolutionary, Diego (orthodox thinking), and David
(unorthodox thinking) a Young Communist League member
■ David and Diego become friends and David helps Diego open his thinking
Final presentation