Gays and Cuba (to Richard Fidler)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 19 19:40:27 MST 2002


If there were big roundups and harassments
of gays in Cuba, don't we think that the
Reinaldo Arenas Fan Club of Miami would
have found a way to publicize it by now?

Here's a mainstream guidebook I bought
just last week by Doring Kindersley, Ltd,
in London, UK: (p.291) published 2002:

LOCAL CUSTOMS
Cuba is a tolerant country but attitudes
are still rather conservative. Nudism
and topless sunbathing are not allowed
on most beaches; and men with earrings
or men and women with body piercing and
tattoos may provoke raised eyebrows.

Despite the macho traditions in Cuba,
the taboo against homosexuality has
virtually disappeared, provided that
common sense and modesty are respected.

Cuban men feel virtually obliged to pay
compliments to women passing by on the
street: it is almost a form of chivalry,
a ritual, even if it is not always
expressed with good taste.  In any case,
these kinds of comments should not be
misinterpreted; no reaction is seriously
expected, or at the very most a smile.

Women travelling alone should not
experience problems, although they may
be obligked to deal with frequent offers
of assistance from men. The best way to
put an end to undesired flirtation without
offending is simply to sah that you are
married.

=====================

After this comes a long section on the
safety of hitchhiking.

CUBA DOES NOT OPPRESS GAY PEOPLE ANY
MORE, AND IN MOST CASES, MUCH LESS,
THAN MOST OTHER PLACES. PERIOD.


Walter




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