The dream of Alfredo, a 31-year-old Cuban hairdresser, is to arrive dressed in white, in an old red convertible, at a church in Havana. With a group of actors, he recreated the scene in an original project for the Internet, while Cuba evokes equal marriage.
When the pandemic began last year, Alfredo de Armas closed his beauty salon and began serving clients in his tiny apartment on the top floor of a building in Old Havana.
Her boyfriend, actor Fernando Conde, 39, and director Yasmany Colina, 33, lost their jobs and boredom led them to create “Las Hermanas Algo”. The shorts, starring Alfredo and Yasmany disguised as two friends – a rich and a poor – are short comic book stories posted on YouTube and Facebook.
In the last episode, the bad friend arrives at the wedding triumphantly in a convertible, while the good friend receives only a bicycle taxi. “The idea was to send a very specific message, because the day of the fight against homophobia is coming,” said Fernando, who is the producer of the short films.
“[Os filmes] they reflect a problem for us gays, who aspire to an equal marriage ”, explains Alfredo in a pause of the recordings, with his dress, in a tourist street of Havana, surrounded by curious children and playful passers-by.
“We decided to make the scene a gay wedding, simulating what it would be like from our point of view, transformism, and it looked awesome. [que fosse possível] realize this dream of getting married.
The LGBT community hoped that this goal was close to being achieved, when the measure was included in a draft new constitution, before its approval in 2019. There was an article that defined marriage as “the union between two persons ”, replacing the previous formula which spoke of“ union between a man and a woman ”.
But the article was deleted and authorities said it would be incorporated into the reform of the Family Code, which will be subject to a referendum.
But the resistance continues. A spokesperson for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Cuba said the religious institution maintained its opposition to the change.
Angel Toledo, vice-chancellor of the Pentecostal Theological University of Cuba, an evangelical institution, indicated that his church “does not agree with this in any way”, and recalled that the government knows the position of his organization. , based on biblical principles that he intends to defend “at all costs”.
The official Cuban daily newspaper announced in early May the creation of an official commission responsible for drafting a new family code.
Yasmany considers that none of the 31 deputies of the committee is homosexual. “There should be people who identify with themselves.”
“The modification of the family code in force is imminent […] and therefore it is imperative to sensitize and educate the Cuban population, ”said the Cenesex (National Center for Sexual Education), led by Mariela Castro, daughter of the former dictator and ex-leader of the Communist Party Raúl Castro .
Yasmany admits being insulted while playing homosexual roles, but Fernando says theater “is not a complicated medium in terms of acceptance”.
Their stories haven’t been easy, but the three are grateful that their families treated them with acceptance and love when they fully embraced their sexuality, and were able to develop professionally.
Nor do they have to deal with the marginalization that homosexuals faced in the 1960s and 1970s, when a harsh policy was adopted against them, which resulted in the creation of Umap (Unités of Military Production Aid), in which they were condemned to lead. labor.
Now, many homosexuals do regular military service, there are gay bars, and some Cubans “dare to go along with their boyfriends,” said Yasmany, who has a tattoo that shows a couple under an umbrella hence. they collapse. a rain of colors, with the phrase “if you are different, resist”.
Translation by Paulo Migliacci