Cuba holds first transgender mass

May 12, 2017 by

from Mailonline:

Cuba held its first transgender mass in a groundbreaking move for the communist-ruled country.

For decades, belonging to a religion and having a sexual orientation other than heterosexual was stigmatized on the Caribbean island.

But in the service on Friday, led by three transgender pastors in the western city of Matanzas, there was hope that the nation was moving away from its radical policies of the past and towards a more inclusive society.

Rainbow flags decorated the chapel and the pastors – who had flown in from Brazil, Canada and the US – wore stoles in the trans hues of light blue, pink and white, and the congregation swayed to Caribbean beats.

It was a startling change from the early years after the 1959 revolution when both religious believers and homosexuals went to ‘correctional’ labor camps.

‘Tonight has been a night of celebration of equality between all people, marking a new era for Cuba,’ said Alexya Salvador, a Brazilian trans pastor, born Alexander.

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