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Machos Maricones & Gays: Cuba and Homosexuality

Ian Lumsden

Publication Year: 1996

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix

PERHAPS IT would be best to start by thanking all the unnamed gay Cubans, living in Cuba or in exile, who have helped me in countless ways. This book could not have been written without their help. I have decided not to acknowledge by name those gays who live in Cuba to save them any possible embarrassment. I would also like to...

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pp. xi-xxvii

THIS BOOK is a gay Canadian's attempt to come to terms with the Cuban revolutionary process and the place of homosexuals within it. To understand the pages that follow the reader needs to know my own viewpoint and preconceptions. Therefore this introduction serves to introduce the author as well as the subject. Postrevolutionary Cuba has at various times filled me with hope...

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1. An Introduction to Contemporary Cuba

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pp. 1-27

MOS T VISITORS who come to Cuba to study the revolution first set foot at Jose Marti airport in Havana and acquire their initial impressions of the country from the nation's capital. A visit to Havana can be as deceiving today as it was before 1959. Until then Havana lived off the wealth produced in the countryside and enjoyed an...

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2. Machismo and Homosexuality before the Revolution

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pp. 28-54

THE OPPRESSION of homosexuals in contemporary Cuba cannot be fully understood without relating it to the ways in which male sexuality and gender identity were constructed prior to the revolution. These are linked to the way in which male and female relations were historically organized. For the overall character...

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3. Institutionalized Homophobia

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pp. 55-80

AT THE OUTSET of the Cuban revolution, machismo was deeply ingrained in the fabric of Cuban society. Gender roles were clearly identified and sharply differentiated. Men were expected to be strong, dominant, and sexually compulsive. Women were expected to be vulnerable and chaste. Because of this, many...

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4. Homosexuality and the Law

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pp. 81-95

MEMORIES OF the systematic oppression of homosexuals during the period of the Military Units to Aid Production (UMAP) and then during much of the 1970S still color many older homosexuals' perceptions of the Cuban state. The major milestone of this repressive era was the 1971 Congress on Education and...

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5. Homosexuality and Sexual Education in the 1980s [includes image plates]

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pp. 96-114

THE INSTITUTIONALIZED homophobia of the 1960s and 1970-when the policies and actions of the Cuban government seemed designed to incite the prejudice against homosexuals already deeply rooted in Cuban culture-is much diminished today. Still, the Cuban regime's cultural and ideological preoccupations...

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6. The Erosion of Traditional Machismo

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pp. 115-129

THE OPPRESSION of homosexuals in Cuba has its origins in a patriarchal culture that celebrates conventional masculinity at the expense of women and of men whose public behavior is perceived as unmasculine. "Effeminate" men who do not exhibit the required traits of masculinity are labeled maricones. Homosexuals...

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7. Gay Life in Havana Today

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pp. 130-159

IT WAS EVIDENT by the mid-I980s that Cuban gays had begun to feel much less intimidated by the state in relation to the way they publicly expressed the sexual dimension of their lives. They have become once again a visible part of street life in downtown Havana and to a lesser extent in some of the larger...

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8. The Impact of AIDS

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pp. 160-177

BECAUSE OF good fortune, circumstances, and certainly not least its commitment to preserving the health of its population, Cuba has so far been spared the worst effects of the global AIDS epidemic. As of December 31, 1994, Cuba had reported a total of only 342 people who had contracted AIDS, 218 of whom had...

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9. An Imperfect Revolution in an Imperfect World

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pp. 178-203

THE CURRENT situation of Cuban gays is much more oppressive than the Cuban government is willing to acknowledge. Yet it is also much less restricted than it was a decade ago and much better than many

Appendix A: Cuban Sexual Values and African Religious Beliefs, by Tom

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pp. 205-207

Appendix B: El Pecado Original, by Pablo Milan

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pp. 209-210

Appendix C: Manifesto of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Cuba

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pp. 211-214


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pp. 215-245

Select Bibliography

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pp. 247-254


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pp. 255-263

E-ISBN-13: 9781439905593

Publication Year: 1996