HAVANA – The Cuban National Center for Sexual Education (Cenesex) will launch a campaign this year against homophobic and transphobic harassment or bullying in schools in an alliance with organizations from civil society and the island’s Education Ministry.
The campaign will be part of the activities for the 10th Cuban Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, which will be celebrated through May 17, as announced on Wednesday by the organization’s director, Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro.
Although there are no figures available and Cuba asserts that it has a “relatively low” incidence of the phenomenon compared with other countries, that does not mean that this kind of violence does not exist, said Castro, who has headed Cenesex since 2000.
“The quantity is not important. What’s important is the experience of each person. This discriminatory behavior does much damage. So, we’ve chosen to work in this very important area of the community, of society, which is the school,” she said.
The educational strategy will be implemented in primary education, pre-college studies and teacher training with the aim of helping identify the phenomenon in its different manifestations.
“I think we have the duty as an institution tasked with these things ... to help the family understand what’s going on, to help girls and boys, teens, young people and all personnel in (schools),” the sexologist said.
“For schools without homophobia or transphobia” is the slogan of the Cuban day against such bullying, and on May 13 the traditional Conga will be staged by activists for LGBTI rights in Havana.
The celebration will be repeated on May 17, the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, in the central city of Santa Clara, where the first of these events took place 10 years ago.
The program includes photograph exhibits, audiovisual events, teaching conferences, panel discussions and two galas.
In recent remarks to Spanish media, Mariela Castro admitted that it was not easy to work for LGBTI rights in Cuba, an historically macho society, adding that she had not managed to convince anyone just by being the daughter of Raul or the niece of Fidel Castro, but rather “with arguments and learning.”