Civil Liberties

Havana Boys


Cuban state television is wrapping up its popular telenovela The Hidden Side of the Moon, the first to feature a sympathetic gay character. That seems like progress for a country that used to lock up the limp-wristed and send them off to the countryside for some manly hard labor. On the other hand, the character ends up contracting AIDS and, judging from a video clip, sending his wife into some kind of self-flagellating seizure. Today's Miami Herald has a good article on the show and metrics of tolerance in Havana. The gist:

"When I was 18, people on the street used to shout, 'Hey, faggot!' " said Oliver, 28, whose last name, like others in this report, is being withheld for fear of reprisals. "That doesn't happen anymore, unless you are a totally brazen transvestite hustling in really short shorts."