Text and photo by: Angela Laksmi
The urgency of establishing common agendas and working alliances among LGBTQ+ groups in the context of implementing constitutional reforms was one of the main themes of the workshop “Beyond Inclusion. A de-colonial approach to sexual citizenship,” by University of Pittsburgh professor David Tenorio, organized by the Afro-Athenian matancer project at its headquarters in the Pueblo Nuevo neighborhood on July 18.
The participants agreed that it is difficult to use terms such as “LGBTIQ+ community” in Cuba to refer to activism for the recognition and guarantee of our rights, due to the absence of a fruitful dialogue between the different parties.
The meeting was attended by representatives of various projects such as Yadiel Cepero, coordinator of the digital space Building an agenda for sexual diversity in Cuba and Elaine Saralegui, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCI) in Cuba and coordinator of the project Opening Gaps of Colors, intellectuals such as Alberto Arce Abreu, professors and students from the University of Matanzas and part of the MCI community.
According to Alberto Abreu, LGBTIQ+ activism must articulate with anti-racist, feminist and environmentalist struggles and promote the creation of a political platform among all groups working on these issues.
For Elaine Saralegui the disconnection between the different collectives makes us vulnerable to other agendas taking advantage of the spaces we generate to position their own demands and displace our claims to the background.
The need for systematic training, especially in light of the upcoming process of modifying the Family Code, the insufficient information about this process, the importance of reconstructing history from the very perspective of people with non-heterosexual sexualities, and the possibility of using public space to socialize our demands were other topics discussed at the workshop.
This space for exchange initiated a series of training workshops on rights and activism, convened and organized by Afro-Athens, a project of integration, intervention and socio-cultural transformation born in 2009, said its coordinator Yoelkis Torres.