Gay Life in Cuba

We believe that it is absolutely essential that you are aware of what to expect when you visit Cuba.

Bur first, some background history on gay Cuba:

In the 1960s and 70s, a few decades after the Revolution´s triumph, Cuban gay men were being sent to re-education camps to be supposedly rehabilitated.

In 1979,  the Cuban government partially decriminalized homosexuality in Cuba.

The 1988 version of the Penal Code of Cuba’s ARTICULO 303 was the last to apply specifically to homosexuality in Cuba.

Since the 1990s,  Mariela Castro (daughter of our current president) became a campaigner of LGBT rights in Cuba & has been supporter of same-sex unions in Cuba  & access to gender reassignment surgery.

In 1993, the release of the Oscar-nominated gay Cuban film Fresa & Choclate (the conflicted relationship between a committed Marxist student & a flamboyantly gay artist) raised a national debate about gay life in Cuba!

In 1997, the Cuban Penal Code no longer applies to same-sex acts or homosexuality.

Ten years later, Cuban gay characters show up in a soap opera called “La cara oculta de la luna” (The Dark Side of the Moon).

In June 2008, the unprecedented took place when the Cuban government set out a law allowing free sex-change operations to qualifying Cuban citizens.

Then in May 17th of 2008 our first gay pride parade took place along calle 23 and then this day become the National Day Against Homophobia.

To the present day, gay life in Havana and Cuba has only been moving forward! The fact that Cuba belongs to a geographical region infected with a  very ¨macho mentality¨ &  that we are one of the last communist countries in the world , would make you think that gay life in Cuba is a nightmare but nothing  is furthest from reality!

We have witnessed the evolution of a gay scene in Havana throughout all its phases..from a very underground gay nightlife in Havana at the beginning (when illegal fiestas of diez pesos took place) to a very vibrant gay scene in Havana with plenty of bars, clubs & gay friendly places filled with the hottest crowd, every sigle night of the week!

Havana, is specially  what cities in the United States & Europe, pre-internet, once called “cruising grounds” — areas that have for the most part become quaint artifacts of the gay past, replaced by hookup apps like Grindr, Jack’d and Scruff.

Havana is gay nightlife before Grindr.

We have also seen, little by little,  the emergence of an accepting & tolerant mentality towards those in the LGTB community in Cuba.