A gay guide of Havana
Growing up in Cuba, by nature, can be complicated, and even more so if you're gay. Since I was a child I always identified with the LGBTQ community, that was clear but making people understand that sexual orientation does not define more than a person's preferences was not an easy task.
And although the history of my country shows that they haven't exactly been fans of ours, I don't think that the main cause of homophobia in Cuba is politics or religion, but rather a marked machismo.
However, I have to say that in my personal opinion our country has opened up a lot when it comes to sexual orientation, of course there are always people who demonstrate the opposite, like all over the world, but it is incredible how elderly religious people speak very positively about the possible inclusion of gay marriage in the new Cuban constitution.
Here are my personal tips on how to survive in Cuba by being gay.
WHERE TO GO:
The gay party in Cuba, especially in Havana, is different. We can't find several clubs like in the rest of the world, but a project that holds parties daily in various places like Las Vegas, Café Cantante or Karabali , even though I'm not a fan of them I must say that they are very frequented, but be careful, they are mostly "jineteros" or prostitutes, so if you're looking for the love of your life, I recommend you go somewhere else.
Currently, I could say that in Cuba there are no nice and modern places for the LGBT community, but you can enjoy gay-friendly places like Roma Bar, King Bar, Mixto or Esencia.
Gay parade in Cuba
DON'T BE AFRAID
There are still many taboos that expose Cuba as a dangerous place for homosexuals and could not be further from the present. I remember a video that was viraliso of a boy who stands in a very crowded location holding a sign that said "I'm Gay, give me a hug", seeing the reaction of people mostly positive, gives me a lot of hope in Cuban society today.
So kiss your boyfriend in that romantic place or hold his hand in that bar you really like, I'm sure you will inspire many people and even bring out a few smiles.
HOW TO MEET PEOPLE:
For those of us who travel and seek to meet new friends in the Grindr area it has always been the first choice, but the lack of internet will never allow you to see more than 20 kids in a city as big as Havana and since February 2019, has been block in Cuba, because according to our government, was a promoter of Sexual Tourism.
Many people use apps like Planet Romeo, changing the location before their arrival to interact before facing the lack of internet on the island, this is the way I recommend to meet guys. Although you can always go the old-fashioned way and look for guys in places like the Malecón, the bars mentioned above or some established parks but as sad as it sounds, the people who frequent these places, go only for one reason, and it's not exactly love. Of course it is always possible for find a great guy in the most unconventional place and invalidate everything I've said, but always keep in mind these tips so you don't perish in battle.
Cuba becomes a pioneer of everything, and of course the gay community took many by surprise. Cuba still has a lot to learn, fortunately we have admitted our past mistakes and have begun to move into the future.