Mariette Pathy Allen's new photobook, TransCuba (Daylight Books), captures a country slowly outgrowing its history of persecution. Despite its progressive reforms, Cuba continues to have serious problems, particularly with transgender rights. Another subject, Alsola, spent two years studying psychology and medicine at a school in Santiago de Cuba, the country's second-largest city. Share on FacebookShare on TwitterMother Jones is a nonprofit, and stories like this are made possible by readers like you.
Auto-suggest helps you quickly narrow down your search results by suggesting possible matches as you type. You can choose from the preformatted, full-color photo options or choose from the build-your-own options menu. Shot in 2012 and 2013, the book is haunted by the trauma inflicted by Fidel Castro's government.


Amanda, a 36-year-old prostitute with HIV, tried twice to get to the United States, and twice failed. School policy mandated that students respect the dress code of their birth gender, so she dropped out rather than conform.
But it is optimistic about life under his brother, Raúl, who assumed the presidency in 2008. The women she documents are grateful for the increasing tolerance, but they still suffer from entrenched stigmas.
She was taken to Guantánamo Bay, where she begged her English-speaking captors to return her to the streets of Havana.
Her portraits, whether shot in Cuba or the United States, remind us that looking is a political act, and seeing a revolutionary one.
Deemed unfit for the revolution, gay Cubans were banned from joining the military or becoming teachers.


Since the change in power, Cuba's Ministry of Public Health has approved state-funded sex reassignment surgery, and the government has relaxed many discriminatory policies targeting sexual orientation and gender. Although Allen's subjects face the camera instead of a jury or a firing squad, their expressions bear the same frank entreaty for compassion. In 2012, Adela Hernández became the country's first openly transgender person elected to public office. Conditions deteriorated further in the '80s and '90s as Cuba quarantined HIV-positive citizens, many of whom were gay.



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