Home Box Office will premier “Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution” at 9:00 PM this evening. The documentary, produced by John Alpert, seeks to explore an aspect of Cuba that few are aware of. At 54, Mariela Castro, a member of the island nation’s parliament, is a loud and persistent voice for LGBT rights.
Nevertheless, Cuban society is very conservative and culturally isolated. There are no protections in place for LGBT citizens. Homophobia is rampant. Two years ago, Castro voted against a measure that would have banned employment discrimination against gay citizens. At the time Castro claimed that her vote was the result of the measure’s failure to protect citizens on the basis of gender identity. Nothing further has moved through parliament since and parliamentary initiatives are subject to the whims of a military dictator.
Mariela Castro is passionate, genuine and energetic in her advocacy. It is hard not to like her.