Military service in Cuba is mandatory for all young people over the age of 17. However, if any of them declares himself to be “openly gay,” he may be relieved of his responsibility to “defend the homeland.” Among gay men there are three basic groups: those who are not called, those who evade service, and those who complete it.
According to the duty officer at the Plaza of the Revolution Municipality’s Military Committee: “The law is not published, but it exists. The person in question must submit, in writing, a signed letter stating that ‘I am gay.’ But he must be sure that he knows what he’s doing, because this goes on his record, for life.”
“As if homosexuality were a career that one could regret choosing later in life,” jokes Nonard, who posts photos of himself on Facebook dressed as a woman.
He says that he was never even called: “I was always was a ‘girl,’ and when the summons came, my father told them so, and they didn?t insist.”
“They didn?t call me either,” recalls one of the transsexuals in the Parque Central. “With these tits, do you think that anyone thinks I’m still a man?”
But they are not the only ones. Many respondents believe that because “the whole neighborhood knows it,” when they show up to carry out verifications the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), “points them out, literally.”