Havana, Jan 17 (Prensa Latina) Cuban surgeons have performed 15 sex reassignment surgeries, and other transsexual people, who are assisted by a committee in compliance with international standards, are applying to that kind of procedure, an expert said on Monday.
The director of the National Sex Education Center (CENESEX), Mariela Castro Espin, explained that the first such surgery in Cuba was performed in 1988. However, it was not until 2007 that the Ministry of Public Health decided to perform sex reassignment surgeries again. As we spread this service in the media, more people going through the conflict and who do not know that they can get help will come to us, said the expert in an interview with the website Cubasi.
So far, transgender people must go through a follow-up period of two years, during which they are assisted by specialists, along with a personalized hormone therapy for the duration of the transition to the gender with which they are identified.
At the end of the process, the committee endorses those eligible for sex reassignment surgery (commonly known as sex change) and for a legal identity change, said Castro Espin.
However, she explained that surgery is not an aesthetic whim, but a scientific procedure agreed upon internationally, which benefits transsexual people.
The surgical procedure helps them to relieve the distress they experience since early childhood, as a result of prejudices that lead to misunderstanding and discrimination, she assured.
On the other hand, she noted that since 2008, Cuba has been working on an educational strategy, supported by the media, state institutions, the Communist Party and civil society organizations, to respect free, responsible sexual orientation and gender identity.
This is a profound process of cultural transformation to provide elements of analysis to dismantle the prejudices that have historically dominate people, their sexuality and their bodies.
These and other important issues will be discussed extensively in the 4th Cuban Congress on Guidance, Education and Sex Therapy, scheduled for January 23-26, at Havana's Conference Center.
The event, which will be attended by experts from the United States, Spain, Canada, Venezuela and Argentina, among other countries, will be held under the theme "Sex Education in the Processes of Social Transformation".
Modificado el ( martes, 17 de enero de 2012 )
“I believe the party conference will define an explicit policy of non-descrimination in matters of sexual orientation and gender identity and that, in turn, it will help dismantle the prejudices standing in the way of its approval,” Mariela Castro, director of the National Sexual Education Center, said in an interview on the Web site CubaSi.
She made her comments when asked about the draft bill that seeks to modify the Cuban Family Code to legalize same-sex unions, among other rights it aims to secure.
For now, according to Mariela Castro, the bill is being studied by specialists of the Justice Ministry and experts of Cuba’s National Jurists Union with the idea of including it in the 2012 legislative schedule.
For several years Mariela Castro has promoted legal reforms on the island in favor of sexual minorities.
In 2008, the Cuban government approved sex-change operations by ministerial decree, but no progress has been made in Parliament to reform the Family Code.
At certain times the sexologist has also asked the Communist Party to rid itself of anti-gay discrimination.
Cuba’s Communist Party will gather on Jan. 28 for its first National Conference, a meeting that has sparked great expectations about the possible changes and guidelines it will come up with for a generational “changing of the guard,” as Raul Castro requested at the sixth party congress last April.
But the president put a damper on such expectations last week when he told reporters “we shouldn’t get our hopes up” about the conference since this is an “internal matter” of Cuba’s only legally recognized political party.
The purpose of this event is to contribute to interdisciplinary discussion of the notion of human sexuality, and complex process of transformation in various areas of social reality.
In parallel, develop the II Symposium Transidentidades, gender and culture , the Second Symposium of Clinical Sexology and I Consensus Chronic diseases and sexual dysfunctions .
These meetings are intended to facilitate dialogue and the system of best practices and theoretical experiences, as well as joint academic partnerships between institutions and civil society groups, regional and international organizations to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies and public policy around sexuality and sexual health, integrated into the processes of social transformation.
Sexuality education from emancipatory paradigms, compared to learned patterns of domination, presents us with a commitment to social transformation and weigh the humanist values of solidarity, equality and social equity.
We count on your valuable participation.
Mariela Castro Espin
National Center · Sex Education (CENESEX)
· Society for the Cuban Multidisciplinary Study of Sexuality (SOCUMES)
· Palace of Conventions in Havana, Cuba
Ministry of Public Health
National Council of Scientific Societies of Health (CNSCS)
Academy of Sciences of Cuba
World Association for Sexual Health (WAS)
Latin American Federation of Sexology and Sexual Education (FLASSES)
Center for Psychological and Sociological Research (CIPS)
Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECI)
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Unite to End Violence Against Women in Latin America and the Caribbean
United Nations Program for Development
Nations Population Fund, United
Culture and International Cooperation