Woe to those who claim the lie is the truth and the truth is a lie! Pic above: Trans pastor Cindy Bourgeois from Canada (middle) and trans Baptist reverend Allyson Robinson (on right) from the U.S attended and assisted in the service. (r. a. note)
TeleSur English Posted Sun., May 07, 2017
Amid the Cuban Assembly Against Homophobia and Transphobia’s two-week long event against sexual and gender discrimination, Cuba hosted the first mass of its kind anywhere in the world, with three transgender people as pastors.
Held in the city of Matanzas, the pastors had flown in from Brazil, Canada and the United States. Rainbow flags decorated the chapel, while the trans leaders wore stoles marking the colors of the trans flag: light blue, pink and white.
“Tonight has been a night of celebration of equality between all people,” said Alexya Salvador, a Brazilian trans pastor, of the service held on Friday. “God’s love is radically inclusive.”
Friday’s mass was part and parcel of a three-day conference on transsexuality and theology, which was organized by the Matanzas-based Cuban branch of the international Metropolitan Community Church.
For Elaine Saralegui, a lesbian pastor who founded the Cuban branch of the MCC two years ago, her hopes were pinned on the conference proving that being trans and Christian were not incompatible.
“This is not only a first of its kind event for Cuba, but certainly one of the very first ever to be held anywhere in the world,” said Allyson Robinson, a trans Baptist reverend from Washington.
As Cuba is set to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the global day against homophobia next weekend, many of the pastors praised the communist island’s commitment to LGBTQ people, a place where the state funds gender reassignment surgeries.
During the three-day event, a number of panels and events on theology and personal experiences took place.
In one, Salvador argued that God was transgender, given the Holy Trinity was made up of the Holy Spirit, which she views as feminine, the Father and the Son.
The 10th edition of the Cuban Assembly Against Homophobia and Transphobia event began Wednesday and is set to last for two weeks with this year’s focus on homophobic and transphobic bullying at schools.
Before the Cuban Revolution, laws criminalized homosexuality, and persecution of the LGBTQ community continued for more than a decade under Fidel Castro’s government before homosexuality was officially decriminalized in 1979. Since 2008, the government’s national health system provides sex reassignment surgeries to eligible patients free of charge.