Gay Man and Transsexual Woman Marry in Cuba

Joan R. Neubauer's picture

Ah, Cuba, that model of Universal Health Care, that island of tropical breezes, breath-taking sunsets and abject poverty, can celebrate a new milestone.

Over the weekend, a gay man and a woman who used to be a man, married on Saturday in a first-of-its-kind wedding for Cuba.

The bride, Wendy Iriepa, 37, had her sex-change surgery in 2007 as part of a pilot program which is now part of Cuba’s universal health care system. One other transgender woman married many years ago, but Iriepa is the first to do so under the new policy.

Iriepa arrived at a Havana wedding hall in a full white wedding gown, flowers in her hair and holding a rainbow flag. Neighborhood residents came out of their homes to witness the unusual event, complete with journalists mobbing the car.

The 32-yearold-groom, Ignacio Estrada said, "This is the first wedding between a transsexual woman and a gay man. We celebrate it at the top of our voices and affirm that this is a step forward for the gay community in Cuba."

Once inside the hall, a public notary did the honors in a brief civil ceremony and declared them husband and wife. The newlyweds kissed to cheers from friends and family.

Gay marriage is not legal in Cuba and Saturday's wedding was legal because since her surgery, the law views Iriepa, born Alexis, as a woman. Now, I’m not sure what this all means. Let’s look at this logically.

Since the law now views the blushing bride as a woman, does that make her a gay man trapped in a woman’s body? If Iriepa never considered herself gay, would that now make her a straight woman with latent homosexual tendencies deep inside? Or, if viewed from the other side, does that make Estrada straight since he’s an avowed gay man married to a woman? Or does that make him a lesbian trapped in a man’s body, since he’s now attracted women?

This whole gender thing is far too complicated for me once you start messing with what you were born with.

Add new comment