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Trans Woman and Gay Man to Marry on Castro’s Birthday

Trans Woman and Gay Man to Marry on Castro’s Birthday

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A transgender woman and a self-described gay man plan to marry in Havana, Cuba, on the 85th birthday of former president Fidel Castro. According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, 37-year-old Wendy Iriepa and 31-year-old Ignacio Estrada "will marry in an open ceremony that they hope will mark a before and an after in Cuba, with dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez as matron of honor."

"We met on May 13 of this year and we always intended to get married three months later," Estrada, who considers himself gay but had fallen in love with Iriepa after her transition, told the Tribune.

But the couple also decided to tie the knot on the "controversial" date of August 13 to coincide with Castro's 85th birthday and emphasize the "gigantic" step their union will signify for LGBT Cubans.

Castro told reporters last year that he recognized the homophobic persecution LGBT people endured in Cuba at the beginning of his revolution, admitting responsibility for not dealing with what he called a "great injustice."

Ignacio admitted that this wedding can be held thanks to the gender reassignment surgeries promoted by the National Sex Education Center, or Cenesex, an organization headed by Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban president Raul Castro, Fidel's brother. In recent years Mariela has led a campaign to promote LGBT diversity and tolerance. Among the highlights was a 2008 resolution that finally legalized gender-reassignment surgery.

Next up for Cenesex is a bill that modifies Cuba's Family Code to allow same-sex marriages.

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Diane Anderson-Minshall

Diane Anderson-Minshall is the CEO of Pride Media, and editorial director of The Advocate, Out, and Plus magazine. She's the winner of numerous awards from GLAAD, the NLGJA, WPA, and was named to Folio's Top Women in Media list. She and her co-pilot of 30 years, transgender journalist Jacob Anderson-Minshall penned several books including Queerly Beloved: A Love Across Genders.
Diane Anderson-Minshall is the CEO of Pride Media, and editorial director of The Advocate, Out, and Plus magazine. She's the winner of numerous awards from GLAAD, the NLGJA, WPA, and was named to Folio's Top Women in Media list. She and her co-pilot of 30 years, transgender journalist Jacob Anderson-Minshall penned several books including Queerly Beloved: A Love Across Genders.