Cuba just hosted its first trans pastor led mass
Cuba just held its first trans inclusive Mass ran by three trans pastors.
Pastors from Brazil, Canada and America travelled to the chapel in Matanzas to celebrate the landmark event.
The group of pastors and people attending the church dressed in blues, pinks and white to commemorate the next step towards equality on the island.
It was the first time ever that a transgender pastor held a Holy Communion in the country.
“Tonight has been a night of celebration of equality between all people, marking a new era for Cuba,” said Brazilian pastor Alexya Salvador. “God’s love is radically inclusive”.
The event, which was held on Friday, was part of a three-day conference on sexuality and gender within theology.
Allyson Robinson, a trans pastor from Washington, said that the event was not just a first for Cuba, but for anywhere.
“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,” she explained.
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The conference was held at the Metropolitan Community Church, arranged by the lesbian pastor Elaine Saralegui, who founded the branch.
Although the MCC’s congregation is small, of just 35 people, Saralegui has become a leading voice for LGBT concerns within religion and she often gets invited to churches across the country to speak.
While the state finances gender reassignment surgeries, it is still falling behind in progressiveness in other areas including adoption, as same-sex couples are prevented from adopting.
The performance came as relations begin to improve between Cuba and the United States.
A strict trade embargo of Cuba spanning more than 50 years has generally prevented US artists from performing in Havana, but President Obama relaxed the measures in 2015 for the first time.