Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cuba's first transsexual in the spotlight

Cuba's first transsexual in the spotlight

HAVANA — The story of Cuba's first transsexual to undergo gender
reassignment surgery is coming to the big screen in a documentary
getting its premiere Wednesday on the Communist-ruled island, its
director said.

"Mavi Sussel underwent (male-to-female) gender reassignment surgery in
1988 and the documentary is a journey inside this woman, and about the
prejudices and problems she has faced, and the questioning of her
womanliness," filmmaker Marilyn Solaya said, quoted on the official news
agency AIN, ahead of the film's launch Thursday.

Solaya started her career as an actress in Cuba and appeared in the
award-winning "Fresa y Chocolate" ("Strawberry and Chocolate").

The state's sexual education office (Cenesex), led by sexologist Mariela
Castro, a daughter of President Raul Castro, has lobbied hard for issues
such as transsexualism to be confronted head-on in Cuba.

In 2008 sex change operations were legalized in Cuba, 20 years after
they were frozen following the operation on local trailblazer Mavi
Sussel. They are now free and performed by Cuban experts trained by
European specialists.

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