TransHabana is a photo essay that belongs to the project THE ISLAND.
THE ISLAND is a photographic project with an anthropological and sociological focus that aims to deeply analyse Cuban society and its complexity, which I have been working on since 2009. The project deals with issues of Cuban society that are unknown, or have been little treated in order to understand this country of which only superficial glances have been given. It is a long term projects (25 years), divided into chapters.
TransHabana takes us into the daily lives of transvestites and transsexuals in Cuba.
Being a trans person in Cuba supposed to be a person at risk of social exclusion. The first obstacle that they find it is the rejection of the family, which leads to early school leaving, entering a dangerous cycle of marginalization. Upon leaving the family circle without suitable training are doomed to prostitution as the only means of subsistence. But this is not the only problem they have to deal with trans people. The construction of a new gender identity is a challenge. Moving from a gender identity, in which you have raised, to a different one, involves a long and tedious process, both physical and psychological transformation. In most cases, the trans establish relationships of submission with their male partners, trying to take the traditional female role, in some cases leading them to accept high levels of abuse, psychological and sometimes physical, to be recognized as the female member of the relationship.
Rising HIV cases within the trans community is one of the problems facing these people. Some unsafe sexual practices in prostitution and complicated family relationships within a very inbred community, promote the increase of sexually transmitted disease (STDs).