(Sex) Changes Come to Cuba

Communist country to pay for sex change operations

The long nightmare is over in Cuba, and we're not talking about that whole embargo thing. After several years of controversy and dispute, sex changes will be permitted on the Communist island.

Approximately 30 Cubans are already on the waiting list to get the procedure performed, according to havanatimes.org. And because Cuba has a universal health care system, hes can become shes and vice versa, all on the government's dime.

The announcement was made yesterday by Mariela Castro, niece of Fidel and daughter of Raul, who serves as the director of the National Sex Education Center.

Though a successful sex-change operation was performed in Cuba in 1988, the procedure has long been banned. Last year the Health Ministry authorized the operations, but none have been performed. It's unclear when the operations will begin.

Mariela Castro, described as a sexologist and gay-rights advocate, also said she backs efforts to allow lesbians to be artificially inseminated, a procedure currently barred in Cuba.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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