Cuba places a huge emphasis on families, and men are still highly pressured to settle down with a woman and have a family. Interestingly, a Cuban woman I spoke to told me that if she found out her husband slept with men occasionally she would be upset, but also relieved that he was not sleeping with another woman who he might leave her for. "Cuban women tend to look the other way in these situations," she explained. But if I found out he was "bicha" (bottom) then I couldn't tolerate that. One Cuban friend of mine told me he had been sleeping with a guy for over a year - and was then suddenly invited to this man's wedding. "He really wanted me to go for some reason, and was surprised when I was upset. He said he thought I knew he wasn't gay - but even after the wedding he still called occasionally and wanted to see me."
To make matters even more confusing, there has been a definite rise in metrosexual looking men in Havana - men who sleep exclusively with women, yet are groomed to perfection, wear extremely tight designer clothing, lots of jewelry and have edgy hairstyles. The Yonqui (named after El Yonqui, an incredibly popular reggaeton artist best known for his outrageous outfits and hair), has morphed into a whole sub-set of styles and variations. More recently “The Shark” (shaved sides, wide crest of hair combed towards the back and gelled into a fine point) and the Pineapple (shaved sides with long hair weaved into several braids that tie up to go in different directions) have taken off.
These cultural differences in Cuba are yet one more thing that make this country such an interesting place to visit. So while in Cuba, remember to throw away American labels such as 'straight' and 'gay' and realize in Cuba you can never judge a book by its cover.
Plan your legal trip and explore gay issues in Cuba on our World In Colors gay Cuba tour. Also, take a look at World In Color Tours gay guide to Cuba.