Say what you will about Fidel Castro – we’ve been in is company, and we say: he talks for too long – and his Communist Cuba, but he’s got one progressive offering even the U.S. can’t claim: a state-sponsored soap opera with prominent gay characters. In La Cara Oculta de la Luna (The Dark Side of the Moon), feelings of attraction between men and dealing with the HIV crisis are all fair game and have become crucial to the show’s storylines.
In a recent episode of ”La Cara Oculta de la Luna,” (“The Dark Side of the Moon”), Yasel, who is married and the father of a little girl, is as surprised as viewers are to discover he is physically attracted to another man named Mario.
The attraction leads to a sexual relationship and Yasel’s subsequent contraction of the HIV virus that causes AIDS.
Keep in mind, Cuban society is in line with the rest of Latin American society: machismo rules, and feminine men are outcasts. So to see gays on Cuban TV is nothing short of revolutionary. But there will always by cynics. Given the AIDS storyline, some argue the show simply perpetuates the stereotype that AIDS is the punishment gay men deserve.