PHOTOS: Cuba’s Vibrant Transgender Community Revealed

Mariette Pathy Allen has been photographing the trans community for over 30 years.

“For the past 35 years, I have been involved with the transgender community as a photographer, writer, advocate, ally, and friend,” Allen said in an email to Queerty. “My focus remains the same as when I started: the ‘de-freakification’ of gender variant people.”

Her new book TransCuba captures the everyday lives of trans people living in Cuba. Through a series of photographs, interviews, and essays, Allen’s book ultimately offers a message of hope, showing the growing visibility and acceptance of the trans community in a country whose government is transitioning into a more relaxed model of communism under Raúl Castro.

It seems to me that the changes being made by the Cuban government are most obvious when we look at the people who, by their nature, need to transition from their birth gender,” Allen says. “I see transgender Cubans as a metaphor for Cuba itself; people living between genders in a country moving between doctrines.”

Check out Allen’s work below. And see more of her photography on her website.

Lady and Laura, at the Las Vegas Club, Havana

Maulu with her parents and sister, in front of their home, Cienfuegos

Charito at home with one-week old piglet, Camaguey

Amanda at home wearing Eiffel Tower T-shirt, Havana

Wendy at home, Havana

Rapunzel, 15 years old, Havana

Laura at home, Havana

Nomi and Miguel, partners, watching television at Malu’s apartment

Alsola, Santiago de Cuba

Miguel at a barber shop, Havana

Miguel observing Amanda and Henry, at Malu’s apartment, Havana

Paloma with her boyfriend at Mi Cayito beach, near Havana

Performer, backstage at the National Theater

Natalie, with two self-portraits, Havana

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #cuba #mariettepathyallen #photography stories and more


  • Mezaien

    VIVA Cuba, go for it girls show the world you can do without the D.E.K.C.U.F UP USA. Don`t let the US $$$$ chmuks to tell you what to do.

  • Billy Budd

    These boy/girls are fine, but Cuba is an aberration.

  • TerrenM

    Mmmmm …. Want me some Miguel and his 2 friends in the barber shop.

  • DarkZephyr

    @Mezaien: Wow, not only are you an ethnocentric r*cist but an elitist xenophobe as well, eh? How about you take a long walk off a short dock into the nearest lake? You really suck as a gay brother, you know that? Seems like you would rather plant a knife in our backs than HAVE our backs. But that’s fine. You have no power here. Begone before somebody drops a house on you like they did your sister.

  • DarkZephyr

    @fagburn: And you fagburn are so useless to humanity.

  • jonjct

    look at the sh*tholes these people live in. the poverty is excruciating there.

  • Elektra1138

    @DarkZephyr: You’re doing a great service to humanity, posting verbal abuse on a Gay-specific “news” website. Keep up the good work.

  • Elektra1138

    @fagburn: “So stupid” – I think you mean: You Americans are mentally-challenged. ;)

  • Elektra1138

    The 3rd from the bottom clearly has mommy issues. Bless, the Poor soul.

  • toberlin

    Rapunzel, I love your Name and your Outfit…

  • DarkZephyr

    @Elektra1138: I think calling out r*cism (that you seem to be just fine with) is pretty useful actually so thanks for the acknowledgement of my fine work. ;)

  • Lefty

    True beauty! Wonderful.

  • Lefty

    @jonjct: Financial hardship isn’t the only ‘poverty’, you know. Look around you.

Comments are closed.