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Pictures | Mon May 8, 2017 | 5:20pm BST

Cuba hosts first transgender Mass

Trans Baptist reverend Allyson Robinson from the U.S. (L), trans pastors Cindy Bourgeois from Canada (2nd L) and Alexya Salvador from Brazil (2nd R) and lesbian pastor Elaine Saralegui sing during a mass in Matanzas, Cuba, May 5, 2017. For decades belonging to a religion and being anything but heterosexual was stigmatized in Communist-ruled, macho Cuba, making the Mass held by three transgender pastors in the western Cuban city of Matanzas all the more groundbreaking.   REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Trans Baptist reverend Allyson Robinson from the U.S. (L), trans pastors Cindy Bourgeois from Canada (2nd L) and Alexya Salvador from Brazil (2nd R) and lesbian pastor Elaine Saralegui sing during a mass in Matanzas, Cuba, May 5, 2017. For decades...more

Trans Baptist reverend Allyson Robinson from the U.S. (L), trans pastors Cindy Bourgeois from Canada (2nd L) and Alexya Salvador from Brazil (2nd R) and lesbian pastor Elaine Saralegui sing during a mass in Matanzas, Cuba, May 5, 2017. For decades belonging to a religion and being anything but heterosexual was stigmatized in Communist-ruled, macho Cuba, making the Mass held by three transgender pastors in the western Cuban city of Matanzas all the more groundbreaking. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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People embrace each other during a mass in a church in Matanzas. Friday was the first time a trans pastor held a Holy Communion in Cuba, highlighting how much the island nation has changed since both religious believers and homosexuals went to "correctional" labor camps in the early years after the 1959 revolution.  REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

People embrace each other during a mass in a church in Matanzas. Friday was the first time a trans pastor held a Holy Communion in Cuba, highlighting how much the island nation has changed since both religious believers and homosexuals went to...more

People embrace each other during a mass in a church in Matanzas. Friday was the first time a trans pastor held a Holy Communion in Cuba, highlighting how much the island nation has changed since both religious believers and homosexuals went to "correctional" labor camps in the early years after the 1959 revolution. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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Rainbow flags decorated the chapel, while the pastors, who had flown in from Brazil, Canada and the United States, wore stoles in the trans hues of light blue, pink and white and the congregation swayed to Caribbean beats. 
 REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Rainbow flags decorated the chapel, while the pastors, who had flown in from Brazil, Canada and the United States, wore stoles in the trans hues of light blue, pink and white and the congregation swayed to Caribbean beats. REUTERS/Alexandre...more

Rainbow flags decorated the chapel, while the pastors, who had flown in from Brazil, Canada and the United States, wore stoles in the trans hues of light blue, pink and white and the congregation swayed to Caribbean beats. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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"Tonight has been a night of celebration of equality between all people, marking a new era for Cuba," said Alexya Salvador (L), a Brazilian trans pastor, born Alexander, wearing a black dress with a white clerical collar and lacy sleeves she made herself. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

"Tonight has been a night of celebration of equality between all people, marking a new era for Cuba," said Alexya Salvador (L), a Brazilian trans pastor, born Alexander, wearing a black dress with a white clerical collar and lacy sleeves she made...more

"Tonight has been a night of celebration of equality between all people, marking a new era for Cuba," said Alexya Salvador (L), a Brazilian trans pastor, born Alexander, wearing a black dress with a white clerical collar and lacy sleeves she made herself. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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"God's love is radically inclusive," said Salvador. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

"God's love is radically inclusive," said Salvador. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

"God's love is radically inclusive," said Salvador. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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Niurca Perez (L), 52, who uses the artistic name Jean Carlos, chats backstage before performing at a trans party in Matanzas. The Mass was the highlight of a three-day conference on transsexuality and theology organized by the Matanzas-based Cuban branch of the international Metropolitan Community Church.   REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Niurca Perez (L), 52, who uses the artistic name Jean Carlos, chats backstage before performing at a trans party in Matanzas. The Mass was the highlight of a three-day conference on transsexuality and theology organized by the Matanzas-based Cuban...more

Niurca Perez (L), 52, who uses the artistic name Jean Carlos, chats backstage before performing at a trans party in Matanzas. The Mass was the highlight of a three-day conference on transsexuality and theology organized by the Matanzas-based Cuban branch of the international Metropolitan Community Church. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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Trans Andy Cuadrado, 21, stands at the door of a chapel after a mass in Matanzas. The conference took place ahead of the 10th anniversary, next weekend, of Cuba celebrating the global day against homophobia, and included a raucous "transformist" party as well as a variety of panels on theology and personal experiences.  REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Trans Andy Cuadrado, 21, stands at the door of a chapel after a mass in Matanzas. The conference took place ahead of the 10th anniversary, next weekend, of Cuba celebrating the global day against homophobia, and included a raucous "transformist"...more

Trans Andy Cuadrado, 21, stands at the door of a chapel after a mass in Matanzas. The conference took place ahead of the 10th anniversary, next weekend, of Cuba celebrating the global day against homophobia, and included a raucous "transformist" party as well as a variety of panels on theology and personal experiences. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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A trans performer who goes by the artistic name Irina Cata, 37, prepares at the backstage of a theatre before performing during a trans party in Matanzas. The trans pastors said they were impressed by Cuba's progressiveness in some respects, for example providing state-financed sex reassignment. Thought the country was clearly lagging the rest of the Americas in other ways, they said.   REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

A trans performer who goes by the artistic name Irina Cata, 37, prepares at the backstage of a theatre before performing during a trans party in Matanzas. The trans pastors said they were impressed by Cuba's progressiveness in some respects, for...more

A trans performer who goes by the artistic name Irina Cata, 37, prepares at the backstage of a theatre before performing during a trans party in Matanzas. The trans pastors said they were impressed by Cuba's progressiveness in some respects, for example providing state-financed sex reassignment. Thought the country was clearly lagging the rest of the Americas in other ways, they said. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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An artist who goes by the artistic name Maya Queen, 30, performs during a trans party at a theatre in Matanzas. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

An artist who goes by the artistic name Maya Queen, 30, performs during a trans party at a theatre in Matanzas. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

An artist who goes by the artistic name Maya Queen, 30, performs during a trans party at a theatre in Matanzas. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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Alexya Salvador, a Brazilian trans pastor, smokes a cigarette before a mass in Matanzas. In one panel at the conference, Salvador argued God was transgender, given the Holy Trinity was made up of the Holy Spirit, which she views as feminine, the Father and the Son.  REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Alexya Salvador, a Brazilian trans pastor, smokes a cigarette before a mass in Matanzas. In one panel at the conference, Salvador argued God was transgender, given the Holy Trinity was made up of the Holy Spirit, which she views as feminine, the...more

Alexya Salvador, a Brazilian trans pastor, smokes a cigarette before a mass in Matanzas. In one panel at the conference, Salvador argued God was transgender, given the Holy Trinity was made up of the Holy Spirit, which she views as feminine, the Father and the Son. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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