This month Adela made history by becoming the first known transgender person to hold public office in Cuba, winning rhw election as a delegate to the municipal government of Caibarien in the central province of Villa Clara.
Hernandez won office in early November by taking a runoff vote 280-170. Her position is the equivalent of a city councilor, and her election makes her eligible to be selected as a representative to Parliament in early 2013.
In a country where gays were persecuted for decades and sent to grueling work camps in the countryside, Hernandez, 48, hailed her election as yet another milestone in a gradual shift away from macho attitudes in the years since Fidel Castro himself expressed regret over the treatment of people perceived to be different.
‘‘As time evolves, homophobic people — although they will always exist — are the minority,’’ Hernandez said by phone from her hometown.