Phill Wilson, the president of the Black AIDS Institute, says we can take many lessons from how Cuba treats its LGBT and HIV-positive citizens.
As a youth growing up in Chicago, Phill Wilson had a Cuban fetish. The Spanish literature major romanticized the island nation, which was off-limits to U.S. travelers since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1963.
A half-century later, Wilson — now the out president of the Los Angeles-based Black AIDS Institute —would find himself en route to Havana, not just to soak up Cuban culture, but to see what the U.S. and Cuba could learn from each other in the fight against HIV and homophobia.
Wilson led a delegation of 15 gay men, many of color, to Cuba for two weeks starting on Christmas Eve; that was less than a year after President Obama helped normalize the once-strained relationship between the U.S. and communist Cuba.