Adela Hernández

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Adela Hernández
Born1962 (age 61–62)
Years active2012-present
Known forFirst Transgender Person ever elected to political office in Cuba

Adela Hernández is a Cuban politician.[1] Elected to the municipal council of Caibarién in the Villa Clara Province in November 2012, she is the first transgender person ever elected to political office in Cuba.[1]

Early life[edit]

In 1962, Hernández was born in a sugar town in central Cuba.[2] Early on, Adela was interested in women’s clothing.[3] Hernández had her first sexual contact “too young,” at the age of 7 with a 21-year-old man.[3] Adela Hernández’s family disowned her.[2]

At the age of 16, her father, a distillery worker, reported her to the police.[3] She spent two years in prison in the 1980s on charges that Adela describes as “social dangerousness.”[3]

Gender Identity[edit]

When Adela Hernández entered office, she was still legally Jose Agustin Hernandez since she had not undergone sex-change surgery.[2] However, on May 20, 2013, the first transgender woman received a photo ID since 1997 with her preferred name and gender identity without undergoing sex reassignment surgery.[4] Adela Hernández expressed that she started the process of applying for a name change on her ID card.[4]


She later worked as a hospital janitor, a nurse, an electrocardiogram technician, and a drag queen.[3] She also became the head of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution on her block and a member of the neighborhood watch committee.[3]

Alberto Hernández, a farmer, nominated Adela because she was blunt and hardworking.[3] Adela won in a run-off vote of 280 to 170.[5] Hernández represented 2,000 residents of her neighborhood.[3] In 2013, the neighborhood was routinely flooded and some houses experienced no running water.[3] Adela got the authorities to provide running water at the local clinic, procured lights for the main street, and got the ration store to provide extra milk for the children.[3] She was eligible for election to the National Assembly of People's Power in 2013, but she was not picked from a list of town councilors.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Transgender Man 1st to Win Office in Cuba"[permanent dead link]. ABC News, November 16, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Rodriguez, Andrea; Press, Associated (2012-11-16). "Transgender woman 1st to win office in Cuba". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2023-11-29.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Burnett, Victoria (2013-03-16). "A Transgender Elected Official Reflects an Evolving Cuba". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-11-29.
  4. ^ a b "Small and Large Steps towards Equality for Gays in Cuba". 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2023-11-29.
  5. ^ Lesser, Amy (2017-03-28). "Queer Women History Forgot: Adela Hernández - GO Magazine". Retrieved 2023-12-01.