Like many young people she knew, Barbara Boch-Sojo could list a dozen reasons why she wanted to leave Cuba. But it was being beaten and jailed for the crime of sitting in a public park while transgender that finally forced her hand.
“I was sitting in a public park with my friend, and the police came in to say that we needed to move from there, because we were not a good example for other people to see. And we didn’t want to,” Boch-Sojo, a 25-year-old trans woman, recalled.
After a brief argument with the officers, the police beat her and her friend with metal batons in the middle of the park before taking them away to a police station, where they were held for four days on charges of disturbing the public order.