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“Before Night Falls” Series Captures Cuba’s Hidden Queer Scene

During a trip to Cuba in January, photographer David Tesinsky gravitated toward a transgender woman named Malu who managed to become a celebrity of sorts by living freely in stark contrast to the nation’s “low profile” queer community.

The visual artist also turned his lens on Natasha and Alina, self-identified gay men who transform into drag performers in Havana nightclubs after dark, for his “Before Night Falls” series.

READ: ‘Moonlight’s Jharrel Jerome Talks About Playing Queer As A Straight Latino

BEFORE NIGHT FALLS. Photo story about a person who is a boy that sells the fruits and vegetables on a street in a daytime and changes to a charming lady and the queen of the stage in the night. Havana and Sancti Spiritus. #havana #cuba #unisex #transvestite #life #portrait #people #onion #photojournalism #photodocumentary #documentary #transformer #beforenightfalls #picoftheday #photoofday #instadaily #cnn #nytimes #manorwoman

A post shared by David Tesinsky (@tesinskydavid) on

“I’m inspired by contrast,” Tesinsky told The Huffington Post. “That somebody could just be selling fruits and vegetables during the day for a living, and then can turn into a queen of the evening on stage at night.”

Discover how “Before Night Falls” expands the conversation on gender and identity in a country with a history of neglecting its LGBTQ citizens here.

READ: Raúl Castro’s Daughter Is Leading A New LGBT Uprising In Cuba

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