This book would not have been possible without the generosity and kind-
heartedness of the friends, collaborators, and contacts I grew to know
during my time in Havana. They shared their lives and their stories with
me, introduced me to their families and friends, fed me, took care of
me when I was sick, and showed me the power of lasting friendship.
Cuban scholars generously oﬀ ered their time and insights, in particular
Alberto Roque Guerra, Jorge Pérez at the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine
Institute, Victor Fowler at the International Film School, and ﬁ lm profes-
sor Gustavo Arcos. For endless conversations about all things queer and
historical in Cuba, I am especially thankful to my colleague, friend, and
partner in crime, historian Abel Sierra Madero.
At Harvard University, I would like to thank Mary Steedly who taught
me, in the classroom and beyond, the power of ethnographic storytelling.
Jorge Domínguez taught me nearly everything I knew about Cuba before
I landed in Havana. His disciplined and thoughtful approach to Cuban
studies is something to which I continually aspire. Lucien Taylor believed
in my abilities when I had little to show for myself and taught me to see
the world through a new and more fascinating lens. His encouragement,
behind the camera and in life, has been an enduring gift. A number of indi-
viduals also provided their insights during various stages of my research:
Arachu Castro, Byron Good, Susan Eckstein, Brad Epps, Michael Herzfeld,
J. Lorand Matory, Anna Tsing, Kay Warren, and Kath Weston. Graduate
students at Harvard engaged in ongoing discussions that contributed to