poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Sex Change Can Cause Headache
By Karla Gale

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - New research involving male-to-female transsexuals lends further credence to the theory that sex hormones are involved in migraine generation, physicians report in the medical journal Neurology.

"We know that migraine is more frequent in women than in men," co-investigator Dr. Tamara Pringsheim told Reuters Health, "so a lot of research goes into what estrogen does to the brain."

A new way to examine this issue, she added, is to look at a population of genetic males who take antiandrogens and estrogen to induce female sex characteristics.

Pringsheim, at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Louis Gooren, at Free University Amsterdam, distributed questionnaires regarding headache symptoms and frequency to 50 transsexuals who had recently undergone sex reassignment surgery, all of whom were taking hormonal therapy.


"Back to being not quite equal"
By Roger Dyer and Elizabeth Schulte

IN A 5-2 decision on August 12, the California Supreme Court struck down San Francisco's same-sex marriages, declaring that some 4,000 weddings between gays and lesbians performed earlier this year are null and void. The decision comes six months after San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that the city would begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

In an enthusiastic scene recalling the civil rights movement of the 1960s, thousands flooded the San Francisco’s City Hall to get their licenses. But in its decision this month, the court ruled that Newsom had overstepped his bounds in defying state law, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
By ruling on such narrow grounds, the court ducked the larger issue of determining whether such a fundamentally discriminatory law is unconstitutional to begin with. That will be decided by the high court at a later date, after more lawsuits make their way through lower courts.

For now, gay and lesbian couples are left in limbo, wondering what will happen to benefits such as parental rights, family insurance discounts and medical coverage. "I know they're not making a judgment on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, but they are saying there are no same-sex marriages," said 24-year-old Karen Carrington, who married her partner six months ago. To me, that meant, okay, I'm back to being half a person, not quite a citizen, not quite an American."


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