Trans fitness trainer Chris Bruce heads west

Chris Tina Bruce, a transgender fitness trainer who made a huge splash when she was profiled by Dallas Voice last year, has moved to San Diego.

Contacted as she was driving halfway across the country to her new home last week, Bruce told Instant Tea she fell in love with San Diego during a recent visit.

“I was there two days, and it was the first place since I moved to Dallas 20 years ago where I was like, I would leave Dallas for this,” she said. “Life’s always a transition.”

Bruce said she’ll miss Dallas and while people here were generally tolerant of her gender identity, in San Diego she’s found love and acceptance. She said both the transgender and fitness communities are bigger there, which bodes well for her business, Discover Health and Fitness.

“Everybody there, they love the uniqueness and the difference of me. In Dallas, there were a few people,” Bruce said. “[Dallas is] a great place, but if you’re a little different, they tolerate you — I never had any major issues — but they don’t really seem to embrace you.”

Although she only officially moved last week, Bruce has already been profiled by both Gay San Diego and the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.

—  John Wright

Will poppers make you go blind?

The San Diego Gay & Lesbian News points us to a letter to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, in which four doctors from France suggest that “poppers,” slang for various alkyl nitrites inhaled for recreational purposes, may cause vision problems. The doctors saw four patients within a few months who had prolonged visual loss shortly after inhaling poppers, sometimes used by gay men to enhance sexual pleasure. Here’s part of what the French doctors wrote:

To our knowledge, over the past 10 years, there have been only two case reports of visual loss after inhalation of poppers, and the anatomical basis of this injury remains elusive. Thus, vision loss after intake of poppers is considered to be a rare event, although poppers-induced phosphenes are reported in Internet forums. The reason for the apparent outbreak of popper toxicity that we report here remains to be determined. It may have been due to an increased use of poppers in the population, to the availability of more powerful popper brands, or to improvements in retinal imaging technologies.

—  John Wright

Stay of Prop 8 ruling prompts protests on a day when gay marriages would have resumed

Nine protesters were arrested Thursday morning following a sit-in at the San Diego County Clerk’s Office, where a gay couple requested a marriage license. The couple had scheduled their appointment prior to a federal appeals court’s decision earlier this week to put same-sex marriages on hold until at least December. Sheriff’s deputies eventually showed up in full riot gear (shown above) to arrest the nine protesters, who are members of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality. More pics from the protest can be found here. According to the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, supporters have called an emergency rally for 5 p.m. outside the jail to protest the arrests and demand the activists’ immediate release.

Meanwhile, up the road in West Hollywood, a rally is planned for 6 p.m. Thursday night at Santa Monica Blvd. and San Vicente Blvd. From the Facebook event page:

Although Judge Walker’s decision was a victory for Prop 8 opponents, the fight is NOT over. Do not let that victorious feeling make you complacent! Let it be known that we will remain vigilant and active until marriage equality is restored in California!

UPDATE: Here’s some video of the San Diego protest:

—  John Wright

South Korean research shores up arguments that sexual orientation is genetic, as scientists create lesbian mice

Research conducted by Professor Chankyu Park and his team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejon, South Korea, seems to once again shore up the argument that sexual orientation is genetic in nature, and not a matter of choice.

According to a story in the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, after Professor Park and his team disabled a specific gene is certain female mice, those mice then refused to mate with male mice and instead insisted on trying to mate with other females. The gene in question was the “fucose mutarotase” gene — abbreviated as FucM. Considering the results, perhaps they should call it the Won’t FucM Gene.

Pardon me. I turned into a 12-year-old there for a second. Anyway. Back to science.

Park explained that the FucM gene influences the levels of hormones that the brain is exposed to, and that disabling this gene simply caused the altered female mice to behave as if they were male and develop a sexual attraction to other females. He and his team also noted that hormones don’t affect humans the same way they do mice, so they aren’t sure whether the study has any relevance when it comes to human sexuality.

Park did say he would like to study whether an enzyme produced by the FucM gene influences sexuality. But he acknowledged it may not be that easy to find human volunteers. (I guess the mice don’t really get to refuse to participate.)

Park’s study was published in BMC Genetics journal.

—  admin