Thursday, October 21, 2010


As you all know, I am in love with Adam Lambert. I wanted him to win the 8th season of American Idol and even when he didn't, it really didn't matter. The first time I saw him in the auditions for that season, I had a feeling that he was going places. He was going to be a star. And I was right.

Concert screen

So when I heard that his first headlining concert, Glamnation, was making its Manila stop on 10/10/2010, I just had to see it (see pic above).

JayZ and me

Luckily, I scored VVIP tickets to the concert.


Anyway, seeing Glambert perform was a nostalgic experience for me (see pic above). I was so emotionally invested in his stint on Idol that seeing him here in Manila made me feel like a stage mother! The entire evening I felt like a mother watching her son perform, all the while grinning from ear to ear. It was fantastic. Although short as expected (there were only a dozen or so songs), Adam Lambert's concert rocked it.

With girl dressed up as geisha

I was also happy to note that his fans range from the very young to the more senior. There were a lot of high school-looking kids in the audience that night as well as mature men and women dressed very formally but singing along to "For Your Entertainment" or "What Do You Want From Me?". I loved the crowd that night and many Glambert fans came out dressed up. I had to take a pic with a girl who came dressed like a Japanese geisha (see pic above).

His concert is far from those of Madonna's or Lady Gaga's although it was good enough. It didn't reinvent the concert wheel nor did it showcase anything new in terms of technology or theatricality. It is Adam Lambert's first concert tour and it put his singing prowess in the center of it. I know that he is taking a lot of inspiration from old school Glam Rock but I just wish he would add something fresh to it aside from his voice and looks.

I have high hopes for him though but he has to make his concerts more exciting. I know in the future he will master the art and science of staging concerts down pat and I can imagine him headlining concerts as unforgettable as Madonna's Blond Ambition, Virgin, or Girlie Show tours. Those were highly conceptual and even if sometimes, Madonna's voice cracked or got hoarse, you never felt cheated because they were all a spectacular extravaganza.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

High estrogen levels impact brain: study

Studies like the one below make me frustrated about the status of transgender health in the Philippine. It does give me reason to want to keep advocating for medical practitioners to study the health care needs of those who want to affirm their gender through hormonal and surgical means.

Agence France-Presse

MONTREAL - High estrogen levels in women while they are ovulating may be directly responsible for sluggishness or problems concentrating, a Canadian study released Friday has found.

Researchers at Concordia University's Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology in Montreal linked high estrogen levels in laboratory rats to an inability to pay attention and learn.

These high levels have also been shown to interfere with women’s ability to pay attention, but the study, to be published in the journal Brain and Cognition, is the first to show "how this impediment can be due to a direct effect of the hormone on mature brain structures," said a statement.

Both humans and rodents have similar brain physiology.

"Although estrogen is known to play a significant role in learning and memory, there has been no clear consensus on its effect," said study lead author Wayne Brake.

"Our findings ... show conclusively that high estrogen levels inhibit the cognitive ability in female rodents."
Researchers repeatedly exposed rats to a tone, with no consequences.
Once they became used to it and ignored it, another stimulus was linked to the tone.

Rats with low levels of estrogen quickly learned that the tone was associated with the new stimulus whereas those with higher levels of estrogen took longer to form this memory.

"We only observed this effect in adult female rats," Brake said. "This and our other findings indicate that estrogen directly affects the brain, perhaps by interfering with brain signaling molecules."

The next step, he said, will be to determine how this occurs.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

W cannot marry

A decision on a case that I have been tensely monitoring from Manila has finally come out and sadly the outcome is most unfortunate. You will remember W, the transwoman from Hong Kong who in August filed a petition so she could marry her long-time boyfriend. Because Hong Kong law does not allow changing the sex in birth certificates, W's potential marriage to her partner would be considered same-sex marriage, which is also not allowed in Hong Kong. You can read more here.

The High Court where she lodged her petition has finally come out with a decision that disallows her from marrying. In the decision, the High Court essentially washes its hands off the responsibility to decide whether transpeople in Hong Kong can marry or not. The High Court leaves it up to the legislature to decide.

I can see shades of the infamous Silverio decision here. Mely Silverio is an accomplished transpinay who 3 years ago petitioned our Supreme Court (SC) for a change of name and sex in her birth certificate. An amended Clerical Error Law passed in 2002 which disallows changing any Filipino's sex in his or her birth certificate led to the SC to deny Mely's petition and left it to Philippine congress to decide on the matter of birth certificate sex-changes involving transsexual Filipinos.

The irony in the Hong Kong high court's decision is that W can actually marry a woman and socially it will be a same-sex marriage. And so presently, even if Hong Kong law does not allow such, it can actually happen if one spouse is transsexual. The High Court dismisses this particular reality and the bigger reality of the existence of transpeople. I think this is a good opportunity for the global transcommunity to give the Hong Kong High Court a highly deserved rude awakening.