Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dr. Nick Gorton discusses the DSM

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Nick Gorton was born in 1970. He graduated NCSSM in 1988, NCSU in 1991, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in 1998. He completed his residency and chief residency in emergency medicine at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, NY in 2002, and became a Diplomate of the American College of Emergency Physicians in 2003.

He is an out gay transsexual man, and lives with his partner, Dan Gonsalves, in Davis, CA. In addition to his day job in the ER, he volunteers with Lyon-Martin Women's Health Services and has clinic there every Wednesday with a special focus on providing care for transgender people. He also provides pro bono medical consulting for a number of transgender-rights organizations - most notably the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.

India: Their space in the cyberworld

Leisure A growing army of Tamil bloggers has ensured that regional language users have their say on the Web, writes Subha J Rao

Photos: K. Ananthan

A new world beckons Tamil blogs

Demure-looking Vidya, a transgender, has had a tough life. Despite being a postgraduate, she ended up begging on trains and public places to keep herself going. All this, before a blog changed her life. Balabharathi, an acquaintance who regularly blo gged in Tamil, helped her post her first message a year ago.

Those lines helped her break free of the shackles that bound her. And, in the process, aided hundreds of Tamil bloggers to open their minds to the plight of transgenders.

Talking to the world

Vidya knew English, but not enough to express herself. And, till Tamil blogs happened, she did not know how to tell the world stories about people like her.

The very vocal Balabharathi, who had studied till Class X, has an opinion on every issue but cannot write fluently in English. “But, I need to express myself. My Tamil is good. Should I not be given an opportunity to let the world know what I think?” This, coupled with the relative ease with which it is possible to type in Tamil, is driving a growing number of people, age no bar, to Tamil blogs. “That’s true,” agrees S. Muguntharaj, creator of eKalappai, one of the free softwares that makes typing in Tamil a breeze.

The opportunity to write in Tamil helps many people fulfil their desire to express themselves in their mother tongue. ‘Osai’ Chella, motivator and long-time blogger, is a regular in English blogs. A year ago, he started writing in Tamil ( “Since it is my mother tongue, the feelings are more genuine. And, this is a wonderful opportunity to write Tamil in day-to-day life. It vastly improves vocabulary and spellings. And, the responses are often moving.” Recently, he launched his audio blog “Audio lends a personal touch. Moreover, a lot of NRI children face difficulty reading Tamil texts. And, with a speaker or amplifier, the whole family can hear the blog,” he remarks.

For Vidya, blogs provide the space she so badly craves for in the real world. “This is my platform. I have learnt a lot here. Like people write about politics and cinema, I write about the third gender,” she says. In her space,, she has conducted campaigns against the wrong portrayal of transgenders in films. And, thanks to the courage she derived from her writings, Vidya, who has undergone a sex change surgery, moved the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court to change her name and gender. . . .