Canada

I feel like my body is wrong, but my parents say my feelings are wrong.

LondonIsABurningFire asks:

I'm a girl, but I've always felt like I'm in the wrong body. Every time I picture myself, I see a boy. I want to get a sex change, but I know how much it can cost. My parents are also Catholic, and are already angry about me not being religious, and every time I try to bring up the subject, they get angry and tell me that I was "made a girl", so I should only feel like one, and that everything else I feel is wrong. But my friends are very supportive, and I even have a guy friend who wants to be a girl. Who do I listen to?

Stephen, We Need to Talk

To: Stephen Harper (a.k.a. the Prime Minister of Canada, a.k.a. That Guy With the Questionable Judgment)
From: Me (a.k.a. A Concerned Citizen, a.k.a. Someone Who Thinks You're a Bit of a Twit)

Dear Stephen,

Spotlight on Scarleteen: Karyn

If you've ever come to the Scarleteen message boards in a jam or just happen to like reading up on expert sex ed advice, then chances are you already know Karyn a.k.a. Karybu from her compassionate, knowledgeable, and very personalized responses in Ask Scarleteen or Emergencies and Crises. In fact, since 2004, Karyn has been lending her ear and dolling out advice at Scarleteen. Since then, Karyn has earned her college degree, turned her volunteer work here into an awesome career and moved halfway across the world for love, but she still finds time to return to her beloved online home-away-from-home, Scarleteen.

As caring and compassionate as Karyn is, there's so much more to this multifaceted "child of the universe", as she once so fittingly called her personal thread on the boards. To continue a theme of alliteration, some other choice "c" words that come to mind to describe Karyn include Canadian, coffee-loving, committed, curious, and creative.

A Canadian citizen who currently calls Queensland, Australia home, Karyn was born in Ottawa but grew up mostly in Minnesota, then headed to British Columbia for university, and currently resides in Queensland, Australia. Committed to those near and dear to her, whether close or afar, Karyn makes sure to keep up with her great friends and supportive family in Canada despite the 17 hour time difference!

Karyn has a natural curiosity and genuine thirst for knowledge, be it reading everything she can get her hands on or planning on earning her PhD and becoming a professor one day.

Speaking of thirst, Karyn is quite the coffee-connoisseur, so much, in fact, that her board username was inspired by one popular coffee chain.

As for names, creative could be her middle name. Through mediums such as dance and photography, Karyn likes to express herself through visual, kinestitic, and verbal mediums. While I have not yet met her in person, I have vouch for Karyn's eye for photos as well as her sparkling eyes and bright smile which so clearly display her authentic affability.

In addition to her valuable responses in the expert areas of the board, Karyn has started many neat discussion topics, such as one on the Pros and Cons of Universal Health Care, another on dealing with mental illness, and this one that encourages users to share the sweet, simple things in their lives. Karyn also posted her first blog entry last week, a first of a series on her experiences with the Implanon birth control device.

Without any further ado, we proudly present to you Karyn's interview!

Kate Greenaway is a Real Pro

Kate Greenaway is the Canadian director of Medical Students for Choice, a group of 7000 medical students across the US and Canada who are working towards improving school curriculums to include reproductive health training, especially abortion training.