Dear Pen Pals...

Do you have a question about drug use, addiction, mental health, relationships, sexuality, or other life issues? We've got you covered.

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Are there things you’ve always wondered about but have felt too uncomfortable to ask someone? Is there an issue you just don’t understand but would like to learn more about?

Megaphone has the answers you need.

Welcome to Pen Pals, a new feature that runs each month in our magazine.

Building on the open dialogue around drug use and addiction fostered by Megaphone’s new Speakers Bureau program, we’re launching a monthly “advice column” that aims to encourage respectful discussion about real life issues. We also want to increase interaction between the Megaphone team and our readers and customers.

So fire away! We have the awesome folks who are involved with Speakers Bureau, as well as some of our seasoned vendors, standing by to dole out their two cents’ worth.  (Take their advice at your own risk).

Oh, and a warning: Agree or disagree, rant or rave, but please be concise and respectful. No profanity. And while we are supportive of an honest exchange of ideas, racist, sexist, homophobic or other denigrating comments will not be printed.


Dear Pen Pals,

Q: My sister’s 14-year-old daughter says she is going to become a guy. She says she has always felt like a boy in a girl’s body. My sister’s freaking out and I don’t blame her. I don’t get it. How do you feel like a different gender than what you are? 

A: I cannot speak for everyone, but I am a transgendered woman and know a bit about what it means to be born and raised a different gender than what I feel inside. 

Probably ever since I was very young, maybe five or six years old, I felt that I was a girl. I identified more with playing with dolls and wanting to wear women’s clothing. 

I learned very early what was expected of me as a boy—like I’m not supposed to cry or be scared, I should wear “boy” clothes and that everything is a competition—that's some of the boyish stuff that was either flat out said to me or I learned by watching and mimicking. 

A lot of my life, up until I achieved freedom and independence, was like playing a role in a movie. I felt very lifeless and dead inside until I was able to become who I knew I was. 

So I totally understand that as a parent— or for that matter, anyone who is stricken with so much societal pressure to conform to these very rigid moulds—how hard it is to think outside of the boxes we are handed through media, church and community. 

My advice would be to love them and accept them for who they are. Acceptance and love play a pivotal role in the development of a human being. 


Sekani Dakelth (pictured above)

Coordinator, Megaphone Speakers Bureau

Send your questions to editor@, drop them off at the Megaphone office at 312 Main St. (at Cordova), or drop us a line on Twitter: @MegaphoneMag

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