!! OMG, good advice: Your Friend Dorothy tackles tax time, pleasure from a distance, and good allyship !!

Your Friend, Dorothy

Illustration by Eric Kostiuk Williams

Is there anything sexier than financial literacy? Okay, probably, but it’s a good life skill, and Your Friend, Dorothy is here to make those April deadlines (thankfully extended) less miserable.

She also provides inspiration for getting your long-distance pleasure motors running and shares her views on what it means to be a good ally to trans folks (supported by a quick ancient Roman history lesson).

Read Dorothy’s advice after the jump, and scroll to the bottom to submit your own question!

Dear Dorothy,

I know it’s tax time but I’ve never done taxes before and I’m not really sure where to start. A little help? I live with my parents but they’re not good at this stuff either.

Check Please

Dear Check Please,

Congratulations on taking the biggest and single most important step in solving any problem — asking for help! I agree, taxes are HELLA confusing and far more complicated than they need to be, particularly for the great majority of people, including young people like yourself.

What’s more, many people don’t realize that filing taxes can actually GET YOU IN THE DOOR to be eligible for benefits that the government provides. So in a time when governments are providing COVID-specific employment supports and other types of situationally unique benefits, it is a GREAT idea to get filing. For instance, dear American readers, did you know that even if you don’t have a permanent address, the USA government can send your stimulus money to a post office on a debit card? True story!

So where to start? Government websites can be a great place to get you going, and with all complicated tasks, I suggest that you just go as far as you can see, and then maybe you’ll be able to see a little bit further. It’s like walking in the dark woods with a flashlight. Also, maybe use the buddy system and enlist a friend to work with so you can help each other through the process. A little emotional support can get you through that soul-sucking wait when you call the help-line and are repeatedly told that your call is important.

Keep your eye out for local non-profits that run tax filing clinics as well. They know that many people don’t file because they don’t realize it’s in their interest to do so. Trying to get people filing is actually an income support program.

Lastly, a lot of the big pop-up tax outfits offer promotions around this time to encourage you to use their services file, including a “no money down” approach that will take their fee from your return money. With government stimulus being common this season, it might not be a bad idea to just drop in and see if they have a low or no-cost option to help get you going.

Take heart, my lost, little Gen Zer, you can do this. And you will probably be richer for it.

Dorothy signature

Dear Dorothy,

I read your column last month about remote sex toys and my long-distance bf and I got some. They’re interesting and very cool in theory but we’re looking for thoughts about how to actually get going and incorporate them into our remote play time. Any ideas?

Physical Limits Are So 20th Century

Dear PLAS20C,

Glad you’ve been able to find some joy in teledildonics! That’s the offish umbrella term for remote sex toys btw — don’t you just love it! Say it again! Tele-dil-DON-ics! And I hear you, the idea is very cool but it takes some work to really feel comfortable with it, and a remote partner, especially if your relationship is new.

You might find that the first hurdle of downloading the app and getting your toys to connect remotely can be a relationship-testing challenge, never mind a total buzz kill. For this reason, I’d suggest setting aside some additional, more platonic time to practice getting the technology humming for you. Build in time to stop for snacks and chat breaks if you feel tech challenged and stay away from party favours and alcohol here – you need to focus!

Once you’re comfortable getting things up and running, maybe consider the best interface for you to connect? Controlling the different toy settings can be a meaningful way to interact but additional communication will bring the experience alive. Do you like to text? Or prefer a video chat? Maybe the phone is a nice option if you’re more of an audiophile? Or share a screen and watch your favorite porn together.

Find some way to interact so you’re not just looking at a piece of silicon moving around. And if you’re at a loss for words, here’s a few to get you started: “Do you like that?’ “How does this feel?” Start simple and build.

Once you’re comfortable with this technology, the sky is really the limit! Ever considered using the food/teledildonics app Grubuzz? The basic idea is that the app syncs with your food delivery system so that the vibes get strong as your food gets closer. Talk about a chance to fill all of those hungry holes!!! And what better way to tell your BF you love him from across the miles?

Dorothy signature

Dear Dorothy,

At work someone just came out as transgender. This is so new to me. It feels like every time I turn around there’s a new trans person coming out. I want to be supportive but this is way out of my comfort zone. What do I do?

An Aspiring Ally

Dear AAA,

I’m so glad you asked! And you’re not alone in feeling unsure about how to react. The gender binary is a tool of the patriarchy and so there are people intent on policing it ev-VU-rywhere! You can start JUST by not being one of them!

Do you know this person well enough to ask them for a coffee (virtual or otherwise)? If so, go for it! You don’t even have to talk about gender or identity, just be a couple of friends hanging out. No doubt this may be a challenging time for them and they might appreciate some nice, normal interactions.

If you don’t know them personally, there are still lots of ways to show your support. For instance, have you considered adding your pronouns (he/him, for instance) to materials that identify you, like your email signature or your name on video calls? Normalizing this practice in your organization can go a long way in making transgender people feel safe in doing it themselves.

It’s important to remember that gender diverse people have existed in all cultures over time. So while we might be entering a moment where people are starting to feel safe breaking the silence and talking about it more, you can practice good allying by tell everyone you know that this is nothing new.

See what I did there by making “ally” a verb? It’s an action! Also, it’s better to have other people recognize you as an ally, rather than just declaring yourself one. Tell folks the story of Elagabaldus, the Emperor of Rome from 218-222AD:

Born male in 203AD, Emperor Antoninus (Elagabaldus’ official name) was known for inspiring loyalty in soldiers with her (yes, the Emperor preferred to be called a lady) dancing in luxurious robes and makeup. In a controversial move, she divorced her wife by arranged marriage and instead hooked up with Aquilia Severa, a Vestal Virgin.

Some historians assert that Elagabaldus appointed ministers based on the size of their penises. I wonder, though, if that could also just be part of the hyper-sexualization of queer people by boring straights. Emperor Antoninus also sought gender confirmation surgery (yes, that was a thing back then, too).

It brings me no joy to tell you that Elagabaldus was murdered (alongside her mother) when a plot to remove her increasingly popular successor went sour. At least that Kween went down fighting.

Thanks again for your question AAA. Get out there and ally!

Dorothy signature

Got a burning question, or just something burning down there? Get answers from Your Friend, Dorothy, the OMG.BLOG in-house advice columnist.

Receive thoughtful, compassionate advice from your friendly neighborhood den mother who’s been there, done that, fucked it, smoked it and lost her T-shirt on the dance floor. She’s po-mo, poly, pan and a social compass to help you land safely as you soar.

Email your questions to [email protected], message Dorothy on Mastodon at @[email protected], or DM @omgblog Instagram.

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