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Ask Dr. Laura: Tips for Being an Effective Queer Ally

Ask Dr. Laura
Dr. Laura McGuire

Dear Dr. Laura,

I am a big ally of the queer community. I like going to gay bars and Pride celebrations. Is this offensive to queer people? Am I overthinking this?

Thank you so much for your question. You’re not overthinking; you’re practicing true consideration and mindfulness. Oftentimes, people crown themselves as allies without ever stopping to ask what matters to the group they’re supporting. Listening to what the queer community needs from you on both an individual and communal level is the most important action of all.

My thoughts are two-fold: 

• Yes, being out as an ally is vital, especially at work and in public spaces. Simply saying how much you support LGBTQ people—or even just talking about how gender isn’t binary—can have a large and lasting impact. All civil rights movements need allies, and it’s often your voices that will be heard above ours, because you will be seen as “unbiased.”

• Secondly, I do feel allies can—despite their good intentions—appropriate Pride. Showing up and appreciating our struggle and asking how you can a better ally is what is needed. “Passing” as queer when you are not is hurtful, so be clear to state your allyship, then sit back and listen and be present. Pride is not your moment to shine, but to instead stand in solidarity.

I feel that the true meaning of Pride is sometimes lost in the joviality and spirit of celebration. While we are there to celebrate, we are just as much called to hold vigil for all that we as a community have and have yet to overcome. LGBTQ people have historically and currently face imprisonment, unemployment, abuse, assault, and murder. The first Pride parade was held to remember the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City, a time of great triumph as well as fear and danger.

Whenever straight/cisgender allies come into queer spaces, it must be in a spirit of humility and support. This is not your celebration, even if your friend or family member is gay/trans/queer. This is the moment for you to pass the mic to us, exit the stage, and help shine a light on the faces and voices that are so often silenced and rendered invisible by mainstream society.

In Sex Positivity,
Dr. Laura

Dear Dr. Laura,

I am a trans woman who is interested in using a strap-on for both giving and receiving. I want to use a strap-on, but I want to cover my body parts without looking or feeling like I’m wearing another phallus.

Thanks so much for asking about a rarely discussed topic. Strapping on, whether giving or getting, is tons of fun for people of every gender. We often think of strap-ons as being for cisgender queer women, but that is definitely not the only demographic that can enjoy them. There are so many fabulous harnesses, dildos, and sets that can fit anyone’s physical type or preference. A dildo does not have to be seen as an “alternative penis.” For some folks, a penis or phallic device is exactly what they want and need, but for others it is simply a cylindrical tool for modifying their body to give or receive sexual pleasure and enjoyment.

As far as the dysphoria you’re feeling, this is natural, healthy, and completely doable (pun intended). There are a number of wonderful lines of panties that are designed to safely and comfortably accommodate a trans woman’s body. Bluestockings Boutique and Chrysalis are both retailers that offer these options. You can wear your underwear while you are on the giving end so that you don’t have to expose or interact with parts of your body that aren’t comfortable for sexy time. For a harness, I suggest one that has adjustable with sturdy straps so that you can create a firm fit. Place your harness so that the ring for the dildo sits above your genitals on your pubic bone. This may take some adjustment but is totally achievable. Remember to pick a dildo that is well made from body-safe materials, and use lots of lube. Additionally, you can also use a strap-on for your thigh or chin, such as The Accommodator Strap On or The Malibu Thigh Harness, to avoid having the dildo near your intimate body parts.

When it comes to receiving, take your time to check out the latest models. There are dildos for every shape, size, and preference imaginable. You can also use a butt plug on yourself while penetrating your partner for a full body experience. Above all, know that all of your desires are wonderful and important. It is your birthright to love and enjoy your body.

In sex positivity,
Dr. Laura

Email questions relationships or sexual health to [email protected].




Laura McGuire

Dr. Laura McGuire is certified as a sexuality educator through the American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists.
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