Which hand do you...Ah, never mind. This was inspired by an article in a local newspaper, and by the fact I never really get to talk about being left-handed. It just isn't one of those topics which pop up in everyday conversation. Although, if I can manage to work homosexuality into just about every conversation, working being left-handed into a conversation should be a piece of cake.

Left Is Right
A Gay Opinion 6/04/01
by R.A. Melos

Being June is Pride Month, and I've already come out as a gay pagan, the only thing left to do is face the final societal stigma which challenges me. I am officially coming out as a Southpaw. I am left-handed. If I didn't come right out and tell people I was left-handed, I could pass for "normal."

Now I know what you're thinking, I've heard it all my life, "why am I left-handed? Did I choose to be left-handed? Was I born left-handed? Don't I know it's just not right? Why haven't I tried to change my left-handed ways?" Oh yes, I've heard all the anti-left-handed prejudice.

I know our world is much more tolerant of those of us who are "that way." Although, back in first grade, when I was introduced to pencil and paper, my teacher was horrified to discover she had a "lefty" in her classroom. I thank her to this day for her efforts to force me to write with my right hand, because the only thing she succeeded in doing was to permanently confuse me when giving directions so I must stop and think which way is left.

Unlike many of "my people," I was not able to go either way, and am one-hundred percent left- handed. I admit, I tried to be ambidextrous. Alas, I just couldn't live a right-handed lie. No matter how easy it may be for some, I just can't swing both ways. Oh sure there are a couple of things I can do extremely well with my right hand. One of the things I do well with my right hand is operate a computer mouse.

I know how lucky I am to live in a time when the world has become so tolerant of my natural born left-handedness. While I did experience some mild closed mindedness and prejudice at an early age, due to my natural inclination for doing everything with my left hand, it was barely noticeable, and people became very accepting of my almost invisible difference. In fact, it was only when writing or playing sports when my "alternate lifestyle" became noticeable.

There was a time when I would've been tortured, beaten, bullied, abused, even put to death, for simply being the left-handed person I was born to be. And, unfortunately, there are still ignorant people out there who are anti-left-handed and express their prejudice through bigoted remarks and offhanded slurs.

For many people, it isn't enough when a majority of the world is right-handed and most of the laws and mores of society are geared for them. After all, many states allow right-hand turns at red traffic signals. Oh sure, "righties" balked when the "No Right Turn On Red" signs started to appear, because they viewed this as discriminatory, but lets not forget how much restriction the right-handed world places on those of us who choose to live our left-handed lives openly.

Over the course of time it became apparent to the right-handed world how little difference there really was between "lefties" and "righties," and with some concessions on the part of the right-handed world, such as special scissors, computer mice, writing desks, those of us who are openly left-handed have blended into society with little effort and, for the most part, are accepted.
Now, for those of you who are too stubborn, closed-minded, right-handed to recognize the parallels I'm drawing between left-handedness and homosexuality, and right-handedness and heterosexuality, this is the point where I spell it all out for you.

There was a time when religious leaders spoke out against the evils of being left-handed with the same vehemence they are today using when speaking out against homosexuality. There was a time when being left-handed made you suspect of every crime imaginable, in spite of your innocence. There was a time when society could deny you legal rights based on which hand was your dominant hand.

It has taken centuries of educating the ignorant of society, those who choose not to accept that which differs from themselves, for left-handed persons to come to a place where they are accepted as they are. And now, its time for the same consideration to be given to homosexuals. It is apparent from the lessons of the history of being left-handed, eventually homosexuality will be viewed the same way being left-handed is viewed. It's just a natural life direction, a toss of the DNA coin, as to what dominant eye color, hair color, brain control, and sexuality a person will have, and it will not be something which calls for legislation, or religious persecution, but simply another human difference.

I say that time is now, because I'm tired of dealing with the closed minded righties. It's time to accept everything as it is, without constantly trying to change things, because things are changing naturally, now when the time is, dare I say it, "right."



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