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Left: A Coming-Out Story

The following is a speech I am preparing in lieu of my recent self-outing. My hopes are that it will spark greater understanding and emancipation among those like me that have suffered for so long….

For many of you in front of me, it is obvious that you are people of the right. But I stand before you clearly as a man of the left—the left hand. Yes, I’m left-handed. I’m sure all of you noticed by now my condition, a condition that will no longer be hid in the closet. Recently, I came out about my lefthandedness. I’m sure people noticed, especially the narrow-minded, judgmental people—those that are possessed with leftphobia. The alt-righthanders continue to oppress people like me by making sure that notebooks continue to have the spiral down the left spine which makes it harder for people like me to write, baseball gloves that are only for the left hand, and right-hand-only golf clubs. American imperialism is particularly discriminatory against people like me by always insisting that we drive on the right.

Therefore, I am starting the Left Omni Organized Nation, or LOON an inclusive community made up of only left-handed people. The legal arm of LOON will challenge companies to make inclusive products that give people like me that warm, fuzzy-sock feeling that I get when I watch puppy videos that we all love and appreciate. We will start by lobbying that company that makes leather-legal-pad folders to make them so that they don’t just open from the right to the left, but they also open from the left to the right. When we approached one company about creating this more inclusive product, they said “you can’t do that with a leather product; it either has to open from one side to the other. Besides, if you want it to open from the left to the right, why don’t you just turn it upside down”? Because of this non-inclusive statement, we are bringing a five-million-dollar lawsuit for not only their discriminatory products, but also for their hateful remarks.

Being Left-Handed in a Right-Handed World

We have also begun the Left Only Statues Initiative (or “SOSI”). Have you noticed that with most statue monuments the right arm tends to be more prominent? If you haven’t noticed, that just shows how insensitive you really are. Left-handers should not have to be reminded that they are different every time they look at a statue or some other historical artifact. Of course, many people oppose this, but our media response team is working to reeducate people on their insensitivity and their exclusivity and other “ivities” that they might possess. We are also trying to get all of the Rocky films banned from Netflix because Sly Stallone only pretended to be a south paw to exploit the condition for money, so we want all Rocky films banned except Rocky V because it doesn’t matter: no one watches it. And while the film does have its redemptive characters like Mickey who encourage Rocky to resume his southpaw stance, the film is also a bad example to left children who might be ready to come out because Rocky is ambivalent about leftism.

Coming Out Left-Handed

Still another initiative is LEFT-OUT which seeks to out those that are left handed, but pretend to be right handed. Consider the testimony of Steve, who is one such person:

When I was a boy I liked doing things with my left hand, but I was told that that was not normal. They said “everyone is right-handed; you should be too.” My parents tried to get me to write with my right hand. They told me that I didn’t want to be different and that I should not embarrass them like that. My teacher kept invading my safe space when she took my pencil out of my left hand and put it in my right hand.

Of course, we have been berated because we do this: “How dare you, how dare you out people that have chosen to keep their leftness hidden. We are outraged, outraged! at such a violation of privacy.

Yes, we know that outing is controversial, but we also recognize that these people continue to live under a regime of oppression and cultural repression. They are like the slaves of the postbellum South that continue to live on the plantation, but don’t know that they are free. But because we have been where they are now, we know that when we out them, we have freed them from the oppression of leftphobian intolerance.

I was like those sniveling puppies one time. Yes, I conformed. I knew it wasn’t right. I knew I was a leftee, but I thought I was unusual, a freak. So, I became a rightee on the outside. After a while I didn’t think much about it. I got better at doing things with my right hand—throwing the baseball, writing my letters. “It’s a right-handed world,” I thought. You have to go-with-the-flow on if you want to be accepted, if you want to belong.

But later, I noticed that there were some people that did things with their left hand and didn’t try to hide it. I asked one guy, “Aren’t you embarrassed to do that with….you know……your left-hand? I said it in a whisper…“What if someone sees you”? He said, “no—I like being different. I am left-handed and I want everyone to know it.” When he said that, a wave of tolerance, acceptance, and inclusiveness washed over my soul. I knew that I could hide my leftness no longer. I knew that people suppressed my leftness because of their own demons. Why should I conform to them? Why should I suppress my inner being because of the fears of others?

So, I stand before you today as a man of the left. I’m hoping that my coming out will encourage others of you to do the same. It’s time we stood together in solidary and unity, unwilling to bow to a right-handed world. We may be a small cadre and insignificant right now (and I apologize for using the word “right” so often—the prejudice is so ingrained in our culture, that it even infects our language). We may have been oppressed but we are LEFT—hear us roar! When they laugh at us and tell us that we are making something of nothing or that we are “making a mountain out of a molehill,” we’ll just laugh.

Just remember, former President Obama taught us well: you don’t need arguments when a sneer will do.

What Do You Know About the Left-Handed Subculture?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What do Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Richard Pryor have in common?
    • They are or were left-handed
    • They are black
  2. What do Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, and Lady Gaga have in common?
    • They are famous women vocalists
    • They are left-handed
  3. What do Sting, Phil Collins, and Barry Gibb have in common?
    • They are left-handed
    • They are male vocalists
  4. What do Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Harry Truman have in common?
    • They were leaders known for their integrity
    • They were left-handed
  5. What do Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James have in common?
    • They are famous athletes
    • They are left-handed

Answer Key

  1. They are or were left-handed
  2. They are left-handed
  3. They are left-handed
  4. They were left-handed
  5. They are famous athletes

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 1 correct answer: There is no hope for you. No one can be that ignorant and not be a fascist. You should be ashamed of being such a throwback, neanderthal, hating fundamentalist. You are probably channeling Jerry Falwell and Ronald Reagan right now. Your hands must be bleeding from the constant knuckle-dragging. You are hopeless.

If you got between 2 and 3 correct answers: Poor. You sadly have considerable insensitivity issues. You obviously voted for Donald Trump and don't read the New York Times as faithfully as you should. We don't think you can correct this on your own: you need professional help and you should not delay getting it.

If you got 4 correct answers: Good. You are average in your sensitivity to the plight of left-handers. However, you should work on raising your awareness some. Tomorrow, try just doing everything with your left hand, like writing and using a screw driver. This should fix whatever minor sensitivities you possess.

If you got 5 correct answers: Congratulations, you are obvious a person that is sensitive to the plight and the needs of the oppressed.

© 2017 William R Bowen Jr

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