Letter: Being left-handed is fine now, and there’s a lesson to be learned from it


Devout Catholics who used their left hand to make the sign of the cross were considered blasphemers. My own grandmother, who spent most of her youth in a Catholic orphanage, was punished when she tried to do chores with her left hand. She has always felt that she was born left-handed, although she was forced to identify as right-handed by her upbringing.

Fast forward a few years. When I was a child, I knew very early that I was born left-handed. At that time, being left-handed was no longer a “bad” thing, but I still felt like an “other”. Many tools from that era were still usable only when used in the right hand, the most notable in my memory being scissors and vegetable peelers.

Every first day of school, in elementary school, I waited on the side while my classmates filled their desks with their supplies, while the janitor searched the whole building for the apparently left-handed desk (they had armrests that sticking out, most of them on the right side). Although I was not persecuted for being what I was born to be, I was still a minority who had to adjust to life in a right-handed world.

Most people are born right-handed. They know from an early age that this is part of who they are and that they were born that way. Historically, that was the only “right” way to be. (See? Even our language is biased).

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But guess what? Some of us are born left-handers, and we are just as sure of who we are from an early age. Because we no longer have to conform to righteousness, there seem to be more of us every year. The truth is not that more of us are “choosing” to be left-handed, but that we are now free to be who we really are.

In addition to these little laterality binary boxes, some people are comfortable with either hand, being ambidextrous. Some even have the audacity to have a mixed hand, maybe playing the guitar with their right hand, but kicking like a lefty when playing baseball.

At this point, I have to ask you, is it important to you whether family members, friends, co-workers, students, clergy, or members of your community are left-handed or right-handed? Can you look beyond their favorite hand to see other wonderful traits they have? Are they hurting someone by using one hand instead of the other?

If you don’t see what the title of this piece has to do with the text, I ask you to consider your feelings and opinions about those of sexual orientation or gender identity that differ from your own, and read it again. .

OKAY. I finished. I feel better and I hope you do too.

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