Wednesday, December 14, 2005

the l word

open letter #6

dear readers:

generally, i use the open letter to discuss things that bother me regarding race and other societal ills. i've begged for black folk to be left off of television, suggested the naacp revamp its image, and even squashed beef with kanye. but this time, i'm employing this feature of my blog to talk (a bit more) about myself. not that i want to bore you with my life. trust me, there is a reason why i don't talk about summer mc_____ on this blog. (wait. that didn't make any sense, really. the "character" summer m. was not created because the real me is ridiculously boring. i "created" her for other reasons. but whatever, work with me here. boy, i digress.) i haven't, i must admit, been entirely honest with you all.

please don't be misguided by the title of this post. i am fully aware that after my blackness, i've beat this whole gay shit into the ground (another marked/marginalized identity! look at me! look at me!). so lesbian is not the "l word" i'm speaking of here. nor is that word "love." i do not have a girlfriend; ain't no commitment ceremonies happenin' co-starring me any time soon. rather, this other "l word" deals with something i've been struggling with my entire life. i haven't hidden it, yet i still feel the need to come out, if you will. it's hard to admit, though. for in many ways it has handicapped the way i move through the world--constantly shifting, readjusting to fit into this world that often ignores me, marks me, or relegates me to an uneasy "specialness." perhaps you wouldn't notice it unless you sat next to me, or were (really) attentive. either way, i know that none (or most) of you, dear readers, are aware of this fact. but since i've recently been making an effort to be more vocal about my insecurities, i figured it was the proper time to divulge yet another truth. 'tis the season to be honest. ok. here goes.


oh gosh.



there. i said it. i'm left-handed. a lefty. wrong-handed (as my daddy would say). a southpaw. add another identity to my identities. so what's the score? i, summer m., fuckin' blogstar extraordinaire, am a colored/negro/afro-american/african-american/african american (no hyphen), woman (no "y", please) , queer/gay/homo/lesbian (at least, 85-95%), working class (though the folks moved up like the jeffersons), child of divorce, publik skool educated, midwestern, left-handed person. hmm...i think i missed something(s).

for a while, i thought left-handedness was normal, okay. my mother, grandmother, brother, and stepsister are also left-handed. righties always seemed odd to me. until, of course, i started going to skool, being socialized and whatnot. why does my elbow drape oddly across the desk? why doesn't my handwriting slant in the same way as my classmates'? why oh why is this ink smeared on my hand? how come i can't cut with these scissors?

i then began to realize that perhaps my difference wasn't necessarily special, but maybe something that would mark me as i moved throughout the world. as i grew older, i realized that things weren't really made for me. how could the world do this to me? after all, i was born this way. any lettering on pens? the words appear upside down while in the left hand. desks? yeah, there are special desks to fit my needs, but they are few and often in corners. wanna be tiger woods? you have to order special clubs. and what of the term left-handed? mendacity. a left-handed compliment. the term "sinister" comes from latin and originally meant "left" until it became associated with evil. while the term to describe the other, dominant hand, the "right" hand, is synonymous with terms like "justice." and lucifer? rumor has it he sat at the left hand of god. left-handers have been beaten and bound until they got "right." my people, my people.

though we are not as ostracized as we once were, i am taking the opportunity to become active, and fully and publicly embrace my left-handedness. it is time for us to unite and take a stand. fight for our rights, our total acceptance and recognition in this right-handed world. no longer will i mention my bi partial ambidexterity when someone notices i write with the "other" hand. i will no longer be shamed when someone notices that i wear my watch on my right wrist. from now on, i will extend my left hand when greeting people!!!!

and i will not stop there. i will find a niche and create a multfacted, multi-billion dollar corporation catering to the needs of left-handed people. (even more) spiral notebooks for leftys! cafes that serve drinks in mugs where the image will face me if i decide to hold the cup in my left hand! timepieces designed counterclockwise (hunh?)! cameras with shutter buttons on the left! events and organizations where left-handed people (of color) can congregate and connect! left-handed scissors for everyone!!!!

no longer will the advantages of being left-handed be relegated to the boxing ring or the pitcher's mound. i have found my cause, and i intend to fight for it until the needs of left-handed people are fully addressed in our society. we have come a long way, but we've so far to go.

as my first act, i propose we eliminate the hyphen in between left and handed.

let's get this money, muthafuckas.

summer "southpaw who will bust you in your right jaw" m., blogstar

open letter #1
open letter #2
open letter #3
open letter #4
open letter #5

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison


Blogger a. said...

We have something in common! Yes, like that great song.

14/12/05 20:31  
Blogger nahmix said...

I knew you were left-handed...but you're a lesbian?

14/12/05 21:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always knew left-handers (OK left handers) were more susceptible to bed-wetting, but I never knew all the disadvantages associated with it until I looked into it.
"Medical literature reports that lefties more accident prone, are more likely to have their fingers amputated by power-tools, suffer more wrist fractures. Lefties are more susceptible to allergies, auto-immune diseases, bed-wetting, depression, drug abuse, epilepsy, hypnotism, low birth weight, schizophrenia, sleeping disorders, suicide attempts, and certain learning disabilities. Lefties are six times likelier to die in an accident, and four times to likelier to die while driving."
And on that bright note, I'll bid you goodnight.

14/12/05 22:08  
Blogger mwilli said...

this whole blog entry once again confirms my belief that leftys are... ahem..."special".

14/12/05 22:19  
Blogger Lee said...

While we're on the topic of language's bias against lefties, we should mention that gauche is french for left.

More importantly: who's responsible for all those abortion-loving color TV-watching east coast elitist-being marxist-theorizing war-protesting welfare queens? The left. That's who.

14/12/05 23:00  
Blogger Kilimanjaro: High and Lo said...

^^^ha, that's funny lee. i'm a leftie too summer and we're the bestest of the best. we've learned the art of living in a "right" man's world. we even learned how to use scissors with both hands...wheeee, left-handed geeks unite!

14/12/05 23:31  
Blogger summer m. said...

@a: like bob and whit? hell yeah.

@nahmix: that's funny (comma) yo.

@anon: all that shit is a result of us having to live in a right handed world, playa, i swear.

@lee: choked on my water--for real.

@kili: that's what's up. join the cause, homie.

15/12/05 04:53  
Blogger MB said...

Oscar de la Hoya, Oprah Winfrey, Dick Van Dyke, Emma Thompson, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Roberts, Marilyn monroe, sarah jessica parker, Angelina Jolie, Whoopie Goldberg, Robert DeNiro, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Simon, Lou Rawls, George Michael, ringo and paul, Jimi Hendrix,Judy Garland, James Baldwin, Richard Simmons,Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Bill clinton, benjamin franklin, Moya Bailey . . . etc.

you're in good company

15/12/05 09:33  
Anonymous studpoet said...

okay we should begin the saga "Were summer m and StudPoet seperated at birth..."
unlike you i am a "reformed" least when it comes to handwriting. its like the "ex gay" movement i was guilted and manipulated into using my right hand to write.
so i write with my right hand but i do everything else with my left hand. it feels weird to do anything but write with my right hand. For years i wondered why that was...then i began asking my parents about it. apparently when they realized that i was going to be a lefty they began training me to write with my right hand. thus an "ex lefty" was born.

there's my confession in a nutshell.

15/12/05 10:23  
Blogger Amadeo said...

This is hiliarious cause last night my man had on a t-shirt that said...
Lefties can do what Righties do
(but Righties do it better)

15/12/05 13:43  
Blogger Phoenix said...

now that i understand the plight of lefties and i've read mb's list, i feel right inspired to give up my rightie privilege and join the masses of brilliants on the left. well, maybe i just attempt to be ambidextrous...on the other hand, being a rightie is one of my few privileges so i might as well make the most of it, right? (ahhh, shit! now that's the mark of a for real privileged shutchomouth, ain't it? damn.)

keep up the good fight lefties. i'm supporting you from the sidelines...

15/12/05 14:20  
Blogger Miss Jessi said...

I bought my brother a keychain once that said "Left Handed people are the only ones in thier Right Mind" because you know that the left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain... just a little tid bit I thought I'd share...

Both my neices and my nephew are left handed (my brother's kids) and both of my best friends are also left handed... left handed people are the shizznit!

For some reason, I think that when a man is left handed, that's kind of sexy... I think I'm just weird...

Me, I can write with both hands... I think I'm like studpoet.. and ex-lefty trained at a young age...

I don't know... I'm rambling... hey summer m... where's the 12 days of crunkmas?

15/12/05 19:29  
Blogger simone said...

"summer "southpaw who will bust you in your right jaw" m., blogstar"

i had no idea about the plight of lefties.

15/12/05 22:03  
Blogger Nick Davis said...

Nicole Kidman, too. People say she won the Oscar for the nose, but I say it's because she taught herself in six weeks to write with her right hand. But for what??? That chick drowned herself. Who's to say the righties live longer?

15/12/05 22:15  
Blogger Alii said...

i heard lefties do really well when they visit atlanta in march for the toni cade conference.

no seriously, i can prove it to you..

15/12/05 23:54  
Blogger summer m. said...

@mb: oprah was enough, but now that i know that moya bailey is left handed, i'm proud to be one, too.

@stud: more and more commonalities...scary.

@amadeo: my next act will be to ban all shirts that haterate on lefties.

@phoenix: thanx for being a sympathizer.

@miss jessi: crunk soon come.

@simone: i'ma bring our plight to the fore. i'm ain't playin'.

@nick: i've missed you!!!!

@alii: i told you i ain't coming. you shoulda never told me i would have to talk if i came.

16/12/05 00:20  
Blogger Karsh said...

As a lefty-turned-ambi-turned-righty, I feel you. I know I don't comment often, but I read every entry and yes, you are a fucking blogstar.

I rekkanize. For reals.

Do ya thang. Hope to see you in Chicago!

17/12/05 00:14  
Blogger summer m. said...

@karsh: word. just send me an email if you wanna hook up. but i'll be home for christmas, but only for a few days.

thanx for reading. i really appreciate the positive feedback from you.

17/12/05 11:15  
Blogger nikki said...

when i was a toddler, my dad tried to make me right-handed as soon as he realized i was using my left hand to do everything. of course, it didn't work. he might as well have tried to bleach my skin white.

in the meanwhile, i feel sorry for right-handed folk. they're one of most. left-handed folk are the chosen few. we're the lucky ones!

19/12/05 07:41  

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