In Defense of Those Left-Handed

Be nice to everyone, says Sesame Street. But then we aren't. So we orchestrate public health movements to say the same thing.

This is conceptual, though, right? No one makes fun of left-handed people. Think again. When I was in school, there was a left-handed boy named Sue, and everyone would make fun of him. Some gal would giggle, and he'd get red, and some guy'd laugh, and Sue would bust his head. The point is, Sue had issues controlling his anger. At the guy's funeral, Sue went up to the podium to speak, and everyone booed him, even though he was just trying to apologize. It wasn't until years later that we found out Sue had been abused by his parents because of a speech impediment. We should've been nicer to him.

That's not entirely true, but the point remains that it's not too late to make peace with your own personal Sue. This video is actually about all kinds of discrimination (you find out in the end). And even if being the person everyone picks on does get you the attention of one forward-thinking and secretly-gorgeous-when-she-just-takes-off-those-glasses girl who tells you just to be yourself, getting kicked out of cafes is no way to live.

The group that made this video, Youth Beyond Blue, is based in Hawthorn, outside of Melbourne in Australia. That's why the people in the video sound so weird when they speak -- because the way they pronounce things is wrong. 

Youth Beyond Blue is campaigning along with Movember under the slogan "Stop, Think, Respect" and calling attention to the fact that "because of things people say and do GLBTI [the way weird Australians say LGBTI] people are far more likely to experience depression and anxiety." Youth Beyond Blue offers that people dealing with discrimination of any sort can contact them by phone at (03) 9810 6100. That's not a typo, it's seriously their dumb Australian phone number.

If you're in a real country like the United States and want to get involved in discrimination awareness, Movember is great (start growing your moustache now!), as is It Gets Better. And if phone numbers are your thing, we've got a National Suicide Prevention line: 1-800-273-8255. No one will ask which hand you dialed with.

Presented by

James Hamblin, MD, is a senior editor at The Atlantic. He writes the health column for the monthly magazine and hosts the video series If Our Bodies Could Talk.

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