Being Gay; Being Lefthanded

Read the parallel punishments.

Mike Rosebush, PhD
4 min readFeb 26, 2024
Image purchased via iStock

Both gays and lefthanded people suffered through a similar conversion process.

FYI: Approximately 10 percent of people are gay. Approximately 10 percent of people are lefthanded. And there is a statistically significant relationship between gay men and left-handedness.

Gay Conversion Process

Beginning in approximately the mid-twentieth century, people who possessed a same-sex attraction [they were called “homosexuals” at that time] were required to undergo horrific and painful procedures to attempt to convert their sexual orientation into being straight.

Some of the “therapy” involved cutting away parts of the person’s brain. I realize this seems barbaric — because it was.

Some of the conversion efforts also involved “shock therapy.”

Gay men were forced to have an electric device attached to their bodies (in some cases, their penis), which would emit various levels of shock. The gay man was then provided picture slides of nude males and females, delivered in random order. Additionally, there were slides of homoerotic and heteroerotic activity — randomized as well. The gay client was provided shock whenever the male nude or homoerotic slide appeared.

The scientific assumption was that the shock associated with male nudity/homoeroticism would eventually change the gay man’s homosexual orientation.

In some cases, the therapist administered the shock. In other cases, the gay man was required to shock himself. For those cases in which the gay man was shocking himself, he had the option of providing various strengths of electric shock.

Imagine, if you will, the emotional and physical abuse that the gay man had to endure, whenever he administered extreme levels of shock to himself. Talk about self-loathing!

There were even cases of gay men who increased their level of shock to the most extreme and dangerous level. There were also reported cases of gay men being so discouraged by their continued same-sex attraction that they shocked themselves to the maximum amount — leaving burn marks on their penis.


The shock therapy was a complete failure in its efforts to change a man’s sexual orientation.

Please allow me to repeat the message for emphasis. Men who naturally had a predominate and enduring attraction to other men were made to believe that they were disordered, sick, mentally ill, perverted, and an abomination. Society also told such men that they must marry a woman and have children. Furthermore, unless a conversion occurred (which never happened), the gay men must remain closeted — or they would lose their job, family, and church. Thus, these gay men were extremely motivated to change! And yet, despite their heroic efforts, no change was forthcoming.

Shame on the scientific and therapeutic agencies — at that time, in their ignorance — for providing innocent gay men with horrific mental and physical torture!

Lefthanded Conversion Process

Likewise, a century earlier, lefthanded people were considered disordered and mentally ill. Just like being gay, it’s hard to believe that lefthanded people were considered “lesser than” the righthanded majority.

Just because a person is in the statistical minority in any demographic, it does not make the person perverted, a threat to society, and someone who must convert.

In the day, the “remedy” for the lefthanded person eerily resembled the treatment later provided to gays. The left-handed person was “swatted” with a ruler whenever the person picked up a pencil with the left hand. As we all now realize, picking up a pencil with one’s left hand is entirely natural for a leftie. Yet, the culture at that time had wrong beliefs.

When hand-swatting punishment was ineffective, the person’s left arm was bound to one’s body — forcing the person to attempt to convert to right-handedness. We can only imagine the embarrassment of the child being publicly punished for using one’s “wrong” hand. I suspect the child may have been teased or ridiculed by peers, resulting in feelings of shame.

Just like gay people.


Cultures only “know what they know” at the time of their existence.

The majority of people have always been righthanded. The minority people (lefthanders) were mocked and physically punished for merely using their dominant hand. Conversion therapy was a painful process that proved to be ineffective. And the lefthanded person was made to feel inferior. Cultures at that time knew no better.

Similarly, the majority of people are straight. The minority people (gays) were mocked and physically abused for merely having same-sex attraction. Conversion therapy was a torturous process that proved to be ineffective. And the gay person was made to feel inferior. Even worse, the gay person was physically bullied and assaulted, raped, lost job, lost family, lost church, committed suicide, or was murdered. Cultures at that time knew no better.

Hopefully, one day, culture will treat gays similarly to how lefthanded people are now treated: with dignity, equality, and kindness.

Dr. Mike Rosebush (Ph.D., Counseling Psychology; he, him, his;) is the creator and editor of GAYoda, plus a writer for Backyard Church. A short synopsis of Dr. Rosebush’s life can be found at I Lived the Most Unusual Gay Christian Life Ever. He may be contacted at



Mike Rosebush, PhD

Lover of Jesus | Gay Married| Founder/Writer “GAYoda” | Counselor/Encourager