17 February 2015
The following is a short internal rant about how I feel when I pass the nearby blood drive. Feel free to skip over it and completely disregard it.
My day job is near a hospital that I often visit. Believe it or not, the cafeteria food there isn’t bad and it’s closer than a lot of other places. Every month or so, the Red Cross comes to hold a blood drive and they always have a booth for signing up near the exit to the cafeteria. Of course, I happen to get food the one day every month that they are there.
I know of the need for blood, I’m sure many people do. I have a strong desire to help people, it’s just a part of my personality. I have a good blood type (O+) that can be used for a large portion of people in need.
Every time that I pass by the table, I want to stop and ask. I want them to ask me if I would like to donate. I want to be able to answer them by showing them my left hand. I have a rainbow bracelet on, a symbol to me of my labeling and shackling. There’s a tungsten carbide ring, a symbol to me of my husband’s eternal love. Showing them my left hand would be a very sufficient answer.
But then again, I don’t want to have that interaction. I don’t want to have to be denied. I want to just pass by without feeling guilty, sucessfully ignoring them. Just like they have to ignore me to suppress their feeling of guilt. It’s not their fault, that lies with the FDA.
I understand that the FDA has improved their policy for allowing gay men to give blood. It used to be that being a man and having sex with a man was enough to give one a permanent lifetime ban on donating. Now, it has dropped to a 1 year, temporary ban. They are effectively the same.
That’s not good enough.