Recently, I donated a pint of blood to a children's hospital. I was there for a neuropsyche exam, and there was a poster at the reception area saying, "SAVE CHILDREN'S LIVES. DONATE BLOOD TODAY." I was like, "well shit I can do that."
It was a good feeling, and quite honestly was not painful really at all. I felt a bit dizzy getting up, but that was the extent of negative effects of the donation.
Now, anyone who has donated before knows the "rigamarole" of paperwork preceding the draw. I had to sign stuff, and take a quick survey/quiz thing to determine I was an eligible donor. Many of the questions on the paper revolved around having STD's, or traveling during certain outbreaks of whatever in several countries, even questions about vaccinations you've received, but one of the questions read, "as a male, have you ever had sexual contact with another male?"
Anyone who answers "yes" is immediately not eligible. Essentially, this excludes almost the entirety of the adult male homosexual populous to donate blood.
That sucks, and I find that to be a large flaw in the rules. Now I wont pretend to be naive and not understand why they do it (the risk of HIV of course), but essentially, they're deeming that all homosexual males cannot be trusted to be sensible adults, and know if it is appropriate for them to give blood. I know lots of gay guys, and they are all very responsible when it comes down to this kind of thing, and weirdly enough, I know they would be able to make the call of not giving blood if they knew there was a risk for them having HIV. They have brains. People who donate want to help out, and if they knew there was a chance that they could do the opposite, they certainly would not take that risk.
For all of this, I know a couple of my friends and acquaintances (who are either homosexual virgins or straight) are "boycotting" blood donation. They think their blood is too good or precious for the flawed system or whatever.
But now that is stupid. I understand this as well - the concern being, why should I contribute to a system that has a rule I don't support - one that maybe demeans homosexuality or homosexual adults?
But, I cry, it's not like your blood contributes directly to that. It's not like, as soon as they process your blood, stupid antigay laws are pushed, or the WBC gets a new member - what is really happening when you give blood is you are likely either saving a life, or improving a patients quality of life. Don't try to get back at the stupid rule by turning your back on the people who need the blood; that's almost like a logical fallacy.
Instead, try to actually confront the problem. I've typed up an email already, expressing my dissatisfaction and disappointment of said rule, and I was considering sending a letter with a condom inside and a note reading, "adults know how to use these," but I'm sure I wont. (Mostly because you have to buy condoms in like, a 14 pack, which is ridiculous. I do not need 1 condom, much less 13 of them.)
It's a stupid rule, and one that should be fought against, but the solution is not to turn your back towards those who really need the blood.
I'm open to discussion.
Listening to: Zacke