Now, I hate to be a negative nancy-boy, but the FDA’s recent announcement that they will begin to allow gays to donate blood if they have been sexually inactive for a year is the most adorably offensive thing I have heard in a long time.
Allow me to offer you a few translations of this announcement:
“Dear Gays, We still don’t want your filthy blood.”
“Dear Gays, You’re all still gross. Love, the FDA”
“Dear Whorish Gays, We are sloooowly hating you less and less. At least enough to someday allow you to save our lives.”
Now, you may think I am being outrageous but I personally think that I am being poignant and honest. The reason for this is simple. Every single blood donation, regardless of its source, is screened for HIV/AIDS. So, while it is true that gays are a higher-risk group for HIV/AIDS, the FDA cannot justify it’s decision to require gays to abstain from sex for a year because ANY blood that is donated will ultimately be tested. Because of this and the fact that HIV is now detectable within just two weeks, anything short of allowing gays to donate blood even just a couple weeks after having sweet intercourse is homophobic. Period.
Now, I am not the first one to call the FDA out on this. Many have pointed out the obvious hypocrisy that a promiscuous straight person could donate, but a monogamous gay couple who have been together for years could not. The FDA recently responded to the criticism by stating that “Assessment of high-risk sexual behaviors would be highly burdensome on blood donation establishments and potentially offensive to donors.” Again, so adorable. I thought the idea was to take an assessment to insure the safety of the blood you are collecting. Far be it for you to offend a highly promiscuous straight person by telling them they do not meet the required safety measures to donate. Instead, let’s just offend all the gays.
Allow me to share an interesting personal story from a couple of years ago. I will preface this by saying that I am one of the least sexually active people I know. It’s not for lack of interest, it’s more just lack of effort. Plus, drinking beer and watching “Family Guy” is always available to me, and provides an equivalent satisfaction. Nevertheless, I decided to make a responsible decision and head to the clinic for some annual, however unnecessary, testing.
Upon learning that I am homosexual, the clinic actually offered me $10 to take an extensive survey about HIV/AIDS. Keep in mind, I am probably more likely to be exposed to HIV by the needle they test me with, given how slow it remains around these parts. Yet, because I am gay, we need to talk about AIDS. So much so, that they actually paid ME. (Sorry for sounding ungrateful – thank you for the $10… I needed that.)
While the survey went in-depth regarding the details of my sexual history, the doctor did not – and he did not see the answers I provided. Despite this, the doctor shamed me into believing that it was my moral responsibility to get tested for absolutely everything under the sun. He hadn’t so much as asked me when the last time I had sex was and if I used a condom… he simply knew that I was a homosexual and therefore a walking cesspool of sexually-transmitted infections. Now, it is not that getting tested is bad. It is the attitude behind it. Any doctor who asked a single question about my sexual history beyond “are you straight or gay?” would have determined that I am at nearly zero risk for having become infected with anything.
It is decisions like the one the FDA just made that allow and enable this prejudice to continue. They reinforce stigmas not only for gay people, but those who are HIV-positive as well.
So, guess what, FDA? I’ll just hang on to my filthy blood. Best of luck!