Friday, 7 March 2008

Blood +/-

Today's edition of the Metro newspaper contains a very interesting story about blood donation, and the rights of gay men to donate. As you may or may not know, homosexual males are currently excluded from donating blood, because the National Blood Service feels that gay men have a 'significantly higher risk' of contracting - and spreading - blood borne STDs, including the HIV/AIDS virus.

The Metro reports on a petition that's been put together to allow gay men to donate blood, as long as they have a form of identification to say that they are clear of any passable blood diseases. The petition is headed up here - visit the site now, and show your support.

Campaign founder Russell Hirst describes the National Blood Service's current policy as "Outdated, hypocritical and not based on recent scientific fact" - and he's right. It's a prime form of modern day homophobia; dis-allowing gay men, who could potentially save a lot of lives through donation from giving life to those in need, just because of their sexuality.

It disgusts me that people still make that distinction between straight and gay, as if one's better than the other. We're trapped in a bubble of hate - a bubble that we (kinda) escaped with regards to colour and creed back in the late 60's/early 70's. It's campaigns like this, worthy causes, that could one day offer a solution to the problem.

Thankfully, there's still open-minded individuals out there. The latest issue of the Buffy comic (Dark Horse, issue 12) features the central character Buffy Summers engaged in a one night, same sex shag-fest; but it's quick not to jump to conclusions. Buffy isn't a lesbian, or against the idea of being a lesbian. She's comfortable with who she is, and is happy to love who she loves.

Nothing wrong with that. Like I said, open minded-ness.
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