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Filmmaker Launches National Gay Blood Drive to Make Statement About Discriminatory Ban: VIDEO

Yezak

Ryan James Yezak, the filmmaker behind the in-progress documentary Second Class Citizens (remember 'The Gay Rights Movement' video?) is launching a national gay blood drive, a peaceful demonstration that he's going to capture for his documentary. Yezak writes:

The
 drive
 will
 take
 place 
nationally
 from
 9am
 PST 
(which 
marks 
the
 demonstration’s “universal 
rallying
 point”)
 to 
5pm
 PST 
that 
Friday 
and
 will 
consist
 of 
eligible 
gay 
and
 bisexual 
male 
donors,
 most 
commonly 
referred 
to
 as
 MSM 
donors,
 showing 
up
 to 
get 
tested
 at 
a
 specified 
donation 
center 
in 
their
 respective
 city
 and 
then 
attempting 
to
 donate 
their
 blood. 
As 
each 
donor 
is 
rejected,
 their 
test 
result
 will 
be
 collected,
 compiled, 
and
 delivered
 to
 the 
FDA 
–
 Visually 
conveying 
to 
them 
on 
a 
national 
level
 how 
much
 blood
 the
 gay
 community
 could 
contribute
 to
 the 
blood
 supply 
should
 they
 lift 
their
 current
 policy.

While 
it
 is
 anticipated
 that
 1,000 
rejected 
MSM
 donors 
will
 be
 exceeded – It’s
 also
 pertinent to 
note
 that
 on‐site
 mobile 
rapid
 HIV 
testing 
will 
be
 provided
 at
 each
 location 
for
 participants
 to
 confirm
 their 
statuses 
before 
attempting
 to 
donate.


Watch his video about the event, AFTER THE JUMP...

Blood

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Comments

  1. Ugh, this guy is so full of himself. I'd be more compelled if it wasn't so clearly a vanity project as is the case with all his videos.

    Posted by: Jesse | Jul 2, 2013 9:46:08 AM


  2. Jesse, agreed. Pretty misguided. Of all the things we could spend our time, efforts and money on, this is not it.

    Posted by: Phil | Jul 2, 2013 9:57:31 AM


  3. Once infected with HIV it can take over 3 months for antibodies to show up in the blood and test positive. And there is no test for the virus alone, just for antibodies, so anyone donating blood post infection but prior to the appearance of antibodies will be passing the virus on to others.
    This isn't discrimination, it's science. Until we get our infection rates dramatically lower (instead of increasing), and they develop a fast, cheap and easy test for the actual virus, I have no problem with this policy.
    Being negative, I wouldn't want to take this risk with a donated blood transfusion. Would you?

    Posted by: hamish108 | Jul 2, 2013 10:30:32 AM


  4. He's already decided to pay/expense himself how much to run this??...sounds like a scam...

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Jul 2, 2013 11:06:56 AM


  5. I think they're thinking about lifting the permanent ban. Idk if they're going to let sexually active 'mos donate.

    Posted by: JP | Jul 2, 2013 12:09:44 PM


  6. @Hamish108: The ban IS discrimination.
    If a healthy, straight, 53-year-old man who is monogsmouslu-married to a healthy woman once spent 5 minutes getting jerked off by his also-healthy male college roommate 35 years ago when he was 18 years old, he is banned from donating even though he has no risk whatsoever of having HIV.
    If another man just walks into the clinic with open sores on his genitals fresh from a bareback orgy with 12 women, he is welcome to donate, even though he is at exponentially higher risk.
    The guidelines as they are written ste not based on science but on illegitimate prejudice that assumes that all sex between men carries risk while sex with women does not (even when it does).

    Women who have sex exclusively with men have an exponentially higher rate of HIV than women who have sex with only women. The number of black, straight women who have HIV is numerically higher than that of gay, white men and their rate is exponentially higher than that of gay, white women.
    But there are no tules saying that black women may not donate or that a woman has to be gay to donate.
    The policy that exists was developed when nobody knew what kind of sex was safe and unsafe and when the blood could not be accurately tested.
    The policy's continued existence reinforces the false notion that men having sex with men is inherently unsafe. That's actually a dangerous message to send. I have a friend who was given that very message at Catholic school and his reaction was to throw caution to the wind and resign himself to the "fact" he would sooner or later end up with HIV and die young. He considers himself lucky that he lucked out until he was old enough to learn that as an adult gay man he could have a healthy and completely safe sex life.

    Posted by: GregV | Jul 2, 2013 12:28:55 PM


  7. Thank you for the clarification GregV, I stand corrected.

    Posted by: hamish108 | Jul 2, 2013 1:54:39 PM


  8. This is an interesting concept and I like the discussion points brought up by both hamish108 and GregV. In some respects I understand the precaution of blood banks not wanting to take the risk of spreading HIV infection, since the sad, harsh reality is that sexually active gay men are at an increased risk, and rapid HIV testing is not always accurate. But, in other respects I see the discriminatory nature of the blood ban considering some of the points GregV made.
    But anyhow. I'm still bitter with them when I found out I was rejected from donating blood when I was a freshman in college (12 years ago! Get over it, Lucas H!) for being gay. After that, I was like, "F** you, I'm keeping my f*** blood!" Haha. Sheesh.

    Posted by: Lucas H | Jul 2, 2013 4:17:09 PM


  9. hamish108, I see your point, and it is fair. However, I don't believe simply being gay makes you "at risk". For example, another group of people with high rates of infection are African American women. To ban that entire group of people is called racism, and would not (rightfully) be tolerated. Instead, we should come up with better criteria then "have you had msm contact?"

    Posted by: Jlavoy | Jul 4, 2013 7:13:11 PM


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