Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

In the wake of the Orlando massacre targeting the Pulse nightclub, a known gay establishment, now deemed a dual hate crime and terror attack, the call to give blood went out, but even though this was quickly seen as an intentional assault on the LGBT community, members of that community remain prevented by law, FDA guideline from helping their fellow human beings. Why, they can’t give blood due to their sexual orientation either as gay or bisexual based on years old restrictions meant to curb HIV transmission; except said notion is based on completely outdated science. We are far from the days when Rayan White contracted HIV, later developing into full blown AIDS, from a tainted blood transfusion to treat his hemophilia, killing him at just 18; blood donation laws excluding gay men goes even further back into the realm of prehistoric science that thought HIV/AIDS was limited to the gay/lesbian community because it was first discovered there. We’ve known for over 30 years HIV/AIDS is transmitted through sexual or blood contact, not merely limited to sexual orientation, ‘deviant,’ risky sexual behaviors, a high number of sexual partners or other ‘undesirables’ such as IV drug users sharing needles, when the first women with infected partners started showing positivity for the disease in 1983, about as long as we’ve known the potential to spread it from mother to unborn child without medical, drug intervention; public perspective forever changing thanks to individuals like White or when known heterosexual and basketball great Magic Johnson announced his HIV diagnosis in 1991. HIV/AIDS retaining its capability to rock the world via well known, loved celebrities coming forward with their positive status as it did with the young Who’s The Boss star, now all grown up, Danny Pintauro or the more highly publicized case, Charlie Sheen late last year, but not to the extent it induced panic and hysteria in the 80’s, because we understand how the virus is transmitted, how it works and have effective treatments. Likewise we are, or should be, long past the phobia Ryan White and others suffering under similar circumstances encountered being initially banned from his middle school terrified of body fluid transfer; however, not entirely if the 2012 case of an honor’s middle school kid denied a spot at the Heresy’s school is any indication, national outrage being the justifiable response. Impending lawsuit later settled for thousands of dollars the family used to secure alternative educational opportunities for the promising young man. At least you could say in the school’s meager defense, what little exists, they are a boarding educational facility opening up a wider range of possible exposure scenarios, equally possible chances of endangerment for non-infected students. Again dismissing science, drugs to treat/manage HIV infection have prevented it developing into full blow AIDS for over 20 years, helping young AIDS victims live to adulthood, live fuller, more productive lives, examples paraded on talk shows for nearly as long; Magic Johnson arguably the most famous testament to where medicine has gone in recent years, as Johnson is alive and well with a t-cell count almost to the level of a normal person. Mimicking a routine history of drugs functioning so well it rendered viral loads (the amount of retrovirus in the blood) undetectable limiting transmission to uninfected sexual partners or mother to unborn child, mother to infant child while breastfeeding; treatments steadily taking HIV/AIDS from the death sentence it was 35 years ago to almost a chronic disease less than 20 years into the 21st century. Underscoring the ridiculousness of the FDA’s continuing to inforce their ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual blood donation, laws that were once tougher according to The Telegraph UK— “Until very recently [6 months ago] the Food and Drug Administration rule stipulated that any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 could not give blood, said Pat Michaels, a spokesman for OneBlood, a network of blood bank clinics in Florida and other southern states. OneBlood had been pressuring the FDA for years to lift the older blanket ban, said Susan Forbes, another representative of that not-for-profit network. She called the change, mandating a year of abstinence, a step in the right direction— in 2013 doctors announced the virtual cure of a toddler from HIV thanks to early treatment. Not to mention, inconvenient to GOP rhetoric and homophobic agendas, tests for the HIV/AIDS virus applied to blood donations have been around since 1985 with technological, screening sensitivity updates in 1992 for a second strain/marker of HIV, advanced nucleic acid testing for the disease in1999 and in 2009 respectively; blood donation being a place where otherwise thought to be healthy people often learn of anemia (iron deficiency) infection with tested for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. The FDA’s ban a forgotten part of history still on the books members of the public were largely unaware of unless they were a member of one of the restricted communities, had been diagnosed with a chronic disease effecting blood donation. Quoting from a frequenter of the nightclub at the center of what is being called the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history using another tragedy to poignantly bring home the importance of blood donation for every healthy person who can, “When the Twin Towers fell, we had a whole bunch of the gay community that wanted to rally and go and give blood. And we weren’t allowed.” Prompting the question how many people do we lose daily, weekly monthly, yearly due to asinine policies adding to blood shortages in hospitals nationwide; how many do we needlessly endanger during surgery, other lifesaving procedures because hospitals don’t have the blood to spare?



It’s another shocking jolt labeled the America we thought we had, mirroring president Obama’s birther critics and debates over a certificate of live birth and a birth certificate not being the same thing, exposing form discrepancies by city, state and county. Tornados ripping across the country that left school children to protect themselves from a vast and violent vacuum with backpacks and textbooks, not because they were suddenly seen in places unaccustomed to the natural phenomenon, but because our disaster plans are that outdated and ineffective. Many of us who thought we were being judged by the content of our character not the color of our skin until president Obama’s candidacy brought out conservative, tea party individuals holding signs using the N word, comparing him to a monkey, names like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Eric Harris, Tamir Rice, Kametra Barbour and Marlene Pinnock, made it clear where we haven’t gotten to regarding race. One guesses this shouldn’t surprise us when it took until 2010 to get the ban on immigrants with the disease lifted allowing prominent brit Andrew Sullivan, known for his journalism, blogging work and appearances on political talk shows, his United States citizenship in 2011. And gays, lesbians won the legal right to marry just last year; the Supreme Court’s bringing down the gavel on decades of perceived bigotry and increasingly farfetched arguments, the real catalyst behind DOMA for which marriage equality opponents co-opted prominent religious leaders unable to shield them from staunch religious persons, delusional so called evangelicals like Kim Davis, judges from southern states, a-la Alabama’s Roy Moore bent on denying same sex marriage licenses in open defiance of the highest court. A Utah lesbian couple had to fight to keep their foster child in the wake of a Mormon judge willing to go against recommendations from child services, pleas from the child’s biological mother wishing she be placed with the couple desiring to adopt her at the earliest opportunity solely because they were lesbian and citing research he refused to name stating children don’t do as well in homosexual homes, still it does. Either because it stems from willful ignorance of modern science that has garnered so much progress in treating this once utterly devastating disease, science making GOP denial regarding climate change seem like a child defending the presence of the tooth fairy or their constantly changing stance labeling most birth control abortifacient reasons in favor of ‘the Easter bunny is a real person campaign.’ Adding to the deplorable, inhumane, utterly illegal, easily found equally immoral supposed moral arguments LGBT people, particularly gays and lesbians, aren’t ‘living right’ therefore everything from deserve whatever they get in terms of assault, harassment, who cares about them, to denying they are a part of anyone’s political constituency, forfeit their rights to protections under the law, indeed classification as human beings, is their conclusions are based on debunked myths, theories science destroyed years ago; proven counter science, counter research policy crafters turn a blind eye to instead choosing to perpetuate untruths to serve their purposes. Myths painting gay people as everything from child molesters to absolute animals incapable of controlling themselves compared with straight persons; it also harkens back to an old, long debunked myth gay men especially are prone to promiscuity having hundreds and hundreds of partners over a lifetime, even as high as 20,000 to quote a right wing leader in the UK circa 2013 immediately shouted down for something virtually impossible. Noted, numbers complied were from surveys of the gay community where it wouldn’t be unheard of for people to exaggerate to seem more ‘experienced’ than they are, project they have a greater social, dating life than they do, engaging in bragging all similar to what heterosexual males do rarely getting called on their ‘promiscuous’ truth; straight, single, unattached men’s sexual history would serve to shock some, tallying the number of partners, namely because reviewers of the findings, if not the researchers themselves, are trapped in a bygone era,1950’s time wrap where you met a girl, dated her in high school, married your high school sweetheart and divorce was unheard of. Reader interpretation of research apparently ignorant select men’s desire for no strings attached sex representing their age, where they are in life, feeling the inability to find that person they want to commit to, being expected, right up to today, 2016 to ‘sow their wild oats’ before settling down, getting married, choosing a partner for life, a concept less and less common anyway; why should homosexual men suddenly be held to a different standard because they possess a different sexual orientation? Falling in line with its twin mythology gay men, homosexual people aren’t seeking long term relationships, just endless sexual encounters, are averse to commitment, creating a family; such rumors blown to pieces when gay marriage suddenly became legal pushing to the forefront same sex couples not only seeking the institution of marriage, but who’ve been together 20 years, a couple hoping to adopt soon post wrangling a marriage license out of Kentucky’s Kim Davis, the 80 plus year old woman who took on New York’s estate tax, often nicknamed the ‘death tax’ after 40 years with her female spouse (married in Canada), Edith Windsor’s story reason enough to abolish the ‘death tax’ even without the LGBT civil rights overtones. Assuming higher numbers in the hundreds, remember over a lifetime, in the pressure cooker of feeling compelled to live in the closet, losing partners to suicide, disease and hate, are remotely accurate information shows number of partners, the widest numbers reported, don’t explain HIV rates; never mind a study as old as 2013 demonstrates a substantial drop in number of sexual partners over that year lowering risk factors the FDA, CDC worry about, eliminating ‘social reasons’ gays can’t give blood. Actual numbers probably resembling a hot of the presses comprehensive survey of straight people’s sex partners averaging between 7 and 15 partners over a lifetime, pockets of lower or higher numbers throughout the U.S. and UK. Worse related to the Orlando shooting, you could say they are only endangering each other, their own kind, a kind select sections of society evangelicals, conservatives gave up on eons ago, if you want to be that cold, cruel, crass and insensitively cynical, so let them give blood. Stop perpetuating scenes illustrated in the following, “While the husbands of men wounded in Sunday’s Orlando nightclub shooting are crying and praying, they can’t easily offer their spouses the one thing so many others can: their blood.” Stop allowing this to be the narrative science deniers and homophobes driven by their own fear, imagined misconceptions hang their hat on, “A gay man is considered more of a threat to the blood supply than a straight man who was treated for Chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, venereal warts, and genital herpes within the past year.” And men who aren’t celibate are still shut out of performing a service to their own communities — and to their own boyfriends and husbands — in times of unimaginable crisis.” You are the FDA, you’re supposed to be better, the nation you profess to protect needs better.

Andrew Sullivan on his struggle to become an American

Singular way the FDA’s affirmation of their ‘no gay men’, ‘no man having had sex with a man in the last 12 months’ policy works is to pre-conclude every homosexual man, every homosexual, bisexual person is 100% an infected person. Except let’s refresh memories on what those terms mean, homosexual is the term for anyone, gender non-specific, who is sexually attracted to one’s own gender, bisexual refers to anyone attracted to their own gender as well as the opposite gender, gay the gender specific term referring to males who prefer their own gender when seeking sexual partners, definitions telling us nothing about disease status; you determine disease status using a blood test, blood tests we have and are effective. Writers sadly correct treating gay men as an increased danger, greater threat to the national donated blood supply than a heterosexual man treated for a myriad of STD,STI infections not only constitutes a double standard but a dangerous one considering anti-biotic resistance sweeping across all sectors of the medical community also showing up in the treatment, containment of sexually transmitted illnesses; all the major ones gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, demonstrating aforementioned resistance, are already documented in the United States or are headed this way tracking information from entities like the World Health Organization. FDA in their shortsightedness may be initiating the spread of resistant infection by accepting blood offered by individuals having been treated for STI/STD infections in the last 12 months, asymptomatic, certain their infections are gone, anti-biotics rendering them undetectable, harder to detect, but their only concern is gays; it’s the height of insane that a man, woman can fight for their country, go bleed all over a battle field for the ideas of his/her country, now as openly gay/lesbian but can’t give blood. Writers implied powerful statement penning that comparison timely, relevant and couldn’t be more accurate as well; heterosexuals male, female, also HIV positive, persons in the closet, confused about their sexuality, in denial about their sexuality and HIV positive regularly pose a greater threat, less to the blood supply and more to the larger scheme of public health through the trope we wish wasn’t a trope, wasn’t so accurate, wasn’t based so firmly in too much reality— knowingly spreading the virus to an unsuspecting, ridiculous number of partners as revenge against the man or woman that gave it to them, ‘avenging’ themselves on the world. Charlie Sheen, while the above revenge aspect doesn’t apply, is being sued by multiple women for failing to disclose his status before having sex with him, possibly had his children while HIV positive. Stories about men purposefully infecting women, Casanova types dating, schmoozing several women at the same time leaving a trail beyond broken hearts; a Georgia pastor was convicted 2 years ago after a woman in Atlanta came forward during the trial admitting her status and her last sexual partner to be the religious leader, added to testimony from a doctor telling jurors he diagnosed the church head confirmed HIV positive in 2005. Less common in women it does happen, a Memphis woman arrested for not alerting her boyfriend to her HIV diagnosis, a Missouri prostitute arrested for willfully spreading the disease to her clients, a Florida cop only told his current sex partner his status when she became pregnant with their child, rapists and child predators have exposed teens and tweens to HIV, one accused in Texas of likewise infecting a toddler, in California a man impersonated a police officer, arrested a 15 year old for jaywalking, sexually assaulted her all while aware he was positive. During the 90’s a man injected his own son with HIV tainted blood reportedly to avoid child support; thankfully drug therapies had progressed to the point he graduated high school in 2009. A former Missouri, what’s going on in that state, college athlete willfully infected his male partners elevating the kinky nature by videotaping said encounters sans the partners appearing to know they were being filmed; headlines laying out it happens in both communities, straight and the LGBT. HIV/AIDS doesn’t care about your lifestyle, your sexual orientation, your occupation, socio-economic status, age, what stores you buy your clothing or groceries from, that you are a member of the PTA, homeowners association, that you clean up well, look good in a suite, look like an all American girl; women repeatedly find themselves infected with STD’s/STIs, HIV being merely one, due to their husband’s infidelity whether serial with many women or a recurring group of encounters with one woman, homosexual encounters with many men or one man, that’s why we determine disease status with a blood test not a habits survey. Related threats intertwined in both public health and blood giving, people too scared to get tested, whether they think they have something or simply don’t want to know, people too shy to get tested, embarrassed about their number of sexual partners, their sexual preference, the sex activities they like, anal sex, oral sex, that 3 some they participated in while drunk, people who mistakenly believe they don’t need to be tested and we’re not talking about someone married for 40-50 years still having sex with the same person since 1960. Instead people who are exclusive with their partners, believe they are, married people ignorant of their spouse’s complete sexual history and with it potential risk, the profoundly huge gap we have in educating older persons 40 plus who are single and sexually active, widowers personified by ‘old men prowling the retirement home,’ who need modern sex education on dangers and safer sex practices; the astonishing amount of ignorance, naiveté running through society mirrored, yes here in America, by the jaw dropping words of a UK middle aged, middle class woman “I thought only people in Africa got HIV.” Older men who had never heard of HPV, let alone it being derived from sexual contact, dido its link to head and neck, mouth and throat cancers throughout the male population in ever increasing numbers, immune system resolved strains in disease vectors (AKA men) may last long than in women increasing their spread, some types taking up to 3 years to dissipate out of the body anyway; unresolved strains potentially leading to caner down the road. Identically uniformed people who must all be currently running the FDA here in America; what the Orlando massacre revealed about blood donation a stark contrast to California who just passed legislation allowing HIV positive organ, tissue donation between HIV positive matching individuals brought about when a man was denied transplant access to a portion of his husband’s liver; California legislature going into an emergency session to hear the case and fast tracking the decision to help this individual eventually helping scores like him. Again why wouldn’t you; though the incident in California smacking of something law makers hadn’t gotten to yet, growing knowledge life expectancy and the long term success of anti- retrovirals had reached good enough, effective enough, lasting enough to justify a transplant even HIV positive person to HIV positive person.

Telegraph commenter absolutely right, science has moved beyond our feeble debate; if you can test for blood born infections, every pint/blood sample collected undergoes screening, anyone thought to be healthy should be allowed to donate within the LGBT community or without, including gays, lesbians and bisexuals. One more reason why the marriage equality portion of gay rights, pushback against bathroom bills was and is so important because the recognition went far, far past just marriage, just a piece of paper signifying you as a legal couple, far, far past access to social security, death, survivors benefits from the government generating the understanding gay people are in more ways than not, just like you, choosing to love someone of their own gender the way you love your wife, capable of cultivating lasting relationships and stable families, ironically instability once applied to blended families of 2 people marrying after divorce. Because it focuses us on practical social realities backed by science and research; science and research that says children can thrive in homosexual homes just as they do in heterosexual ones, science and research that dispels the myth homosexuals, transgender people are pedophiles making identity over birth sex assignment bathroom choice a case of perverts lurking near you or your kids. Science that proves medically gays pose no greater risk to the national blood supply than automatically assumed healthy people listed above, statistics unearth probably aren’t, sloppiness of lab screeners brought on by preconceived attitudes about who gets something like HIV and who doesn’t, sloppiness in general marring test results. Negligence stories involving hospital errors, unscrupulous dentists, doctors, nurses, lab techs, healthcare professionals across the board. Look no further than accidental Ebola exposures from America’s first significant brush with the lethal disease, nursing staff at Texas Presbyterian, lacking in appropriate hazmat gear, infectious disease, epidemic training hospital wide; ill-preparedness in the epidemic as it infiltrated U.S. boarders a topic I covered thoroughly. Accidents at the CDC involving both Ebola and anthrax, one particular instance where lab personnel weren’t wearing provided protective suites in their entirety, labs on the news for generating false positives, false negatives regarding a host of tests’ results; HIVAIDS bound to be one by the law of averages if nothing else. The downright geriatric dentist whose methods were so outdated he potentially increased the chance of cross contamination, infection, used rusted, improperly sanitized instruments; one hospitals misuse of insulin pens exposed roughly 4,000 to HIV and hepatitis, a New Jersey Nurse who reused needles to give flu shots exposing up to 70 patients to the same. Medical error, medical carelessness, now representing the 3rd leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer, diagnostic mistakes, poor discharge instructions and hospital born infections taking thousands yearly; not lost on anyone, especially the discriminated against, regularly tested members of the LGBT community, the same FDA that allowed drug shortages to interrupt critical cancer treatments for people facing life or death, drug shortages they fell short on stopping, the same FDA who won’t fast track cutting edge drugs to treat the deadliest things but regularly allows on the market too quickly drugs to treat common problems, diabetes, high cholesterol, acid reflux, birth control, pulling them much later usually after people have died, been seriously health compromised. Addressing the currently unveiled situation, it’s time to send FDA policy heads back to high school biology, integrated science class; barring that they need to read, assimilate and be willing to understand the science put in front of them. If FDA reluctance is really centered around inability to detect the earliest HIV infection then A- it should apply to everyone adjusting when all persons can give blood and B- be skillfully communicated to the LGBT community to shake off the aura of discrimination. Guaranteed we can predict part of their response were they greeted with such a message, get a better test; is there a way to store donated blood for the 3 months it usually takes to detect, if not lets develop a way ending a higher percentage of risk. On one hand HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention campaigns, research efforts into treatment and eventually a cure have been victims of their own success developing powerful drugs taking imminent death off the table, taking the death pallor off casual sex, riskier sex, distilling management of HIV down to taking a drug cocktail born out in reduced condom use, decreased STD/STI testing in certain groups, and on the other hand we seem stalled in advancements toward a cure or vaccine either one—absurd we have a vaccine for HPV, the virus known to cause some forms of genital herpes and reproductive cancers like cervical cancer, but we have yet to develop one for HIV, human trails for a potential vaccine begin this year in South Africa. Speaking of absurd, how did we let the major non-lethal, for now at least, treatable STDs/STI’s rise to the level of drug resistance without first being able to develop a vaccine to prevent ever getting it, getting it again; chronic recurrence, reacquiring feeding said resistance? Chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, genital warts, and genital herpes should all have vaccines by now administered at the earliest possible point to prevent sexually transmitted infections stemming from every possible source. We are the nation that sent a man to the moon in a decade, has manufactured drugs to treat HIV/AIDS within a decade of its epidemic proportions discovery, within 15 years of that epidemic marker, roughly 1983, there were combination anti- retrovirals making it easier for sufferers to take their medication; we are the nation that has made multiple types of cancer curable with designated courses of treatment, separated more and more conjoined twins, what are we doing and why haven’t we gotten there yet? Easy answer, doing so centers around sex, the most touchy, taboo topic in the country; sex linked to purity, may people still believing those who contract sexually transmitted diseases treatable, permanent, potentially lethal i.e. HIV/AIDS they deserve what they got for engaging in casual sex, having too many partners, having premarital sex, only perverted, immoral people engage in the kind of sex that transmits and STD/STI. Disregarding people like that Texas toddler, that 15 year old girl and the hundreds more like them whose sexual encounters weren’t voluntary, consensual constituting sexual abuse; disregarding the number of sexually exploited children/adults snared in human trafficking rings on U.S. soil, the 79.5 thousand adult rape victims yearly according to the FBI (2012), people economically seduced, coerced, if not forced, into prostitution, millions of both women and men facing some kind of sexual assault spanning the duration of their lifetime. Disregarding the fact communicable disease, wherever it is, is no respecter of persons, neighborhoods, social status arguments for ensuring illegal immigrants get access to healthcare, people get as vaccinated as they can and screening blood donations carries no prejudice apart from medical fact on who can and cannot give blood.

We expect this kind of ignorant, fear mongering, uneducated dogma from republican politicians who haven’t picked up a science textbook since the 1970’s maybe before considering the median age of those serving in the 114th congress, who didn’t have the benefit of modern sexual education and their religious affiliations made it even more unlikely they got the proper sexual health information of their day. People who think women can spontaneously prevent pregnancy during rape and a fight for insurance covered birth control was about women having so much sex, being such sluts they wanted the government to pay for their birth control as opposed to access through insurance for women battling genetic disorders and reproductive diseases having nothing to do with sex, endometriosis polycystic ovarian syndrome, who required higher end, more expensive birth control to help treat their ailment, preventing pregnancy a secondary, happy side effect. Not from the FDA, reiterating those initials stand for the food and drug administration, the governmental, oversight body meant to keep our food supply safe, monitor regulated drugs, medications pertaining to the safety and wellbeing of the general public, monitoring for zero contamination in our nation’s donated blood supply, keeping in place procedures towards ensuring that outcome. We expect the religious sectors and politicians with a conservative bent to turn it into a morality argument, a panic induced caution argument coming out of people who thought Gardasil was a license for11 year old girls to have sex, not an attempt to get them vaccinated against HPV causing cancer and secondary disease, intercepting them before their first sexual encounter, even abusive encounters. Later recommendations Gardasil be given to boys owing to the popularity of oral sex among teens because it doesn’t result in pregnancy, the idea oral sex doesn’t count as sex because it isn’t ‘traditional’ penis to vagina contact, HPV doesn’t need sex to be transmitted merely skin to genital contact, mouth to genital contact, condoms less effective during sex because they do not cover the entire genital region, HPV can lead to throat, anal and penial cancers in men. Not from the FDA partnered with the CDC who should be spearheading mandatory vaccination of everyone who medically can tolerate, take any vaccine in place of politicians left to secure their own mandates state by state, governors a-la South Carolina’s Nikki Haley who refused to support a bill granting monetary access to Gardasil, Michelle Bachmann in the last election blasting Rick Perry for suggesting a mandate in his state; while we’re on the subject, if the FDA can bar gay men from blood donation they can remove everything but medical exemptions to vaccine regulations nationwide stopping anti-vaxxers in their tracks. Political attitudes on the HPV vaccine mirroring political attitudes about HIV/AIDS good girls and boys don’t get either disease, morally upright boys and girls don’t get those diseases, only people who engage in unnatural sex get something so horrible, unnatural anything from premarital sex to anal or oral sex; despite our seen as evolving sexual preferences, straight, some married woman who prefer anal. FDA seeming to take a page out of the religious evangelical sets book when outlining parameters on who can’t give blood unfortunately not limited to gay men but imposing the same lifetime ban on any IV drug user regardless if they are currently clean, been clean for years, decades, Red Cross website saying it’s linked to hepatitis; except forms of hepatitis are one of the several things they can and do screen for. At least the bans on potentially Zika infected people are solidly based in what we do know and what we still need to learn, it being a new infection; bans on pregnant women is for the health of the mother and child, bans on people taking certain medication based on how it could affect the recipient, bans on dura graft recipients soundly linked to a debilitating, invariably fatal brain disease, restrictions on foreign travel. Signaling out only 2 groups banned on moral arguments gays and prior IV drug users both unfair, both things any negatives might be derived from outwitted by science, screening what the FDA should be viewing not the blathering and fear of the increasing minority. Realizing religious or not, actively evangelical or not we are never going to regulate people out of having sex, dictate who people have sex with or how they choose to have sex between consenting partners; realizing the best thing we can do is disseminate the facts about sex, facilitate that which will let them have sex as safely as possible. Let us not forget Orlando happened in part because an individual took serious umbrage at the LGBT community’s existence, umbrage fueled by the religious minded preaching not only that their love is wrong but passively to actively condoning violence against LGBT people, perfectly happy with leaving the impression violence against them is righteously justified, gay people wanted to give blood so badly because there was a tragedy effecting their own community and here was a simple way to help. Look closer that the Kim Davis video above where the man comes out of that court house having finally obtained a marriage license and asked how he felt he sobbingly replied it made him feel like a person; how much less like people, citizens do they feel when turned away from helping in a crisis repeating a pattern, just because you’re gay. Repeating a vicious cycle we’ve further striped their personhood away because we refuse to accept gay people aren’t what we think they are, aren’t personified by the stereotypes we gave them, are no more immoral, amoral, than those who’ve made mistakes even big ones, morality that doesn’t affect blood type, blood viability. At the very least LGBT persons should have been allowed to donate after Orlando due to where the majority of the blood was going and to whom, representing no threat to the ‘outside’ national blood supply; related to the present debate spawning the question what else has the FDA ignored operating off 35 year old paradigms, what else have they missed, where might we be if they weren’t entrenched in meaningless red tape of a slightly different kind?

Current exclusion exposure sparking debate isn’t the first time the ban on gay blood giving has come under scrutiny in the 21st century, in the wake of latter 20th century, 21st century science and medicine; it was reviewed by the FDA in 2012, again in 2014 crawling toward progress stipulating a year of abstinence for gay men wishing to participate, little hope that even in light of Orlando, news coverage investigating the why behind the WTF policy there will be any change. LGBT community members still treated as somehow less than, somehow more of a threat than ‘normal’ people possessing no outward sexual deviance as if infection with and STD/STI didn’t signify deviance of some sort to the ones judging, but straight men are also somehow more deserving of forgiveness too for what they’ve done is basic fornication, adultery, nothing rising to the horrid level of abomination (cure requisite shutter); predictable how fast political figures publicly alter positions when it’s suddenly their kid, their brother, their sister other relative impacted by LGBT issues, rare to see politicians like the Utah republican publicly voicing his ‘change of heart’ after a tragedy. Immediate response, they don’t need your apology they need your action, they don’t need words alone they need movement on their issues that will make the world safer and kinder for them, safety and kindness no one questions belongs to you as a straight individual, as a religious person or atheist, man or woman, causation, black, Latino. They need you to shine a beacon of light toward a different way for your religious compatriots that says they need to be alive to be witnessed into the kingdom of the god they profess to serve, witnessing that can’t consist of being brow beating with the King James bible by persons holding signs about god hating gays, picket signs outside courtrooms embossed with ‘Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve,’ spitting on the people Jesus told you to love, to whom you should be offering salvation not saliva, a path to life as defined by your religious book not death by bullets, being tied to a fence and beaten, suicide post the humiliation of sexual assault by heterosexual classmates who think you’ll like it owing to your sexual orientation, think it proof of their masculinity, heterosexual identity if they do so. Worth instilling in the public mindset, not everyone in the Pulse night club on June 12 was gay; some there because it was a cool club, they had a singular drink someone preferred, they came for the Latin music, were dragged out by friends for a good time, something out of your house, to the nearest place serving liquor, functioning as a designated driver. Nor will every time a gay person wants to give blood be in reaction to something affecting just their ‘isolated little enclave’ many motivated to donate out of a genuine desire to help; their blood that could save countless lives if entered into the supply as safely as anyone else’s. Bottom line, people don’t care where their blood comes from as long as it’s clean, it’s safe, you haven’t crossed species, a current impossibility, it’s not a synthetic blood product, products also just reaching human trials. People only care, after answering the clean and safe question, it will be there when they, their loved one need it; individuals initially refusing blood via a black person, a Jewish person, back when race was/is the main issue quickly change their tune when they comprehend the blood they were given from the person, group of people they can’t stand saved their life ultimately grateful. Imagine the day when gay blood does the same begins to overcome barriers, bridge gaps by proving it’s not ‘contaminated,’ won’t ‘turn you gay too’ or any of the nonsense too far gone for science fiction. Then we won’t need mass donations in the wake of something like Orlando, it won’t happen.