A few weeks ago a health fair was held at my place of work and I did go down there to check it out. One of the offerings was to get on the bone marrow registry to be a donor if someone needs it. Now this is something that I would get behind, so I started reading the paperwork. It was when I got down to the eligibility requirements that I got a nice slap in the face by the cold wet rag of old-school overprotective thinking.
I was cheerfully informed by the paper that because I am a male who has had sex with another male, they don't want my bone marrow, period.
I hate that implication, I really truly do. What it makes me feel like is that they have decided to assume that because I am attracted to other men and have been in relationships with them, it must mean that I am a walking disease factory, or worse, that I must have HIV/AIDS. Never mind that I don't engage in high risk activities, nope, I must be this dirty person who is going to just go and infect other people.
What kills me about it is that folks like me are the ones actively being discriminated against. Perhaps the medical folks have forgotten, but straight people are just as capable of catching deadly diseases from their relations as well. It's not right that I'm not allowed to donate blood or bone marrow despite taking every precaution, but that these organizations will gladly take the same products from a straight person even though that person could be promiscuous, or even have caught something from a partner who lied to them because they didn't take proper precautions. Seriously, what the french toast is this?
So what does that leave me? I can't donate blood, I can't donate bone marrow, and hell, I wouldn't be surprised if I wasn't allowed to donate my organs either if I was killed in a car wreck. Unless of course I just lie to the screeners, but I just can't do that, it's a personal violation of my own ethics. Just remember that folks, I'm not allowed right now to save someone elses life because according to the current rules, I'm going to end up killing them with something else.
Too bad, but I think when my drivers license comes up for renewal I'll just have to remove my permission to be an organ donor, they don't seem to want me.