In high school, I was involved with the National Honors Society/Red Cross blood drive on our campus. I enjoyed the concept of service to those in need, and I donated every time a drive was on campus. After high school, I got a tattoo, and there was a requisite year of restriction on my donor status. This I understood, entirely. Then I went to college and started getting high every five hours on the dot, so my donation schedule got delayed… by ten years. I like to think that the Red Cross understood too.
Also in high school, I got a blowjob from a guy. Keep this in mind, it’ll be important later.
The questions asked on the Red Cross donor screening during high school were fairly short and to the point. Are you sexually active? Have you tested positive for any sexually transmitted diseases? Have you gotten a marrow transplant, have you ever had Chagas or a brain duramatter replacement in europe for more than five years or in african prison for more than seventy two consecutive piercings? No? Let’s do this, roll up that shirt sleeve.
They tested each donation, and we all went on our merry way.
So I roll on down to donate some blood here last week, and I start answering the questions.
Marrow transplant? No sir.
Bovine Derived Growth Hormone Treatment in Chad? Not me.
Sex with a prostitute or prison rape in the past 12 months? Nope.
Tested positive for AIDS or been in France for more than three months in the past five years? No, though I’m not sure the two of those are in the same risk league.
Had sexual contact (Defined as oral/genital, genital/anal, or genital/genital [z: what?]) with a man since 1977? … … …
Since nineteen seventy fucking seven? Meaning, ever. Have I ever experimented with gay sex, ever. Even if it was once, ten years ago? Even if I’ve tested negative for every single sexually transmitted disease on the planet. Even if I’ve not had sex of any kind for eight years. Even if it was a blowjob on a waterbed and it got really awkward after. Even if the possibility that I’m carrying a blood-borne illness that is related to my sexual persuasion is about the same likelihood that I’m carrying an alien spore in my brain which makes me like cats? Yes. Even then.
Yes. I did that. Done. Flip over sign.
So the screener comes back. And she stares at the computer like I just hauled off and took a shit on the keyboard. “I, uh….” she stammers. “Uhhhhh”
“Let me get a manager over here”
She skitters off to find a stringy managerial woman. They both stare at the screen and point.
“With a man” the managerial woman restates with emphasis. “A man”
I nod my head yes.
“A man. And you are also a man.” She repeats, pointedly not looking at me.
And I nod.
The screener giggles nervously “I’ve, uh. I’ve never, uh… nobody has ever answered that one yes before. Uh…”
The managerial woman offers me one more ‘out’ – “And there’s been no gender reassignment, right?”
I shake my head.
The managerial woman sighs and simply walks away. The screener stares at me again like I’ve now taken the keyboard turd and am attempting to stuff it into my nose. “Uh… there’s uh… I have to print out an uh… thing.”
She wanders away again, returning with a printout.
She says “And, uh… there are, uh.. no more questions.” Starting again, “Well, I have good news and bad news.” then thinking some more – “Well, there’s really no good news.”
And she explains that since I had the unmitigated gall, the audacity to give and receive oral sex during the Clinton administration, I was permanently banned from giving blood. My status as a “permanent deferral” would be shared with various agencies of the medical establishment. (This sharing of information gave me particular joy.) To put this in perspective. If I had had sex with a HOOKER only THIRTEEN FUCKING MONTHS AGO, I would have been fine. If I have Genital Warts, that’s no problemo! Also if you have papilloma virus (the one that’s directly linked to pussy cancer) that’s fine too, donate away. But since Greg’s spit on my dick turned my blood to black motherfucking poison, I am going to literally melt the entire donation truck with my AIDS-ulance.
The screener then hands me a rejection letter which she asks me three times if I “want her to fill in the reason box”. I said no, because I totally understood what she was saying, but the knowing nod and “I didn’t think so” explained to me that she didn’t really understand the point. She then assured me that “things were changing” and I should “check back later” or better yet, become a volunteer! She slid the letter to me and retreated.
I walked back to my desk, flabbergasted. Are they honestly not testing blood donations for AIDS even now? Do they suspect some kind of as-yet-unknown gay plague that will come back to kill everyone retroactively?
I guess I could donate blood in Thailand.