Sunday, May 30, 2010

Two gay-related items

Shh... Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Did you know that the U.S. is the only defense force in the Western world with a policy, dubbed DADT, that bans gay people? [Yeah, right. No gay folks there, I'm sure...!] Now that Obama has been given permission (!) to repeal this ban, one has to wonder why right-wing Republicans in congress are resisting - after all, 80% of the country wants the repeal, including most conservative voters out there. What's up with that? Talk about self-destruction; I guess they are just clueless. Well, OK, we already knew that.

Yes, there has been a generational change with regard to the acceptance and inclusion of gays in society. For young people, who sleeps with whom is simply something they don't sweat. And that's how it should be. As someone said, "These days, being gay is about as significant as being left-handed."

I'm left-handed.

Blood donation
Another hopeful sign of the times: The U.S. is finally considering repeal of the ban on gay people donating blood. This policy has been in place ever since the scary days of HIV in the early '80s. And, of course, it's always been a ridiculous policy. There is a tremendous shortage of blood in the U.S. There are simple tests these days that can screen blood for HIV. The virus is not restricted to gays - in fact, the rate of infection among straight people and those who use infected needles to satisfy their drug habit is way higher than the rate among gay men. It is especially a problem for women because of sheer denial as well as lack of education on the topic. It would seem prudent, even with the gay ban in place, to test blood for HIV as a matter of routine.

So. Here's the trade-off, bearing the shortage in mind: Do not test blood for HIV, and deprive ourselves of donations by 10% of the population (10% being the generally accepted estimate of the gay portion). Or test all blood and increase the supply by 10%. What would you do? It truly is a no-brainer.

On a related note, the U.S. also bans blood donations from people who come from or have visited sub-Saharan Africa.

I'm South African.


Tsotsi said...

I find the fact that you refer to yourself as a South African very interesting indeed. You have spent the last thirty years living in America, yet you still see yourself as a South African. A naturalized American citizen who was born in South Africa is something quite different. The proudest day of my life was the day I became a citizen. It was humbling to say the least. I ceased to be a South African on that day some twenty years ago and became a citizen of America: warts and all. I may have been born in South Africa, but I am no longer a South African. I'm a proud African-American.

Not unlike so many other minority groups that come to America who never assimilate, stick together, never learn to speak English, never learn about its history, never become proper, American citizens. One thing they all do know, though, is where to go to “get their checks.” This much about America they know. Entitlement is alive and well and you don't even need to be a citizen. In some instances, you don't even need to be living in the country legally. Ain't America great, or what?

David said...

Well, it looks like you may have missed what I was, erm, hinting at when I said "I'm South African." The post was in two parts, both gay-related. Both had comparisons between being gay and something else - left-handedness and coming from sub-Saharan Africa. Notice the last sentence of each piece of this post. Jislaaik, my kind!

Donald said...

I did notice both last sentences: didn't miss a thing. Left handed you are... Not sure how one can call oneself a South African when one has blatantly rejected South African citizenship by becoming the citizen of another country.
I'm confused...

No too difficult, I know. The passing years have taken their toll.

David said...

It's called dual citizenship, sweetheart: UK and SA!

Tsotsi said...

I refer to Tsoti's post above, particularly the first sentence in the second paragraph: "Not unlike so many other minority groups that come to America....." Wouldn't gay, left-handed South Africans also fall into a minority group?

David said...

True! That has to be the ultimate minority group!!!