Friday, October 26, 2007


I'm getting out of work early today, and I'm going to use the extra time to go to the Red Cross Blood Drive that's happening across the street this week. I'm having a difficult time deciding whether or not to lie (by omission) on my intake forms or not.

There are three questions that give me trouble, and each time I try to decide how to deal with them, and thus far I've been (mostly) honest, and it's been nothing but hassle for me and the employees.

There's a question "Have you ever had any trouble with your heart?" to which honestly I must say yes, since I had an SVT arrhythmia when I was younger. But it was corrected by surgery in 1997, and I haven't had a lick of trouble since, and each and every time the beleaguered intake person has to go try to look up my former condition in the guidebook and/or ask their supervisor, only to find out (as I try to point out) that it's no barrier at all to me giving blood. So that's not such a big deal, but I am tempted to just put "no" to save us all the trouble.

Then there's the question "Have you recieved an injection anytime in the last 14 days?" which is always yes, because I'm always on a 7 or 8 day shot cycle with my T, so I've always given myself a shot relatively recently. Once or twice this hasn't been a problem, the person has just asked me what for, written down "testosterone prescribed by doctor" and we've carried on. Last time, though, there was a whole big fuss because the woman asked my why I take it and I said, quite matter-of-factly, "Because I'm a transsexual." hoo boy! so much fuss! she tried to tell me I can't give blood, that's not allowed, also, what kind of people do I have sex with? etc. After much fuss and talking to her supervisor, I was allowed to proceed and give my warm red pint but boy howdy, that didn't make me feel that great about the whole process. So should I put down that I've gotten a shot? Or should I put it down, but lie and say "endocrine disorder" if asked about it?

And then there's the one question that I've consistently lied to, the one that says "Are you a man who's had sex with another man even once since 1976?" I always check "no" even though it's a lie, because I know that to check "yes" is to be automatically disqualified, thanks to outdated homophobic restrictions that the Red Cross established decades ago. On the other hand, if the Red Cross knew the whole truth about my anatomy, they'd probably say that I don't qualify as a "man" who's had sex with men, anyway (since the woman to whom I described myself as a transsexual certainly raised a fuss about my 'no' answer to this question- after already having gone over it with me, she went back to it twice more once I'd made my little revelation). So, I'll probably just continue to lie and answer No to this question, since I know my HIV status is negative, and because I'm against this question on principle.

Still, it's hard for me to lie on doctor's forms, and I'm annoyed that the fuss over my trans history is such that I should even be thinking about it. Hopefully, I won't run up against any trouble this time.

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