This is the second batch; the first batch had already been returned to me, along with saline, in an icy transfusion after the blood center extracted a concentrated dose of red blood cells from what I gave them. How much was that? I got *two* "be kind to me I gave blood stickers" over the usual one. So two pints, but they gave me all the leftovers back. At the end of the hour the phlebotomist handed me a form to sign saying: "sorry I forgot about this before."
The consent form detailed the strange side effects I was already feeling -- weird tingling in my lips; severe chills; nausea -- and states at the very last: "Long term side-effects from the depletion of lymphocytes are unknown." That would be my white blood cells; the ones that fight infection.
Also in the small print: a prohibition against donating blood if you are a man who has had sexual contact with a man anytime since 1977. This question comes up some time after one is queried about sexual contact with an individual who is HIV positive, male or female.
So basically gay men are out, just because they're gay, unless I'm reading that wrong.
It may not be marriage, but it's still discrimination, and it made me even more curious to read Martha Nussbaum's pending release on the politics of revulsion in which she theorizes that much of the antagonism to gay marriage is rooted in homophobic disgust over queer sexuality.
I want to see where she goes with that and whether she draws a parallel between sexual discrimination and our sorry history of racial segregation.
Separate drinking fountains come to mind.