Blood

Blood

If you need an operation
you’ll be thankful for blood donation
ensuring supplies to the entire nation
are available without hesitation.

And it’s not inconvenient;
donating blood is time well spent;
you’ll feel all warm and well content
when you get up and go.

You may ask – do you donate?
And I’ll have to answer, No,

but wait –

It’s not cause I’m scared of needle pricks,
or think I’ll pass out and look like a dick,
or spray the nurse with a pint of sick.
I can’t get past the list they tick.

This is the hard part to confess,
and sorry to digress
but this is one annoying mess,
they won’t take my blood unless
I lie about my sexual interests.
My gayness causes them distress.

Well being gay isn’t officially the thing.
But, if you’re a man who’s shagged any man
since 1971 you’re banned
from giving blood.

(So if you’re gay and ugly, it’s probably okay.)

They screen the blood for HIV,
Hepatitis, B and C,
White Nile Virus,
Chagas Disease.
They even check for syphilis –
there’s nothing that they’re going to miss
because I shag a Mr instead of a Miss.

Or do we live in fantasy
where straight guys don’t get HIV?
Because this policy seems to be
the paragon of lunacy,
if the blood banks are really in need
of liquid assets ready to feed
the entire countries A and Es!

So I’ll make this simple plea:
if you’re not gay-like-me,
give your blood but let’s agree
to make some noise so they might see
this idiotic policy
is ruining the blood economy,
and making my blood boil –
which is another reason they won’t take it.

[This is an old performance poem of mine. Since I wrote this the laws for blood donation have changed in the UK but it’s still a problem worldwide and still something very much worth speaking out against.]

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