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Gender Ideology Makes a Mess of Donating Blood at the Red Cross

The American Red Cross is in a bit of a pickle over its nonsensical gender identity blood donation policies.

– – The following is a true, if sarcastic, story by guest editorial writer Drew Hymer – –

Sometimes, I’m a man; sometimes, a woman. I switch every two weeks, when I donate plasma and platelets at the American Red Cross. To avoid confusion, my online calendar reminds me what my gender will be at each upcoming donation.  

When I first arrive at the Red Cross, I must read twelve pages (six pages, front and back) of educational material detailing definitions, risks of donating and reasons not to donate, such as possible exposure to disease. These pages warn me (emphasis in original):

DO NOT DONATE IF YOU … Are a male who has had sexual contact with another male IN THE PAST 3 MONTHS. Are a female who has had sexual contact IN THE PAST 3 MONTHS with a male who has had sexual contact with another male IN THE PAST 3 MONTHS.

American Red Cross

This isn’t meant to hurt my feelings but to protect the blood supply from diseases commonly transmitted through homosexual acts. However, nowhere in those twelve pages does the Red Cross define the terms “male” and “female.” Ah, but when I look in the Transgender Donor section of the Red Cross’s LGBTQ+ website page, I find that “male” and “female” are terms of self-identification.  Because this important information is left out of the educational material, many donors wrongly assume, as I always did, that “male” and “female” are biological terms objectively describing reality. Therefore, the Red Cross is violating federal law (21 CFR 630.10 (b)) which requires that the Red Cross, (emphasis mine) “present educational material… in a manner designed to be understood by the donor.”

Luckily, if I identify as a woman or my sexual partner identifies as a woman, I can honestly deny participating in the proscribed sexual behavior. Whew! My blood is clean.

After I read the educational material, a Red Cross interviewer asks me to, “Confirm [my] gender.” Once again, the twelve pages leave out a critical definition, “gender.”  The interviewer is talking gender identity. There’s no reason, especially during pride month, for the Red Cross to hide this fact from donors.  Why doesn’t the Red Cross simply add the word “identity” to the question (“Confirm your gender identity”)? Donors must grasp the actual meaning of the gender question, so they can treat it with the same respect that I do. On the bright side, this second deception doesn’t appear to violate federal law.

For many years, I had answered the gender question the same boring way every time, but once I stumbled over the truth, I began my bi-weekly transitions. If I answer that I’m neither male nor female, I can’t donate, therefore, I stick to the oh-so-constricting binary. If I answer, “female”, the interviewer asks if I’ve ever been pregnant.  Women who have been pregnant may, in rare cases, have antibodies in their blood that could be dangerous, even fatal, to a patient receiving a transfusion. But don’t let that bother you; when I answer, “Male,” current and past pregnancies become irrelevant.  

The American Red Cross sacrifices
Michael Riordan speaking at Red Cross South Florida Region All Staff Meeting in December 2019 at Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale

Continuing the interview, the Red Cross interviewer pokes my finger to get a drop of blood to measure my hemoglobin. When I’m a woman, I need at least 12.5 g/dL (grams per deciliter) but when I’m a man I must hit 13 g/dL.  It seems unfair, but I’m flexible.  It’s unhealthy to donate if your hemoglobin is below standard for your gender identity. On days my hemoglobin is below 13 g/dL, I can donate safely, as long as I’m feeling feminine.

Once I pass the hemoglobin test and answer all the questions regarding exposure to diseases, I’m ready to donate.  The Red Cross prefers my masculine days because I can give 20% more plasma when I’m a man. If I claimed to be a man when I was actually a woman, giving too much plasma could endanger my health.  Fortunately for my own sake, my online calendar keeps me straight about when I’m a man and when I’m a woman.

In humility, local Red Cross personnel take no credit for their magnanimous policy on gender, falsely claiming, “It’s mandated by the FDA.”  Rather the truth is, (emphasis mine) “FDA recommends that male or female gender be taken to be self-identified and self-reported.” It’s heartwarming that the FDA cares so deeply about my feelings that my health and the safety of the blood supply are lesser concerns. The Red Cross deserves recognition for freely embracing the FDA’s sensitive philosophy. Apparently, deceiving donors and violating federal law are the Red Cross’s own ideas.

After a couple of hours with needles stuck in my arms, I feel the satisfaction of knowing I’ve helped cancer patients. Sometimes, I get a Red Cross t-shirt. As I drink complimentary orange juice, I look forward to being male at my next appointment. Although men’s restrooms sometimes reek of urine, tampons are bothersome and I don’t like shaving my armpits.

Why is AmericanProlifer.com publishing an opinion piece on gender ideology?  Because we consider that denying the biological reality of humans is an assault on the dignity of the human being.  Whether you believe that God created humans as male and female in accordance with his divine plan, or you believe that humans evolved into organisms who engage in sexual reproduction between a male and a female of the species, the denial of the biological reality of sex is at the core of the degradation of the intrinsic qualities of human personhood. 

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