The Sichuan earthquake caused such a large number of Chinese people to step out and donate blood that mobile blood donation buses around the nation had to stop accepting donations because more has been given than needed. Several lesbians were unhappy though when told their blood would not be accepted because of a blanket ban on blood donation by homosexuals by the Ministry of Health under the Blood Donor Health Check Requirements 《供血者健康检查标准》. Para 6.16 of the above ordinance bans homosexuals and people with multiple sex partners from donating blood.
The lesbian magazine les+ has published an article Where are you, LES blood donors? (献血的拉拉，你在哪里？) to criticise the blanket ban and to solicit stories from readers so as to help Tongyu, a Beijing-based lesbian organisation, to agitate for an amendment of the regulations:
After Wenchuan was hit by an 8 magnitude earthquake, the whole nation has been in deep sorrow. People all over China actively donate either money or blood, trying to express their concern. In the homosexual community, we also make donations for the earthquake-stricken area, and many of us went to donate blood without any hesitation, in hope of saving more lives of the victims.
A lot of LESs find out the regulations of blood donation have specified the homosexual people are prohibited from donating blood. The blood stations rejected some LESs’ offer when they indicated their sexual orientation (even some of them have the rare RH-negative blood), on the ground that the homosexual is the high-risk group of AIDS.
However, as to the contaminated blood transmitted by unprotected sex, lesbians are not more dangerous than any other groups. A study applying to all the sexually transmitted diseases (STD), including AIDS and Hepatitis B, showed that sex between women is comparatively low-risky (compared to other groups).
During the national calamity, everyone is trying to contribute something to help the victims and save lives, but the unreasonable regulations have prevented altruistic act of the homosexual and disappointed all of us. LESs long to take an active part in the disaster relief, so please don’t turn down our earnest donations.
Tongyu, a lesbian association in Beijing, is collecting the blood donation stories of LESs, and going to call for an amendment of blood donation rules. LESs who have donated blood please send email to [email protected] , telling us your experience of donation. Let’s hold on together to eliminate the homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation; help others and help ourselves! [Translation by Meng Zhang of Global Voices]