LETTER: CBS Policy still creates homophobic fear and stigma

Thank you for the excellent commentary (Pride equal parts celebration and advocacy) in the June 16th edition of The Picton Gazette around Pride and why the work must continue.

I want to take this time to draw attention the Canadian Blood Services and Federal Canadian policy on blood donations. While re-written, the policy still created through a lens of homophobic fear and stigma.

Toronto-based queer educator, Javier Dávila, did an extensive review of the new policy. Some points Javier highlighted indicate the policy focuses on those who engage in anal sex, specifically gay men, non-binary and trans folx.

1) The policy does not  consider other behaviours such as condom use, insertive vs receptive, PIV sex, and PrEP.

2) The policy assumes that cis straight men i) don’t have anal sex ii) don’t have sex without a condom ii) don’t have multiple partners.

3) There are only two genders to choose from when applying. Male or Female. The reason? The out-of-date software. The re-written policy continues to reinforce homophobic stigma around the queer community. The Federal government should be ashamed of passing off the policy as anything but.

Alison Kelly