No matter how easily my fingers fly around the keyboard, this blog won’t be easy to write. Better put, it won’t be easy to share. It’s personal. It’s very personal and has been for a lot of years.

Strangely, it’s easier to explain that I “suffer” from depression. I put the word in quotes because I now have more up days than down ones. I was willing to be the poster-person for depression. I know, as many do, that it is an illness. I couldn’t help it.

Okay. Deep breath.

I got an early Christmas present today when I read this headline in the New York Times: 

F.D.A. Lifting Ban on Gay Blood Donors

Why would I see this as a gift for me? Because I’ve been affected by that decision to ban made decades ago.

My father was often a blood donor. His donation was often prompted by a phone call that his type of blood was needed. My dad modeled. I followed his example for many years. Until I was asked one question which put to death my life giving gifting.

The question? “Have you ever had sex with someone who had anal intercourse with another man?”

My answer was yes. Someone I knew intimately had been raped as a youth. That was enough to disqualify me.

The first time that I was denied the opportunity to give blood, I tried to argue…

“I’ve been married and monogamous for years.”

It didn’t matter.

“I don’t have HIV or AIDS. Neither does he.”

It didn’t matter.

I remember the days when AIDS first hit the headlines. It included the time my husband and I started dating. I was anxious and said so to one friend. She counseled me that with him, I shouldn’t have anything to worry about. I remember coming back with “HE’s not the one I’m worried about. It’s who else he’s been with.” My friend was silent to my comeback.

To discover had a problem more than a decade later was astounding.

I guess, as shown by the ebola crisis this year, we are quick to fear and slow to investigate.

Will that ever change?

The article states the changes are coming in 2015.

It will be interesting to see how quickly I’ll be able to donate again.

Merry Christmas

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