Family, Friends and Supporters,
I recently was contacted by The New York Blood Center, The largest blood collection agency, I believe in The United States of America. (Also The vendor of choice for The City University of New York)
As I understand it, the reason for contacting us, is that they believe they have been unfairly targeted by the Task Force, The law which creates the hateful and homophobic paradigm is not of their doing, and they wish to foster an enduring relationship with the Task Force and NYC’s LGBT community in general.
On behalf of the Task Force, I invited them to our last meeting with certain mutual ground rules of civility and sensitivities towards our Task Force, as I believe some of our members have been victimized at their hands. I was not under any circumstances going to allow that to happen at a Task Force Meeting nor any re-victimization.
The meeting operated under the premise, that they wish to partner with the Task Force in an attempt to change this law, thus if this archaic law was repealed it would result in increased blood collections overall and generally an increased blood supply for New York City . The Task Force strongly supports this idea and never has been in favor of banning blood drives, but in certain situations we have advocated the relocation of them to preserve a safe space on campus in efforts to combat our LGBTQ communities 200%-400% increased suicide rate compared to heterosexual peers.
I could write for hours about the minutiae of the meeting, and micro-hostilities I perceived. I do believe the New York Blood Center acted in good faith by attending this meeting where some frank and tough questions were posed.
The Task Force posed the following questions/requests of the New York Blood Center, all of which we perceive as fair if they want to build the scope and type of relationship requested:
1. A joint petition available at all CUNY Blood Drives directed to the FDA at repealing the current law. This Petition would have agreed upon language from the New York Blood Center and The CUNY LGBT Task Force.
2. Respect for Shared Governance. CUNY has 23 campuses ONLY two campuses have requested to relocate blood drives mere feet beyond the campus boundary. Respecting the battle fought by faculty, and students in these unique settings would speak volumes about New York Blood Center’s commitment to social responsibility as CUNY’s blood collection vendor.
3. Joint Lobbying- if everyone is so committed to changing the hateful and homophobic rule, why can’t we stand arm and arm and announce this coalition of concerned groups committed to changing the current system?
4. A Joint Press Release: Let us move forward and let the world know The New York Blood Center’s commitment and caring to our LGBTQ community.
5. We asked what the Task Force could do for the New York Blood Center to help lessen the stigma and negative perceptions the NYBC has suffered.
I will try to keep everyone up to date will any developments, and as always I invite your feedback and opinions.