Friday, 24 June 2016

Canada's New Blood Policy Transphobic

Canada has introduced a new policy for blood donation that has come under heavy criticism for being transphobic.  The new policy will determine that if a transgender donor has not had genital surgery they will be treated as the sex they were assigned at birth.

This news comes just days after the Blood Services announced that they would be loosening restrictions on gay and bisexual men who donate blood.  They are planning to drop the wait time for men who have sex with men from five year to one, but have also announced that they are planning to introduce a 'new screening process for trans donors (will take) into consideration the assigned sex of the donor and whether they have had genital surgery.'

The Canadian Blood Service has said, 'We recognise their assigned birth sex may be different than the gender with which they identify', acknowledging the fact that they are aware that transgender people do not live their lives as the gender they were assigned at birth.

Dr Mindy Goldman spoke on behalf of the CBS, 'We felt that it would be better to have a standardised procedure that way an individual trying to donate in Vancouver would be treated the same way as someone in Newfoundland or Ontario.

'It would be more respectful of donors because they would not know what the policy was.

'Where this leaves us with trans donors is that they're not an easy population for us to screen because they're transitioning often, they don't fit neatly into a category.'

In addition to being described as not  being able to 'fit neatly into a category' over their gender, trans people are also being told that they are also going to be treated as homosexual individuals if they are straight.  Transgender women are being told that if they have not had genital surgery and have been intimate with a cisgender man they will be treated as being a gay man.

Whilst cisgender women who sleep with cisgender men are free to donate blood, transgender women who sleep cisgender men will have to have a period of 12 months abstinence before donating.  The CBS have not commented on how this new policy will affect gay trans men.

Not only are these new regulations horribly transphobic in the way that they reduce the notion of trans women to simply being gay men, but the fact that it comes from an official body sends a message of anti-trans sentiment to the general population.


1 comment:

  1. The test for anaemia is different for "men" and "women" because people with testosterone in their blood have a higher haemoglobin value. This is the only part that matters, and it is fair to ask a trans-person if they have testosterone or oestrogen in their blood. The first time I gave blood after transition there was a lot of explanation and checking, but at the end the doctor came to me quietly and said "Next time you come, you are a woman - you don't need to explain anything".