For the second consecutive year Queen City Pride is encouraging those who can, to donate blood.
The Ally Clinic focuses on people donating blood for those who can’t for any reason.
Currently men who have had sex with another man, must be abstinent for at least one year’s time before they are eligible to donate themselves, the deferral policy was changed from five years to one in 2016.
Jesse Ireland, Co-chair of Queen City Pride said it’s good to see progress in the right direction, but added moving towards a world where gay men can donate whenever they please is a slow process.
“It’s a very slow process but it is encouraging to see that changes are being made, last year during Regina’s Pride festival they announced the change of the deferral period from five year’s to one year, and obviously we want to be able to get that to no year deferral for MSN blood donations, so it’s a process but it’s going in the right direction,” Ireland said.
Ireland was pleased with the turnout this year, and encourages everyone who can, to donate blood.
“Please come out, Canadian Blood Services is always looking for donations and right now they need a lot, there are people who cannot donate blood who want to, and so if you have the power to please get out there and do that and start that conversation for those who can’t donate,” Ireland said on Friday.
One donation can save up to three lives.
Morag Hurn donated blood for the fifth time on Friday, and for the second time she was donating on behalf of her friend Michael White, who was unable to donate for his father when needed.
“Michael’s father passed away and around that time he wasn’t able to donate, so he has given me the honor of donating on his behalf, and I am very grateful for that,” Hurn told 620 CKRM.
She also encouraged everyone who can to donate blood.
“It doesn’t really hurt, actually it doesn’t hurt at all, and you get cookies,” Hurn joked.
“The first time I donated it was kind of scary but when it came to the actual process, they were very gentle and very professional. I actually didn’t even realize the needle was in,” Hurn said.