The Blood Donors


Brit readers, and no doubt many others, will recall the famous exploits of comedian Anthony (Aloysius) Hancock (‘Tony Hancock’) and may also be familiar with his famous sketch ‘The Blood Donor’, in which he is surprised to find that donation of blood requires ‘an armful’ rather than the merest scratch to test for the blood group. Well, this post is not about that, although it amused me for a while to unearth these archive pictures through ‘Google’! No, this is about a recent news story also from the UK which a friend has just passed on to us over here in Tennessee. Apparently, gay Brits are allowed now to donate blood, provided that they have not had (any kind of) sex in a year. A year! This replaces an absolute ban before.

It is all in the name of preventing the spread of AIDS. Straight guys (and girls) have never been prevented from giving blood even if they visited a prostitute of unknown HIV status the night before. Doesn’t this somehow smack of just a tiny bit of homophobic prejudice?

Why this rant? Well, taking us back to the emergency room in Edinburgh when one of our team had been shot, a bullet close to his heart, and blood pouring out by the gallon, his beloved partner Gary instantly demanded to donate and, in the confusion, was immediately allowed to. The rest of the acrobat team all followed suit except for Ivo, who apparently was incompatible but had an usual blood type they were very interested to collect, and Dave who, with two fractures, was not allowed. In the haste to get to grips with the emergency, the nursing staff either forgot, or chose to ignore, the rules that night, on the basis that we were all obviously friends of the victim and desperate to help him. Only after did one of them ask, nervously, ‘Are you gay’…

Well, I’ve written that up in the epic, but I gloss over the identity of the medical team who kindly overlooked our status. Don’t want to cause any trouble, even though it is several years since…

We have always, within our little community, taken scrupulous care of our own HIV status and that of our friends, and keep our ‘activities’ strictly within the circle we know to be absolutely free of the virus. So, in many ways, we feel better placed to donate our clearly clean blood than any collection of random straight people. Arrrgh – homophobia strikes again. We are presumed to be totally irresponsible and incapable of intelligent action to ensure our continued health and that of our friends. Grrrrrr.

The authorities that dream up this nonsense might do well to read this. Perhaps they’de like to blame the homos for this interesting phenomenon (enlarge it by clicking if you can’t read it…)

Now the philosophy:

‘Live your Dream’. Erm, yes, that’s what it is all called, actually. An adventure of gay acrobats in love which turned, twice, into a nightmare.

It’s gonna run to three books altogether, I’m almost ashamed to admit, with the first two out quite soon.

Enough of this. Where’s the pictures of boys having fun that we’ve come to expect of this blog, I hear you ask? Oh, all right them, here’s one till next time!

Not sure exactly what is going on here, but wine is involved (bottom left!). Looks like fun to us!

About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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