Gay Men Protest FDA Ban On Donating Blood With Powerful Piece Of Art
In 1983, the US Food and Drug Administration banned men who have sex with men from donating blood as a result of the AIDS crisis.
That policy is still in place today, despite a report from the UCLA Williams Institute stating it is preventing one million lives from being saved each year.
Jordan Eagles has protested the ban and symbolized its harrowing effects through a deeply moving piece of art called “Blood Mirror.”
According to the Huffington Post, nine gay men from a variety of backgrounds donated blood to create the sculpture that encases the liquid in a transparent wall.
Leo Herrera released a video documenting the creation of the piece just days before World Blood Donor Day on June 14.
The sculpture represents the FDA’s withholding of blood and forces the viewer to examine the debilitating shadow homophobia places on the US.
I wanted to create a sculpture that would become a time capsule, documenting this moment in time, while showing that this blood could have been used to save lives. This discriminatory policy is part of our gay history and part of our nation's history, and the sculpture asks us to reflect on discrimination in our country, as well as the homophobia that exists around the world. For me, the sculpture is a work in progress. It will never be finished until the FDA's blood donation policy is fair for all people.
The FDA proposed to change the ban last year to allow gay men to donate blood as long as they stay celibate for the year prior.
This modification is set to be enacted next month.
From September 12 to October 18, you can see “Blood Mirror” at The Katzen Arts Center at American University in Washington, DC.
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