What Does Gender Have To Do With It?

I consider myself lucky. In fact, I consider myself luckier than most. I have a good job, a beautiful home, a pretty great wife, and two amazing sons. When I met Kelly, I never thought we would be married. I am older than she is, and I was also married at the time. But, let’s face it…you can’t fight true love. I believe that we were meant to be together.

Over the years I can say we have been through a lot. A lot of normal stuff that everyone goes through, and some not so normal stuff that made us stronger. The not so normal stuff included some addiction issues, which can tear you apart. In my world, you don’t give up on the people you love.

Just when we were on the upside of things, a horrible car accident happened which caused Kelly to be life flighted. Thank goodness that she only broke her pelvis and clavicle as it could have been much worse. I took care of her at home for six months while she was bedridden. You don’t realize how much you love someone until they are almost taken from you.

Less than three years after the accident, Kelly gave birth to our second son, Logan. He has the best of both of us in him. He makes everyday better.

When Kelly mentioned that her work was doing a blood drive, it only made sense for me to donate as well. It was very important for us to show Logan, who was now seven, how important it is to help others. When Kelly was life flighted, she needed blood and received it due to the selflessness of someone else. It was our turn to help someone the next time blood was needed.

We both felt pretty good at the end of the day, and were talking about the blood drive on the way home. I told Kelly something seemed strange to me during the initial screening questions. Although I had presented my license, the young girl doing my intake asked me what I deemed to be a weird question. “What is your gender?”

At first Kelly started laughing as she thought I was joking. “You are not serious. You are obviously a man. Six foot four, almost 300 pounds, tattoos, bald, and you resemble a Viking!” Still chuckling somewhat she let me know that she was not asked the same question. She said the only question asked of her was her weight.

For some reason, it was bothering me why the gender question was asked. Does it matter where the blood comes from, and who gets it in a transfusion? And even if it does matter, aren’t they going to screen it at the lab anyway?

I immediately did some research online later that night. I found little to nothing about the gender relation to blood donation. The only thing I did come across was that there may be some risk involving antibodies if a man receives blood from a woman who had a pregnancy. Again, the blood will be screened so really no reason to ask a question about gender.

Sometimes our society over complicates things, and asks a ridiculous amount of questions just because they have to “follow the rules.” It seems like everyone is offended by something nowadays so there are guidelines for just about everything. How about we return to the basics and just remember that the most important “ guideline” should be helping each other. Pay it forward and love each other. Plain and simple. Gender has nothing to do with it.

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