Thinking about donating may bring up some painful feelings. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The 2SGBTQ+ communities have had a long and painful history with Canadian Blood Services. In our interviews, we spoke with many who were excited that more men who have sex with men are now able to donate plasma yet many felt a range of complicated and often conflicting emotions. Given the history of these policies and the discrimination/prejudice community members may have experienced, you may find yourself feeling triggered, nervous, unsure, angry, conflicted, or many other emotions as you consider donation. This is normal and to be expected.
Seek support if needed. It may help to talk through these feelings with a loved one or someone who understands. Many of the people we interviewed told us that after the first interview (there were 2), they “debriefed” with members of their circles. Several interviewees also said that they would want to donate with a friend or loved one the first time they went to help them feel more comfortable.
If you find yourself experiencing distress or anxiety, please do not hesitate to contact your local mental health services or reach out to some of the services listed below.
You can talk to a mental health professional one on one.
Call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to:
686868 for youth
741741 for adults
Live chat available on the above linked website.