Monday, December 03, 2007

Morning Edition - 12/3/07

You Are Fools and I Thank You
There are few times in life when discrimination offers a valid – though sad – excuse for why American gay men cannot contribute more to the country they live in. Though many folks will argue that these injustices must be corrected, I have resorted to accept them as my legitimate excuse for not doing the “right” thing. Case in point, my job held a blood drive. Most of the folks in my department signed-on and made a big hoopla about their contribution to such a noble cause. When I was asked if I would be participating, I simply said, “No, the Red Cross discriminates against gay men and specifically has guidelines rejecting any donations by ‘my kind’.” The young lady asking me stood in front of me mouth agape before I giggled and said, “Wake up. This may be 2007, but discrimination is still alive and well.” She was about to argue how it’s wrong of such a large institution to reject donations based on donor’s sexual orientation – especially since there are ways to test all donations – but before she got a good flow going I shut it down with a simple, “Hey, it’s there loss and I’m fine with it as long as I can receive the benefits of their donations without needing to ever participate in keeping their supplies up.” She blushed and stormed off. The same argument can be made with the U.S. military. Don’t ask, don’t tell my ass. If the U.S. military wants to expressly reject my fighting and risking my life for my country, then far be it from me to beg to endanger myself. So long as the homophobic, ignorant and small-minded asses continue to protect me and my country’s borders, I am pleased as punch. In life there are times when you have to choose your battles and recognize when your oppressors are actually offering you a free pass.

Crapping Where I Eat?
I work for a very large organization – over 175,000 employees – with locations worldwide. My company offers amazing opportunities and the possibility to shift internally when you grow tired of your gig. Recently some pretty interesting positions opened up and I made BD aware of them. I have some pretty heavy-hitting contacts and forwarded BD’s resume to them. He’s already met with one of the departments at my firm. All to say, that he may be coming to work at my place of business – maybe even in my building. As this possibility becomes more probable, I thought back to close to five years ago when I worked with someone I was involved with. It was a great experience until the relationship soured and the very thought of running into my ex made my stomach hurt – real bad. That said, I went over a few ground rules with BD to insure neither of us is caught in an uncomfortable situation. First, we would never work in the same department or in positions that have the possibility of reporting to one another. Second, work is work and play is play – we would always carry a professional demeanor while at the office to avoid any confusion. Third, regardless of our relationship’s future, we would respect each other at all times. All said, I know I can uphold these rules, since I did in the past. Am I apprehensive? No. Can I resist the temptation to have him meet me somewhere in our building for an afternoon freak-by? We’ll hopefully see.

On Blast
Given the volatility of relationships and the concept that folks are different in death and divorce, would you agree to work for the same firm as someone you are involved with?

Keep passin’ the open windows….


Anonymous said...

Cocoa - As a Red Cross employee, I feel compelled to tell you that the Red Cross is not the organization to blame for gay men being unable to donate blood. It's actually the policy of the FDA and the Red Cross is bound by law to comply. Any company that collects blood, is not allowed to take donations from gay men. The FDA sets the law and holds the Red Cross accountable.

That said, I can tell you that this is an issue that is being actively and aggressively addressed. There is no current scientific evidence to exclude gay men from donating blood and most organizations, including ARC recognize that.

Cocoa Rican said...

Thanks Anon 10:01AM...
I realize this info and recognize that there are higher powers regulating the Red Cross and others...the fact still remains that the Red Cross does not allow donations by gay men...PERIOD. As I mentioned in my post, as long as I am allowed to enjoy the benefits of receiving blood in an emergency, I don't care to fight yet another battle to enlighten the ignorant. Just keep on giving me my just do and we'll be fine.

Anonymous said...


bLaQ~n~MiLD said...

LoL I hear you on that Cocoa!


That Dude Right There said...

I stopped donating blood when I realized that I was lying on the questionnaire to do so.

As far as working with a significant other, I don't see a problem as long as we aren't working in the same area or having to compete against each other for promotions.

yet another black guy said...

why beg some to help them out? screw that! i'm not sure i'd date someone where i work, i might be uncomfortable.