I thought Alan Cumming had lost his mind, then I watched the video and was so wrong.

The "Celibacy Challenge" is so not what you would expect.

Almost everywhere you turn, there's a blood drive offering a free T-shirt and cookies. There seems to be an endless need for people to donate blood, and for good reason — donating blood saves thousands of lives every year. BUT before you think about reaching for one of those cookies, there are some rules in place to make sure YOU don't have dirty blood.

One of the FDA's most controversial rules has been around since 1977. It bans homosexual men — or, rather, ANY man who has had sex with another man — from giving blood for the rest of their lives. This came about at the onset of the AIDS crisis in America and the fear that HIV would make its way into the stockpile of blood used for transfusions. However, straight men and women can have sex with as many partners as they please and still be allowed to give blood. Stew on that for a second.


After decades of debate, the FDA has decided to lift the lifelong ban that prohibits any man who has had sex with another man to ever donate blood. We should be thrilled, right?

Not so fast. The FDA's statement stipulates that a man who has had sex with another man must remain celibate for one year before he can give blood. Yes, one year.

Sooooo, the amazing, talented, and philanthropic Alan Cumming has teamed up with GLAAD and GMHC to put together this PSA asking people to take the #celibacychallenge.

Because who wouldn't mind giving up sex for a year? You can do all sorts of lovely things. Like learn pottery...

...or take up carpentry...

...or join a Civil War re-enactment group.


RELAX. The #celibacychallenge is not what it sounds like.

The challenge is simply to sign THIS petition asking the FDA to change its questionnaire so donors are screened "based on their exposure to risk and NOT their sexual orientation."

Let's stop screening people based on sexual orientation and allow another 4.2 million people to be eligible to donate blood. That could help save up to 12.6 million lives!

Watch the video and share it with everyone you know. Who knows — it could end up saving your life.

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Photo by Toni Hukkanen on Unsplash

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