Where We Are So Far 19/05/2010

The Project Negative Crew!

The Project Negative people have been very busy this month, working hard to spread awareness of the gay and bi blood ban in Britain and doing their very best to get it lifted.

For those of you who missed the demonstration outside of the Birmingham blood donation bank of the 5th May, the day was a complete success but not without a few hiccups cropping up along the way.

Project Negatives efforts to publicise the demonstration worked a little too well, we had an article appear in the Daily Mail as well as Pink News and Midlands Zone magazine. In the end the blood bank got in contact with us and gave us a very stern talking to which we thought was quite rude because we are a peaceful bunch here and it’s our right to protest what we consider to be unjust and downright wrong.

When the Project Negative crew arrived outside of the blood bank it was very touching to see just how many supporters had turned up to join in our peaceful demonstration and I thank you all. There was also a posse of police officers ready and waiting to great us too, riding a riot van and wearing bullet proof vests might I add. I don’t know what they were expecting because im pretty sure we went it and after a brief conversation with Project Negatives boss man Adam, the police men seemed pretty happy with just… well hanging out with us. 

Project Negatives Boss-man Adam Stewart

 

Keith James, aged 50, was the officer in charge and quite possibly the most friendly police man I have ever met (not that I’ve had the chance to meet many). He understood about Project negatives cause and even though he couldn’t give his personal opinion about the ban because he was on duty at the time, he did tell me “I think this demonstration is going great, it’s obvious there are a large number of people out there who support you as a cause. Keep doing what you’re doing and make sure you always stick up for what you believe in because that how you win.” Wise words Keith, we will do our darn best!

Project Negative’s Home Girl Jade Dale interviewing Green Partys Phil Simpson

Phil Simpson, the Green Party candidate for Birmingham, Edgbaston, also turned up at the demonstration to show his support for Project Negative. He told us “I’m here to give my support to Project Negative. It’s about making sure the gay and lesbian community feel fully included in our society and can make the contribution that I know so many of them want to by giving blood.” While discussing the blood ban and the danger of HIV and Aids further, he stated “I would have thought science would have moved on, it is possible to screen for it.” We hear you loud and clear Mr Simpson (he earns the ‘Mr’ because he’s a very important political person you see).  

Michael Cashman Interview

The Project Negative crew are also happy to announce the launch of our very first radio documentary! The story follows three men who are refused the donation of their healthy blood which could be used to save the life of another. They each give an account of their own experiences upon learning about the blood ban and their blood donation refusals. The guys openly express their personal opinions and thoughts for the listeners and don’t hold anything back. To have a listen to their stories go to the Project Negative website.

Also a big up to all Project Negatives Facebook pals, all 1,449 of you! Thanks for your support guys it means a lot. Lucy Hanouille also wrote on the Project Negative wall commenting “Twenty years – and there are still too many people who believe AIDS is a gay disease. It is ridiculous. AIDS is a virus that does not discriminate.” Wayne Clinton also wrote on our group’s wall saying “I think this is a great cause” and added “I think there is a great chance they can get bad blood from heterosexual people so why are homosexual being penalized, not fair in this day and age… There is a HIV test that can check within 5 mins so this could be used if that is what the issues are.” We hear you Lucy and Wayne, it’s not fair but with your help we can fight this and hopefully one day make it right.

So keep spreading awareness of the gay and bi blood donation ban currently blanketing Britain and we will be doing the same here at the Project Negative! If you want to join the 338 people who have already signed the Project Negative anti-blood ban petition please do so at ipetions. Keep your eyes open for the new Project Negative posters which will be soon appearing in and around the Midlands. For any more information about our cause check out the snazzy Project Negative website.

By Kimberley Gammon

Where We Are So Far 28/4/10

Here’s another quick update for all the Project Negative supporters out there! Don’t worry, we haven’t been slacking since the last-time we spoke.

The official Project Negative website is now up and running! With all the latest news updates about our cause, podcasts from our project people, a petition to sign, some rather retro looking pictures of the crew behind the cause and even a shop!

The next event Project Negative are planning is a demonstration outside the Birmingham Blood Centre on Wednesday the 5th of May between 5pm and 7pm. Don’t worry we won’t be starting any riots, our plan is to essentially be rejected! We aim to gather as many supporters as we possibly can and then fill in the blood donation forms declaring (guys: that you are gay or bi) or (girls: that you have had the naughty fun time with a bi man in the last year because, yes, that means your rejected too). We don’t mind a few white lies so even if you haven’t but you support our cause you can join in! Then when we are rewarded with our rubbish rejection cards we want to post a picture of you holding the card. Each member of the demonstration will then be given a pint of fake blood to pour into a clear dustbin so they can see just how much blood they have rejected and hopefully hang their heads in shame. That blood could be saving lives.

The Project Negative podcasts have been a massive hit! You can find them on our website or even on iTunes (yes we are getting that big people) so plug yourself in and have a listen. I’m about to do some name dropping here, are you ready for it? Alright here we go… we got the chance to chat with Labour MEP, Mr Michael Cashman who can be heard on the podcast discussing the blood ban with the Project Negative crew, along with Nick Henderson from the LGBT Network. There is also a video up on our site from the BCU Question Time, where we got the chance to hear what local candidates in the Perry Barr constituency had to say about the current blood ban blanketing Britain so check out the video.

We have also been busy spreading ourselves around some serious media bases, trying to get our cause heard and the Project Negative name known. So far things have been going great. The people behind the project are over the moon with all the support the bigger organisations have been showing our little cause, which is gradually growing! Both the Midlands Zone Magazine and Pink Paper are in full support of our organisation and have information covering the Blood Bank demonstration and more about our cause on their websites. The Green Party of England and Wales also fully endorse our campaign and give their support.

Of course we can’t forget our Project Negative facebook friends and fans! With a whopping 1,239 friends we are starting to feel popular, so thank you guys for all of your support and comments about our cause. supporter Anthony Mark wrote “I hope you’ll be taking a tally of blood types from those attending. As someone with blood type O-, I would especially like to be able to donate on the grounds that my blood could be used on any patient, not to mention the fact that it’s the only blood type I could receive in a transfusion. I wonder how much of this precious O- blood they are turning down.” Which is a great idea and we will be doing just that my friend!

We have also managed to tally up over a thousand signatures for our online petition which is fantastic! But as I’ve said before we are a greedy lot here at Project Negative and we want more, so help spread the word and stop this ban. It would be great to see some new faces at the Blood Bank demonstration on Wednesday the 5th so come along our join in!

By Kimberley Gammon

Where We Are So Far - 23/3/10

The Project Negative crew have been very busy little bee’s over the last few weeks, doing their best to spread awareness of the gay and bi blood ban that is currently blanketing Britain.

The Diversity and Wellbeing event was a great success on the 9th of March, with a constant stream of people coming over to visit the Project Negative table. A large amount of people we spoke to on the day had previously been unaware about the blood ban and were shocked about the discrimination behind it.

Our Project Negative home girl Jade Dale was one of the team members at the event and told me “We received a great deal of support from all age groups and backgrounds. It was good to see people ask us about the ban and having strong and positive opinions. It was even surprising to hear a nursing practitioner was unaware of the ban and see her sign. Overall the event was a real success, we hope change is not too far around the corner.”Nice one Jade, looking at the amount of signatures people signed on the blood ban petition there are a lot of people out there against it. But I’m willing to bet we can find more.

The official Project Negative launch went with a bang on Friday the 19th March with scores of party goers turning up wearing red to show their support for the cause. I managed to commandeer Rebekah Douglas, a media student at Birmingham City University, and drag her off the dance floor for a chat. She told me “The launch is a great way of getting people’s attention and spreading the word about Project Negative. Me and my friends have all signed the petition against the blood ban, this is a great cause and I’m proud to support it.”

Founder and boss man of project negative, Adam Steward agreed with Rebekah and stated that “The event has been a massive success, loads of fun too. We got almost 50 signatures added to the petition tonight! More and more people are starting to hear about Project negative.” But don’t forget that all you internet surfers can sign our online petition too at ipetitions.com It only takes a minute to complete and every signature counts.

Some of the comments written by supporters alongside their signatures on the blood ban petition have really touched the team members here at Project Negative head quarters. April Saunders signed the online petition from half way across the world in Sydney, Australia. She commented “It’s about equal rights and anti-discrimination.” Another online petition signer was Ashley from across the pond in Arvada, USA, wrote “Shameful. I feel anybody who is gracious enough to donate blood should be allowed to do so.” A more local signer is Helen Jones from Wolverhampton and she stated “All those people who need blood are suffering un-necessarily over a load of bigoted outdated views.”

Also massive, huge thanks to all the support from Project Negative’s Facebook fans. The group has reached an impressive 1,116 followers! Here’s a big shout out to one of our online friends, Helen Jones, she wrote “That’s disgusting, they can’t be that desperate for blood supplies then can they? They’re always begging on the telly!!!! Everyone should be treated the same regardless.” You tell it how it is girlfriend, thank you for taking the time to show your support for our cause.

To help spread awareness of the gay and bi blood ban add your friends to our group, visit our blog and sign the online petition. From the 1st of April you will also be able to view Project negative’s very own grand spanking new website. Look out for news and details of our next up and coming events.

By Kimberley Gammon

Where We Are So Far - 23/2/10

The Project Negative blog is up and running, looking rather snazzy while it’s at it. We will be keeping you posted on all the latest gay and bi blood ban news as well what we have been up to.

Also big giant thanks to the fans of our Project Negative Facebook group! We really appreciate all your support and comments they are huge encouragement for our cause.

An outraged Colin Scott wrote on the group’s wall “This is absolutely un-acceptable in this day and age, it annoys me when they advertise on TV about the need to increase blood supplies.” With an equally annoyed Karen ‘Ginner’ Petyt adding “It’s disgusting, everybody’s blood is tested before it’s used anyway.”

A more recent and touching comment was written on the Project Negative wall by Rebecca Davis, she says “It would be my greatest pleasure to sit right next to any gay or bi, hold out my arm, and start-a-takin! There should be ABSOLUTELY nothing different about the procedures everyone must go through to give blood. Take all my blood damnit… IT’S FOR FANTASTIC CAUSE!!! Sexual preference has nothing to do with anything.”

The Facebook group has been a huge hit so far with a whopping 730 fans! But we are a greedy lot here at Project Negative, always wanting more and aiming high. So show your support by spreading the word, invite as many people as you can and ask them to do the same. The more people who know about the gay and bi blood ban the more Project Negative supporters we will find.

Another way to show your support for Project Negative is to come along to the launch party! It’s being held at the Birmingham City University, Perry Bar campus student union on the 13th of March. The theme and dress-code for the night is red so get your glad rags on and come join the party. There will be petitions to sign, cheap drinks to be bought and bad dancing to be done.

By Kimberley Gammon

What is Project Negative?

Conceived in 2009 by Adam Stewart and supported by a group of students at Birmingham City University as a university project, Project Negative was created in response to the discriminatory Gay and Bi blood ban policy by the National Blood Service.



Also the recent support from Stonewall after their 2 year review, from the NUS’s blood campaign as well as human rights activist Peter Tatchell. Project Negative looks to overturn the ban with support from the country.


The ban itself stops any male who has ever had oral sex or anal sex with a man from giving blood. This is based purely on our sexuality and not our sexual activity. i.e. not taking into account if we were wearing a condom, last time we were checked for HIV or if we are in a monogamous relationship. This is fundamentally WRONG and DISCRIMINATION which cannot be allowed to continue….

We are looking for ALL to get involved - Gay, Bisexual, Lesbian, Straight, Trans, Male, Female, black, white etc

Our Mission:

  • To end the blood ban on gay and bi men in the United Kingdom
  • Offer resources for local groups and LGBT societies
  • To push for support from MP’s, local gay charities and public figures
  • Raise awareness of the ban on a more national scale and not just to students
  • Help fight international policies on blood ban’s be overturned

We need YOU to make this happen, to make change.