Current Affairs

Non-binary person turned away from plasma donation centre because their gender does not align with sex assigned at birth

Patrick Kelleher November 8, 2019
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Plasma donation non-binary person turned away


A non-binary person has claimed that they were turned away from a plasma donation centre in Minnesota because their gender identity does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth.

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) has amended an existing lawsuit claiming that CSL Plasma in Minnesota denied Charlie Edgar the opportunity to donate plasma because of their gender identity.

Edgar said that they went to a CSL Plasma clinic in September where they were asked about their medical history. They said they answered all the questions required of them by the company and even offered to comply with their requirement that donors identify as either a man or a woman.

However, they said they were prohibited from donating plasma because their gender identity does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Non-binary person Charlie Edgar said they were ‘disheartened’ over incident.

“I am disheartened that I have to fight to be seen as a human being,” Edgar said in a statement released this week.

“I was hurt and embarrassed when I was denied to give plasma at CSL. I want to be able to operate in a world where I don’t always have to teach medical professionals how to treat me and wonder how to pay my bills when I can’t access the same services as low income cisgender folks.”

I am disheartened that I have to fight to be seen as a human being.

The MDHR is now claiming in a lawsuit that CSL Plasma’s refusal to allow a non-binary person to donate plasma violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

The human rights organisation filed a lawsuit against CSL Plasma in March of this year when trans woman Alice James was turned away by the same company because of her gender identity. They have now amended the existing lawsuit to include the company’s alleged refusal to allow Edgar to donate plasma.

Minnesota Department of Human Rights want to see new policies introduced to prevent CSL Plasma turning people away based on gender identity.

“CSL Plasma is unlawfully turning away donors based on archaic stereotypes,” Irina Vaynerman, Deputy Commissioner of MDHR said.

The MDHR is asking the court to insist that CSL Plasma introduce new policies and procedures so that they are compliant with the Minnesota Human Rights Act. They also want to see staff at the company trained to ensure that gender identity is not taken into consideration for future plasma donors.

CSL Plasma identifies itself as “one of the world’s largest collectors of human plasma” and as “a leader in plasma collection.”

“CSL Plasma is committed to excellence and innovation in everything we do,” their website reads. “Our work helps to ensure that tens of thousands of people are able to live normal, healthy lives.”

PinkNews has contacted CSL Plasma for comment.

Related topics: lawsuit, non-binary, plasma donation, Transgender

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