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'Game of Thrones'-inspired blood donor competition slammed for excluding gay and bi men

American Red Cross are urging people to donate blood in connection with the award-winning series

2019-03-08

A competition organised by HBO to celebrate the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones has been slammed for excluding gay men.

HBO – the network that airs the hit fantasy based on George R R Martin – teamed up with the American Red Cross to urge GoT fans to donate blood in their new initiative called ‘Bleed for the Throne’.

American Red Cross tweeted: "What would you do #FortheThrone? Show your @GameofThrones pride and sign up to donate blood with us.

"Come to give by 3/17 and you’ll automatically be entered to win a trip to the season 8 world premiere. Make your appt now: https://rdcrss.org/2SLpy8t"

People who donate will have an ‘immersive experience’ and will receive a special edition T-shirt celebrating the most popular TV series and will be in a chance to win a trip to the premiere of the final season.

Sounds great right?

However, men who have sex with men aren’t able to get involved in the competition as in America – and many other countries around the world - men who have sex with men aren’t allowed to donate blood unless they have been celibate for 12 months.

The announcement of the competition has upset many LGBTQ fans of the hit fantasy series as they feel they are excluded.

Dr Jonathan Applebaum, a HIV researcher, said: “I’m a gay man myself, and I think it’s discriminatory.

“We don’t do the same thing for high-risk heterosexual couples.”