New York Sculpture Made of LGBT Blood Is Going to Church

BLOOD MIRROR

Jordan Eagle's bloody, politically charged sculpture Blood Mirror, which was created with the blood of nine gay, bisexual, and trans men encased in Plexiglas to protest the Food and Drug Administration's ongoing restriction on blood donations by gay or bisexual men and transgender individuals, will have a new home starting November 2.

Trinity Church on Wall Street in New York — the same church that appeared in Disney's National Treasure — is an Episcopal parish in the financial district. The church is also home to Rev. John Moody, an 88-year-old minister and one of the gay men who donated a pint of blood (the standard donation amount in the U.S.) to the creation of the seven-foot tall sculpture. 

Moody has been an ordained minister for 61 years and has been in a relationship with his partner for 37 years. Even he cannot give blood to save someone's life, according to the FDA's long-standing ban on donations by gay or bisexual men — or any man who has had sex with another man since 1975.

The FDA's ban on gay blood donors — even between family members and in emergency situations — was implemented in 1983 in response to the height of the AIDS epidemic. LGBT activists and health care professionals alike have have widely criticized the ban as discriminatory and scientifically unsound with today's fast and effective HIV-testing technology.  

The FDA recently "revised" its policy, stipulating that gay and bisexual men can donate blood — but only if they've abstained from sex with another man for at least a year.  

Many activists consider the FDA's amendment equally problematic, with the promiment New York-based HIV and AIDS advocacy group Gay Men's Health Crisis blasting the change as “offensive and harmful.” 

Eagle told The Daily Beast he thought the FDA's amendment was "even more discriminatory," with the decision “in effect saying, ‘Yes, you can donate blood, just as long you don’t do what makes you gay.’” 

Since Eagles unveiled his creation in June, Blood Mirror has been on display at the American University Museum in Washington, D.C. An accompanying documentary by Leo Herrera tells the stories of the nine individuals who donated blood to the project, including a gay veteran, a gay twin, a bisexual dad, a trans man, and other LGBT activists. 

The sculpture's new home boasts a website that is surprisingly absent of religious liturgy and dense statements of belief. Instead, Trinity Church portrays itself as a culturally attuned community and American landmark, devoted to the arts and acceptance. 

"All are welcome, regardless of faith, creed, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age," the website reads. "Not to put too fine a point on it: all are welcome." 

From All Souls Day through World AIDS Day, December 1, Blood Mirror will be visible in the church's south vestibule. 

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