State Rep. Shevrin Jones is the first — and only — out, gay, Black member of the Florida Legislature.
He’s also a survivor of COVID-19.
He, his brother and his parents — his dad is West Park Mayor Eric Jones — all recovered from the coronavirus and planned to donate their plasma.
But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s long-standing and controversial policy banning some gay men from giving blood stopped Jones from making the donation.
The rule dates back to 1983 and is rooted in fears over the AIDS crisis. It’s been revised over the years — at this point, men who have had sex with men in the last three months are banned.
In a text, Jones, called his deferral an “obvious discriminatory act” and said of the experience: “Painful is an understatement.”
His family members and 20 others donated plasma during the event in Hollywood, Florida.
Jones, a Democrat from Broward County, is currently running for state Senate.