Heartstopper actor Joe Locke has called for change in the legislation which prohibits gay men to donate blood on the Isle of Man.
He delivered a passionate message via video at the island’s Pride celebrations on 13 August.
Thousands of Manx people showed their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
The 18-year-old praised the progress that the Isle of Man has made so far.
He cited when same-sex marriage was legalised in 2016 and emphasised the island’s ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in 2021 for all LGBTQ+ people, a step which as not been adopted by all of the UK.
“The island has come so far in the last 30 years,” said Locke.
“But there is still work to be done. The Isle of Man to this day does not allow gay men to donate blood, an archaic rule that was placed into force at the height of the AIDS pandemic. These rules have slowly changed in the UK since then, allowing gay men to donate blood under certain rules. But not on the island.”
Since 2017, men in the UK who have not had sex with other men for at least three months are allowed to give blood.
As of last year, anyone who had the same sexual partner for over three months is eligible to donate.
Politicians in the United States have proposed similar changes to current legislation.
Locke is from Douglas, Isle of Man, and rose to fame for his role as Charlie Spring in hit Netflix series Heartstopper.
The show topped the charts and was renewed for two more seasons by Netflix, a rare move from the streaming giant.
His message was echoed by Isle of Pride founder Clare Barber.
She said overturning the ban would be “an absolute no-brainer,” according to the BBC.