SAN ANGELO, TX- On Sunday, The Bloodstained Men were in front of the old HEB in San Angelo, halfway through their 20-city tour.
“American men are born perfect. Just like men and women throughout human history.”
If you drove past the old HEB from lunch time until about 3:30 p.m., you were probably wondering “Who are the people with the bloodstains on their crotch?”.
The Bloodstained Men is an organization based out of California who protest the circumcision of young babies.
The founder and treasurer of The Bloodstained Men, Brother K, said, “We are protesting in cities across the United States to educate American parents and doctors that circumcision is cruel, harmful, destructive, unamerican, unethical, and it’s a $2 Billion scam by the American medical industry.”
San Angelo was the halfway point in this tour. They started in Las Vegas then went to Arizona and Texas. The Bloodstained Men will go through New Mexico and Arizona again on the way back to Las Vegas.
“In the early seventies when I became sexually active, I just noticed certain sensations, after good sex, but certain weird sensations in my penis. I had read a book in college by Gore Vidal called “Myra Breckinridge”. That planted the seed in me that circumcision was not a normal thing and could have destructive effects.” Brother K said.
The act of circumcision is the removal of the foreskin from the penis.
According to the Mayo Clinic, circumcision is done due to religious traditions and make hygiene easier as well as decrease the risks of urinary infections, sexually transmitted infections, and prevention of problems including cancer.
“That’s really not informed consent at all.”
The Bloodstained Men weren’t just men. There were women protesting as well.
Anatasia Rogers, an intersex individual with the group, was protesting as well. Merriam-Webster defines an intersex person as having eight both male and female gonadal tissue in one individual or of having the gonads of one sex and external genitalia that is of the other sex.
“I am an intersex spokesperson and activist with Bloodstained Men,” Rogers said, “What first really drew it just the fact they go to the streets, they speak to the public, and the issue itself feels really personal as a victim of genital mutilation myself.”
Rogers was born female and assigned the female gender at birth and uses they/them pronouns.
‘Intersex is an umbrella term for anything that exists outside the biological sex of male or female. So, any natural variation. It’s about 1.7% of the population,” Rogers said, “For me, I was assigned female at birth. So, I had internal testis that when I was three months old, the doctors decided to remove. They were functional, they produced the hormones I needed, and there was really no reason to be removing them. They weren’t damaged, nothing wrong, other than, from what I understand the doctor came out, told me mom I had them and was like ‘Well, she’s a girl. She doesn’t need them. Let’s just cut them out.”
Rogers now needs to take hormones that replace the hormones they would’ve gotten naturally.
“Just a little millimeter of useless skin.”
Daniel Bryce, a Bloodstained Man from Colorado, felt so strongly about being circumcised that he had the phrases “victim of circumcision” and “MGM survivor” tattooed on his forearms.
“I’ve always resented that I was circumcised but I believed all the lies that it was just a little snip,” Bryce said, “I don’t like that my wounds are hidden, my scars are hidden. I felt like my abusers, they know that I’m going to keep my scars hidden because you can’t whip it out in public to show people. I decided to get tattoos to drag my scars out in the open for everyone to see.”
According to CDC.gov, from 1979-2010, the national rate of newborn circumcision declined by 10%.
There are risks with circumcision just like any other medical procedure. Bleeding and infection are common, but the foreskin could be cut too short or long. It also might not heal properly and could require surgery to fix. Circumcisions are usually performed within 10 days of the child being born.
Some religious laws require circumcision and is considered by many to be healthier, but it is still a personal choice of the parent.