It was when Canberra nurse Connor Mr Lynch tried to donate blood for a university blood drive that he discovered he was not allowed to.
His partner, Ky Ruprecht, a second-year medicine student, said, "He had to out himself to colleagues and students" who didn't know about his sexuality at the time.
"There [is] a way that our very safe blood product could contribute to the blood supply and just alleviate some of the pressure on the system."
The couple have garnered nearly 4500 signatures on a petition calling for individual risk screening for blood donors in Australia, and have won the support of ACT government minister Chris Steel.
Mr Steel has joined calls to scrap a "crazy" and "prejudicial" policy, which sees gay men forced into abstinence for 12 months if they want to donate blood.
The deferral period, which came into effect in 2000, is mandated by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. The organisation attempted to overturn it in 2012 in favour of six months, but the expert recommendation was rejected by the regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
"It's crazy that at the same time we've got a shortage of blood, or increased demand for blood products, there's a significant group in the community that isn't able to give it," Mr Steel said.
"We've seen countries like the UK and Denmark reduce their deferral periods to three and four months respectively; in Denmark's case, they actually eliminated the deferral period entirely for gay men in monogamous relationships, and it's four months for any other gay male.
"Everyone is scratching their heads wondering why this hasn't happened in Australia."
While the decision about deferral periods was ultimately up to governments, the administration previously said the onus was on the blood service to identify community groups at "increased risk" of carrying infectious diseases, Mr Steel said.
This meant they could exclude monogamous gay men from that category, and a case could be made for individual risk analysis, Mr Steel said; but it was up to the regulator to set minimum standards for blood donors otherwise.
"You've got two sides blaming each other and there's no clarity," Mr Steel said.
The report from a second blood service-commissioned review is expected to be given to the regulator by the end of 2019.
If this recommended a lesser deferral period again and the Therapeutic Goods Administration didn't accept the expert recommendation, its motives should be questioned, Mr Steel said; especially as its reasoning for the initial rejection was that lessening the deferral period "would be unlikely to provide a significant increase in the blood supply".
"If they don't accept the recommendation, I think it warrants a federal inquiry into that decision to provide greater accountability ... [for] quite an unaccountable body," Mr Steel said.
The blood service said it understood people were frustrated by donation rules, and it was "focused on making it easier for more people to donate whilst maintaining one of the safest blood supplies in the world".
The regulator said it would have experts and medical practitioners assess the blood service's submission based on the review.
"The Therapeutic Goods Administration will also seek expert advice from the Advisory Committee on Biologicals prior to making a decision on any changes to deferrals for donors whose sexual practices put them at increased risk of infection," a spokeswoman said.
Mr Steel presented a motion in the Legislative Assembly in 2017 to lessen the deferral period; he hoped for a reduction to three months and a possible waver for monogamous gay men.
The motion mentioned technological advances in screening for diseases since the policy was introduced, and noted that blood plasma could be kept for up to 12 months, tested and placed in quarantine until the detection period for diseases passed.
All blood donations in Australia were already automatically screened.