Blood & Ink Blood Drive

A few months ago, fellow blogger Lise and I were at the Portland Tattoo Expo telling people that they might still be eligible to donate blood after receiving a tattoo.

At the Expo we met some very sweet women who told us that they were part of the Gypsy Queens, a national organization of tattooed promotional models who promote a positive image of women with ink and strive to end negative stereotypes of heavily tattooed women. They were eager and excited to partner with the Red Cross.

On Saturday, March 6, members of the Gypsy Queens Oregon Chapter will donate blood at the “Blood & Ink” Blood Drive at the Red Cross Portland Center between 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. By donating blood at the Red Cross, the Gypsy Queens hope to support their mission while helping the Red Cross clear up common misconceptions about blood donation by people with tattoos.

Receiving a tattoo in Oregon—where tattoo parlors are regulated by the state—does not automatically defer someone from donating blood. The state of Washington, however, does not regulate tattoo parlors, and those who receive tattoos in Washington have to wait a year after receiving their tattoo before trying to donate blood again.

You’re invited to join the Gypsy Queens by donating blood at the Blood & Ink Blood Drive. All those who present to donate blood at this event can enter into a free drawing to win a $75 gift certificate to New Rose Tattoo in Portland (4823 SE Division Street). The gift certificate was generously donated by shop owner and tattoo artist Traci Manley.

To schedule a blood donation appointment at this drive, call 1-800-RED CROSS or click here. To find out if you are eligible to donate blood and to learn more about which states regulate tattoo parlors, call 1-800-737-0902 or email

Please help us spread the word about this event!

P.S. I secretly want to be a Gypsy Queen. They’re really awesome and really adorable.

Photo: Jessica Higgins

One thought on “Blood & Ink Blood Drive

  • I know down in Corvallis the major tattoo parlor across from campus actually has Red Cross notices that they are certified and you can donate! I would assume if you get tattoos, that needles aren't really an issue for you. Also, funny story- I was watching the Olympics last night and they were talking about how the Womans Canadian Curling team all got tattoos but one. The one who didn't, had her daughter tell her 'no'. Isn't it usually the mother who says no to tattoos?

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