Cynic Leader Upset With ‘Homophobia in Law’ Over Sean Reinert Organ Donor Denial
The music world suffered a great loss earlier this year with the death of longtime Cynic drummer Sean Reinert. His longtime bandmate Paul Masvidal recently spoke with Billboard about the loss while also calling out the law which prohibited Reinert from being able to donate his organs as he requested upon his death.
Reinert's partner, Tom Snyder, revealed shortly after the musician's death that the drummer had designated himself an organ donor, but was denied the option to do so after Snyder revealed that Reinert was a "sexually active homosexual male."
The reason for the refusal stems from the 2013 guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for organ transplantation. One of the "12 medical or social history criteria" that results in an "increased-risk donor" (IRD) status is listed as "Men who have had sex with men (MSM)" within the 12 months prior to organ recovery. Snyder revealed that Reinert did not have HIV or any STDs, but was still denied.
Masvidal told Billboard, “I’m an organ donor and a gay man, so I guess I should remove my organ donation from my driver’s license. This sounds like an ’80s Reagan bill or some nonsense. I had no idea, and I hope that in light of this, that it’ll help bring attention to how absurd that is … It really is a form of prejudice and homophobia in law.”
The singer-guitarist went on to reflect on his longtime bandmate and friend, stating, “This is the first significant loss in my life, in that I lost a peer, a best friend and someone I grew up with my whole life,” he says. “I lived with him, toured with him, and we were basically inseparable for 33 years. I spent more time with him than my own blood brother. It’s been really challenging for me.”
He added, "It’s been a ride. I’m just trying to create space for it all and show up for whatever needs to come through and to move toward the loss instead of away from it, especially something as significant as this.” He continued, "Essentially, my personality was forged with Sean. We found our identities together as kids. It’s not easy, but I don’t expect it to be.”
Saluting his late bandmate, the vocalist exclaims, “We’re at the tip of the iceberg of people realizing what a monster he was as a musician and the influence he left behind. I would love to see that expand as well, in terms of Sean’s legacy becoming something historic and there be some kind of preservation of what he did as an artist and what he offered the world. He really was unique and a beast of a player, and there’s not going to be another guy like him.”
Masvidal and Reinert were original members of Cynic dating back to 1987. Together they issued three albums and two EPs, including 2014's critically hailed Kindly Bent to Free Us. Reinert exited the band in 2015, while Masvidal continued with the group and has worked on solo material as well. Masvidal's latest effort, an EP titled Vessel that is the final part of a trilogy, arrives today (March 6).
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