Ask me anything
The random and sporadic ravings of a middle aged, autistic, queer, agender, moderately left wing, feminist, ludicrously overeducated, vampire-identified, fiction-scribbling, garden-growing, chorus-singing, sci-fi/fantasy loving, role-playing, beyond-kinky-into-warped, sarcasm-wielding, multi-classed geek/nerd/wonk, lactivist, intactivist, homebirth activist, stay-at-home parent.
We have all struggled with understanding our nature and what meaning, if any, can be derived from it. Countless members of the community have contributed their voices to this search for understanding, courageously challenging the oppressive and disheartening depictions of us by those who have not shared our struggle. Often, upon discovering or developing a theory that explains our nature, we cling to it and proudly exclaim what we have found only to learn that others in the community define themselves and their experiences quite differently. This is frustrating and invalidating for many of us. How are we to know which theory is correct, if any are? How can so many know with such certainty that their explanation is correct when disparate and mutually exclusive theories abound? Is there some litmus test by which to distinguish “legitimate” vampires from those who merely mimic us or our classical representations? As a community, we need answers to these questions that clearly distinguish us without divisively splintering those within the community with different personal experiences or traditions. Essentially, we need a clear definition of vampirism.
Few members of our community go untouched by anti-vampire prejudice. For those of us brave enough to publicly acknowledge our natures, the vulgar assumptions by others about our habits or mental health are insulting and can even threaten our safety and our freedom. Those among us who understandably choose a higher level of discretion to avoid the threats posed by an ill-informed and potentially dangerous society often live in an exhausting state of perpetual hypervigilance, feeling compelled to conceal an integral part of their identities. These conditions are familiar to me, personally, not only as a vampire but as a gay man. Thankfully, the prevailing attitudes regarding sexual minorities, as illuminated in large part by changes in representation in media, are shifting toward greater acceptance and threats of violence and forcible institutionalization are much abated. The vampire community, on the other hand, continues to find itself consistently depicted as insidious, predatory creatures fixated on victimizing innocent, unsuspecting people. The representation of minorities in this way more or less summarizes the propaganda used to marginalize every oppressed community throughout history. Learning from the hard-won successes and continuing battles of those who have had to fight to combat irrational and vilifying depictions of their community could offer invaluable encouragement and insight into our own.