should the vampire community be secret?

there is an ongoing discussion in the various vampire communities about whether the vampire community should be out or should remain secret. opinions on the subject vary wildly, and emotions run high.* however, the cat is pretty much out of the bag, and whatever our individual positions are we have to deal with a growing public awareness of real vampirism.

the following is very slightly adapted from something i wrote on the smoke and mirrors message board,** and outlines my own position on being out.

as a preamble, i don’t think that there actually is such a thing as “the” vampire community, there are lots of vampire communities, some online, some offline, which all face problems specific to their situation. as such the idea of “the” vampire community being public or hidden seems to be the wrong approach to me. but that’s not the point i want to make.

the thing is, no individual vampire (or other member of the vampire community, i’m speaking as a donor) needs to be out, or should be forced to be out. the same applies to any vampire community; if a group wants to stay hidden, that is their right. however, i very much approve of those people who are out there raising awareness of vampirism, be it individuals like Lady CG or zilchy, or groups like suscitatio.inc with their research project. they are doing two very important jobs. on one hand they are normalising vampires in the public mind; every time there’s an article on real vampires in the press, or an interview with a real vampire on the telly, more people will accept it as something which is kind of normal. at the same time, and i believe this is just as important, by being visible as vampires they are allowing other vampires to identify themselves as such; i am convinced that there is a large number of vampires who suffer alone or think themselves insane simply because they have no words and no peers to identify themselves with.

even people like don henrie are useful in this, however much i personally disapprove of him and his crass eccentricity. back in the early fifties it took Bela Lugosi to make a movie about transsexuality (Glen or Glenda (1953)), and it’s styled closer to a horror-movie than an educational project. but it actually contains a lot of accurate information about what being trans is, and i am convinced it allowed many trans-people to understand what they were.

as for being out myself, of course the situation of a donor is a bit different from the situation of a vampire, but i have encountered very little trouble because of it. it led to a fight with one very close friend, but mainly because she was worried that i’d get hurt. nobody amongst my circle of friends has reacted badly (the first people i told turned out to be a person who knew about vamps and encouraged me to do what was right for me, a previous donor, a therian – it’s a bit more complicated, and a vamp – possibly). i keep a semi-public diary (not this blog) in which i also write about being a donor, and again have only received positive (or sometimes curious) comments. on the other hand, i have no illusion that it’ll be as easy for everybody; i live in a very tolerant society, and have already weeded out the bigots which might still have been around me when i previously came out as trans and gay (experiences which taught me the value of being out, and influence my attitude to promoting awareness). it is a privilege to be able to be out, and i want to make that privilege available to as many people as possible.

i suppose this blog might be my own little contribution to raising awareness.

*for an example of a good discussion, see the most recent deliberations of the VVC.

**unfortunately, i believe that registration is requires to see the content of S&M.

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    • Willow
    • March 17th, 2009

    Well. I have a bit of an unclear view on this. The question of vampirism is, in my mind, different to that of transgender. Perhaps that’s because I see one as a choice and the other as something that simply is (and is not a choice). Maybe that’s also because I am on the ‘outside’ of your transformation and have been so far away, and therefore excluded. It’s hard to accept something that’s thrown on you suddenly.

    I don’t think vampirism is ‘normal’ but rather ‘deviant’ in the same sort of way as BDSM etc. I’m not saying that it’s bad, but just that it’s definitely in the minority. As for whether it’s something that should be accepted–I think it is. I remember my days as a dissociative “freak” when people would want me to be locked away because of the “voices” and the switching. So, it’s not up to me (or anyone else) in society to state who should do what or how they should act, as long as they are not committing heinous crimes (murder, rape, etc) and are acting as lucid, consenting adults.

    I have some not so normal (in widely accepted) quirks myself :p

    I know it was hard for me to accept the initial shock of hearing about this–but to be fair it was completely out of the blue for me. I still don’t fully understand it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be supportive of what you want and need. As long as you’re being safe about it. I am deeply concerned with your safety and so yes, perhaps I overreacted. But, it was only out of love.

    • you know, i’m really glad that you’re reading here, and are accepting this part of who i am. i’m sorry i blind-sided you with this, and i was probably being very intense about it at the time, which will hardly have helped.

      i don’t really see vampirism being much more of a choice than transsexuality is. in particular sanguinarians often suffer from being vampires, and both sangs and psis often go through periods of denial or think of themselves as evil or dangerous before coming to terms with who they are. in that way i think vampirism shares a lot with lgbt issues.

    • Elisabeth
    • July 7th, 2010

    What is this.

    Are you actually claiming to be a REAL vampire? L.O.L. Vampires are mythological creatures, drinking blood (hemophagy) doesn’t make you a vampire. And you get wing-cramps, from the massive imaginary dragon wings protuding from your back? I suggest you see a doctor, or lay off the mushrooms. I’ve had out-of-body experiences and hallucinations before (from prescription drugs or fever), but they’re not real.

    • *chuckles* nahn, i don’t claim to be a vampire. i’m a donor. and the vampires don’t claim to be anything like the vampires from fiction and myth. just people who *need* to drink small amounts of (usually fresh human) blood or life-force. whether that’s actually a physical condition, something metaphysical, or psychological, who knows. but the suffering when they don’t get any is real enough.

    • Elisabeth
    • July 7th, 2010

    I don’t think anyone needs to drink blood unless they’re a tick or flea. o_o

    • even if it is “only” a psychological need, that is still a need, and the pain from not being able to satisfy the need very real, as well as the satisfaction from satisfying it.

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