+ Why do I Consider Myself A Vampire?+

Now that my friends, is an interesting question -- and it's a long, very personal answer as well... So let's start with...

+ The History +

Things begin in 1995... I was about four years old and my parents had rented Interview With The Vampire from the local video store. I had crept into the living room and peeking from behind the couch, I had my first encounter with the vampire. I clearly remember two specific scenes from the movie -- Lestat dancing the tarantella with Claudia's poor, deceased mother and Claudia's ultimate demise, wrapped in the arms of her new mother, Madeleine -- along with Louis's discovery of their ashen corpses. I can't say for sure if it made a particularly large impact on my young mind -- surely enough that I can remember it , twenty-six years later, and I know that I often wondered where I had seen those things but beyond that, I don't know if seeing the film had really impacted me all that much.

In 2002, I saw a trailer for the film adaptation of The Queen of the Damned. I was mesmerized by it. I desperately wanted to see the film but there was no way a ten year old would was going to be allowed to see an R-Rated film in theatres... but my mother, not exactly keen on censoring what her young child saw or read, handed me a book:


The 1989 edition, specifically.

I didn't finish it. I read through the beginning of the story and I know I at least read the bits with Baby Jenks. But I think I lost interest -- or I lost the book. It's hard to tell, those years are... Difficult to remember. Mostly because I was already starting to struggle with the deep depression that would mark the next eighteen years of my life -- a depression that would actually lead to my first suicide attempt that year. I don't think the book had anything to do with it, but maybe that's why my mother took it away from me. Who knows for sure -- it was, after all, twenty years ago.

But I do know that shortly after, I would find my mother's hardcover copy of Interview with the Vampire. A black bound book that I read near the end of that summer while learning HTML and playing on my "brand new" computer (it was a Windows 96 that a friend of my dad's had just wiped which was gifted to me to write on). And God did that book get a hold on me. I'd read the Vampire Lestat shortly after and then I'd get back Queen of the Damned and finish that book as well. I'd end up looking through The Vampire Companion like it was my bible -- devouring every bit of information about Anne Rice's world that I possibly could.

I spent a lot of my time dreaming about that world -- fantasizing about being a part of it. I found an escape from the deep pain I had in those books, I found a way to make it beautiful and bearable. I know, I know "what kind of deep pain could a ten year old have?"

CSA, CoCSA, abusive parents, being ripped from public school and then isolated from the rest of the world ... Being a closeted queer kid, being autistic and having ADHD and not knowing either of those things -- I was deeply different from the people around me and I didn't understand why or how. There was a gulf between myself and them that I couldn't possibly bridge. What child could know how to bridge that gap? I mean, I didn't even know what was different about me -- other than that I wasn't around other kids, that I didn't go to public school...

So, I found solace in Rice's vampires. I found...I don't know, friends? They felt like friends to me -- I felt so much like they were real, they were my whole world. Vampires were my whole world. I started to look on the internet, I started to learn about the folklore, I learned about the myths and legends... Funnily, I wouldn't realize it until 2018, but I also found bits and pieces of Vampire the Masquerade lore. At around twelve or thirteen, I started roleplaying on the internet -- a lot. I started writing my own vampire fiction. Pretty heavily derivative but what twelve year old's fiction isn't a little bit derivative, right?

As an older teen, I started making a lot of "jokes" about being a vampire -- started drawing myself as one in my art and I think I had already stopped seeing myself as a human being at that point in time... I think that's enough of the history -- it gives you a picture of why vampires became so important to me, why I latched onto them as a kid... So let's go into the "how did I 'become' a vampire"...

+ How I "Became" A Vampire +

How does one "become" a vampire? How does one become something that "doesn't exist"? Well, if you're on the internet in the year 2022, you may have heard about something called "otherkin" -- which to put it in the simplest terms means "someone who identifies as non-human in a nonphysical way." -- i.e., emotionally, psychologically or spiritually. I'm in the psychological category, personally.

There's a lot of weird things about my existence that, according to folklore, would actually mean I'd become a vampire after my death -- which I always find really amusing. I'm a natural redhead, I was born a bastard, I practice witchcraft, my father was the seventh son, I've consumed human blood, I've renounced the church... There's more, but I honestly can't recall all of them. My mother did also have nightmares for months before I was born that I would be born with a full set of sharp teeth.

There's no one moment that caused it. It's a lifetime of finding comfort in and identifying with vampires and making jokes about being a vampire which lead to "being a vampire" becoming an inextricable part of my identity. It started out, probably, as a coping mechanism when I was a preteen/in my early teens, fresh off the heels of my first suicide attempt and still isolated and pretty much friendless.

The jokes got "worse" when I was about fifteen and I got sun poisoning -- since then, I get incredibly dizzy if I'm in direct sunlight for more than a few minutes (especially if it's over 75 degrees) and exposure to even indirect sunlight often gives me a pretty bad headache. Plus, I've always been a natural night owl. Even now, I'm working on writing this at 5:18 AM with all the lights turned off and the X-Files playing on the TV.

I didn't really start actively identifying as and thinking of myself as a vampire until after I met my boyfriend. It started off as silly little jokes -- as little nicknames we called ourselves, joking about him being a werewolf and myself being a vampire. And we started to talk about it more and I started sharing all of the little things that always made me identify with vampires -- the sunlight thing, being a nightowl, the way that my anger almost always manifests as a vicious urge to bite the person as hard as I possibly can, the way I was always fascinated by and obsessed with blood... The little folklore things that "made" me a vampire.

I guess I already saw myself as a vampire before that, but that was when it came to the forefront of my identity. And... I'd go through some pretty horrible trauma after that -- trauma that I coped with almost entirely by just Embracing that vampiric identity. Using it as a source of strength to pull myself through post traumatic stress disorder, to find the courage and strength to file a restraining order against my mother and move to Pennsylvania with my boyfriend.

Since then, I really just can't let go of it. It's something that gives me comfort, it' s something I base my presentation and the rest of my identity around -- it's every bit as much a part of me as being a trans man, as being a goth, as being queer, as being neurodivergent... Partially because I think it's a part of all those things and all of those things are a a part of it -- I saw myself in vampires because I was a queer, closeted child, isolated from the rest of the world and unable to find myself in other people. And so vampires are as much a part of me as the rest of my identity. Running through my identity like a vein of ore through granite. It's who I am .

Maybe it's a little bit crazy but... I don't really care anymore. I'll wear my fangs and avoid sunlight and drink the reddest, most iron-tasting tea I can and be perfectly happy being the weirdo that I am.

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