While I still havenâ€™t watched this weekâ€™s True Blood (9 pm EST found me at the laundry mat, trying not to strangle somebodyâ€™s kid on a skateboard), the hubby and I did watch Interview With a Vampire. He likes it, but I had never seen it before, so he asked me to add it to the Netflix queue and bump it to the top.
From Brad Pitt looking hella pretty to Kirsten Dunst as the perfect evil-woman-trapped-in-a-little-girlâ€™s-body, it was great. But just ten minutes in, I found myself asking out loud, â€œDoes this seem a little homoerotic to you?â€ Tom Cruiseâ€™s Lestat was biting Pittâ€™s Louis, and the embrace looked more than a little tender. By the time the vamps hit Paris (and Louis gets extra cozy with Antonio Banderasâ€™ Armand), I realized that the movie was totally a gay romance!
So that got me thinking: this isnâ€™t the first time pop culture has linked vampirism to homosexuality. From Blood and Roses (which focuses on lesbian vampires) to Parlour favorite True Blood (whatâ€™s with Ericâ€™s makeover and attachment to Lafayette?), itâ€™s a recurring theme. Vamps have always been portrayed as being sexually open (and talented), and mixing it up seems to go with that openness. Many would argue that all of Anne Riceâ€™s books (including the source material for Interview), the movie Draculaâ€™s Daughter, The Lost Boys and even Twilight all include either overt or covert gay themes. Rice has even been quoted as saying that.
But why? Perhaps, as portrayed in True Blood, vampires represent a portion of the population that has traditionally been seen as social outcasts; whose â€œdeviantâ€ behavior earns them the scorn of religious types, even as they struggle to make sense of their urges? Perhaps, then, we delight in seeing them finally free to live the lives they want to live, and like cheering them on from a safe distance, as bloodletting scenes substitute for those of the backdoor variety?
Or perhaps weâ€™re more Puritanical than weâ€™d like to admit, and we liken the vamp lifestyle not to freedom, but to evil, and revel in paralleling homosexuality and the â€œdark giftâ€ because it lays plain the sin we dare not name?
I guess it depends on whom you ask, so Iâ€™m asking you: Do you think we associate vamps with gays because we revile them, or because we want to cheer them on? Know of any other examples of this connection?
If you like Kenryaâ€™s opinion, check out the rest of her posts below.
Last 5 posts by kenrya
- More Than Hair: How a Mom's Blowout Affected Her Daughter - March 15th, 2013
- No White Dolls Allowed: One Mom on Choosing Brown Dolls for Her Brown Girl - December 21st, 2012
- Why I'm Still Breastfeeding My One-Year-Old - August 8th, 2012
- My Family Never Thought I'd Have Kids, But I Did: Black + Green Mama - June 22nd, 2012
- 'Start It Up'!: Parlour Columnist Kenrya Rankin Tackles Teen — & Adult — Entrepreneurship - December 23rd, 2011