The Civil Rights of Vampires

Since the 1920s, Vampires have been an incredibly popular incarnation of the “creature of the night.”  They were seen as terrifying, blood-thirsty creatures, which is what they were originally viewed as.  However, with the release of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, vampires have had a sensuous, lustful quality to them.  This was first portrayed when Bela Lugosi plays Dracula in the movie of the same name.  This is a classic horror film that shoved Lugosi into the lime light and created the image of Dracula that many people know today.

However, vampires in recent history have shifted from terrifying to “misunderstood.”  This is a natural transition that happens for many groups.  Since the 1920s, Gays have traveled beyond their old misconceptions and are more than socially acceptable now.  This may be a stretch, but vampires went through the same “civil rights” movement of sorts through the media that Gays and Blacks have gone through.  We go from seeing vampires as straight villains to seeing them as heroes, lovers, and good creatures.  From films such as Twilight, Hotel Transylvania, and Mom’s got a Date with a Vampire, we are shown a teenage, romantic vampire, a comedic vampire, and a British vampire.

Many things in the world need to gain acceptance before they can truly meet their full potential.  If Segregation was never repealed, many of the best thinkers of our time would not be able to reach that level of thought that is inside them.  The same goes for vampires.  Once vampires were seen as something other than inherently scary, there are other stories that can be told, other characters that can be created.  We no longer judge the vampire for his blood-sucking tendencies, but for what they do with their powers and how they control or don’t control their blood lust.  Though vampires may have lost their “edge,” they still are in the foreground of popular media, as they can be wonderful characters for great stories.  Who knows?  Maybe werewolves are the next to get their spot in the sun.

Article:  Vampirism:  Striking at the Heart of Fear and Desire