By Deacon Gray 2008
For ages our community has faced the issues that come from not being apart of the mainstream. Many of the things we do, ways we act and even the way we think can come into stark difference to those around us, even our own families at times. It’s a difficult place to stand, on the edge of a razor between being who we are proudly and with out guilt or shame, and still fitting into the world we must live in.
There has been, primarily two ways of dealing with the issue. One of these ways is to follow the paths of those in the Gay and Lesbian community. For many years they kept who and what they were hidden as deeply as possible. Fearing the reprisal of their peers, the courts and even their families they kept their activities and lives “In the Closet.”
As most are aware they took a big risk by coming out into the mainstream, by risking the alienation of all and standing up for the rights that they are now starting to see come to fruition. Still the biases remain, and while the greater community has come to support these people there is still a long way to go. Yet while some of the actions maybe ideas we want to look at, in most ways these two communities are not the same.
Sure like them if we come out we risk a great deal. Many I have known have had their vampirism brought up in court. At every turn when someone who is out of the coffin so to speak, if they commit a crime it makes headlines. In all truth they are nearly convicted in the eyes of the media, and for that matter in the eyes of this community before they even get to trial. Yet unlike the Gay and Lesbian communities we do not have to come out in order to love. We do not have to worry about the right to wed, or that our spouses will receive life insurance benefits for the sake of their vampirism.
Our main reason to come out is to be afforded the chance to be who we are, and for the most part who we are does not depend on our Vampiric side. Still what if we do?
Some organizations do try, and not all of them are bad or elitists. Still One of the most well known has went so far as to deny a portion of the community, sacrifice it for the sake of their legal considerations in the marketplace. They will attempt for the sake of being received by the whole of society to cut off any offending limb. In essence push the Sangs in our community back into the coffin, and drive a few nails in with their out and out dismissal.
Other organizations out there have taken the other route. Many have stopped their community outreach all together. By slipping back into the shadows of the not just the over all society, but even the vampire community as a whole they embrace who they are with out compromises to the media standards, and walk among them totally unknown. Yet…this has a down side as well.
Many of the organizations that have gone that route have become mired in issues. Places that are eager for member support fee’s, pay to progress tactics of learning, and out and out brow beating if their members go off on their own to learn or grow. While this is not always the case it is the case often enough to mention.
I have met many people recently that have come out of big organizations that have gone dark, or shunned the rest of the community only to find out they have only been taught limited aspects of the paths they would wish to walk. Many are shocked that there are good educational aspects, and teachers out here.
Either way today the vampire community seems to be walking on the edge of it all. Just enough in the public to be able to have some well spoken representatives, and not enough in it to be brow beat into the molds that would destroy the individualism that makes the community so unique and yet hard to work with.
I am not sure which way I would want to go with. To slip once again into the shadows, be whom I am with out worrying about what others think, because they will never know. Or to stand up and try to take some kind of an active role in seeking “Rights and Recognition” that I would not have to worry about if I weren’t waving the vampire banner.
I suspect someday I will have to make that choice, to be Out of the Coffin, or to go dark and live as I really am yet always watchful, though I admit I am not looking forward to it. Maybe someday it will not be like that, but for now just how long can we walk the razor?