Land of Ice and Fire and Gay Vampires

So the latest Dracula proved to be something of a bust, at least so far as the promise of an openly gay vampire goes. But the next chance to see a queer vampire may be, er, dawning.

There’s news out of Iceland that a new film, “THIRST,” features a thousand-year-old creature of the night who favors other men. Like most Icelandic films and television shows, it also involves grisly crimes in a small town.

The film makes its debut at the Nordic Film Market, which is going on now, so it’s a bit early to know if THIRST will live up to its hype or be a, pardon, tease.

A still from the film THIRST.

Does representation matter?

It occurs to me as I write this that maybe it doesn’t matter that nearly all vampires depicted to date have cleverly hidden their true tendencies. And by that, I meant they acted straight.

A still from the movie THIRST.

Vampires are all about keeping your true nature hidden and staying in the shadows. After all, what’s a vampire who demands to be seen for who he is and steps into the light? Dead, that’s what.

That’s how it’s been for vampires for centuries. and that’s how it’s been for LGBTQ people for millennia, depending to an extent where and when you found yourself. Repressing vampires is just keeping it real. Maybe.

I pretty nearly convinced myself with that argument, too. But no.

Times are changing, creating new ways to examine old metaphors. Yes, being gay did mean to hide, lest you pay the price with your livelihood, your reputation and your life; yes, being a vampire did mean to conceal, lest you lay yourself bare to the stake, the ray of sunlight, the crucifix.

But what now, with the world changing? What if you don’t want to pretend your life’s love is “just a friend” any longer? What if you are no longer content to lurk in shadows, afraid to step into the light?

There is a richness to explore here.