Interview from the Outside In
Guardian, 25, lives in Norwalk, California, and got involved with the community by chance 3 years ago. He is not a donor, nor vampyre, therian, or otherkin and thus may be considered an “outsider”.
So how many years have you been involved with the vampyre community?
“I started researching it 3 years ago but I actually got in touch with some a year and a half ago. I’ve been here ever since.”
Oh? And what spurred that research?
“Well a friend of mine had told me about an experience she had once that had her research it. So I decided I wanted to as well since I was in speech and debate at the time. I wanted to see if I could shed some positive light on the subject for people who were skeptical. “
I remember you mentioning that, that is when you started used the Vampyre/Donor database to contact vampyres, yes?
“Correct. I found an entire contact list and sent an email to everyone who had contact information. I got a few responses yet only two were actually helpful, Akhu and my new friend, Flair. All the rest didn’t really know what to say or didn’t respond at all.”
Do you still have your research paper by chance?
“I do but sadly I wasn’t able to use any of the information I had found. It’s actually one of the main reasons why I gave up on the speech and quit the team aside from getting a job. My coach didn’t like that it had nothing to do with a disease or anything like that so she told me it wouldn’t be competitive. I was highly upset with this as I had spent a year researching the topic.
So as soon as I got a job I quit the team. But I had made up my mind to do that based on my coach telling me what she did.”
And what team was that?
Where you a student or employee on the team?
“Student. Employees can’t compete unless they are students.”
Could you explain in what direction you were going in and how it contrasted from what she wanted?
“I wanted to shed light on the community in a positive way and show that vampyres are not meant to be shunned and feared but treated just like everyone else. My coach said that to be competitive my speech should be about a disease or some incredible advancement that would benefit mankind. She said that no one would take my topic seriously or they just wouldn’t care since it didn’t directly effect them. I tried to tell her that she was wrong as there could possibly be members of the community in speech and debate and she wouldn’t know it. Her argument was that one or two people isn’t enough. If it doesn’t have anything to do with the world as a whole no one will care.”
The community has had issues with that sort of discrimination for awhile, what kept you involved after the paper though?
“Two very interesting people that I consider to be friends. Plus I know what it is like to be shunned for being different and feared for not being like everyone else.
Plus I found that I was around the community without even realizing it.”
Could you explain how you know what it’s like to be shunned for being different?
“I have ADHD and Aspergers. I was diagnosed with ADHD at 5 years old but I wasn wasn’t diagnosed with Aspergers until 15. So people really didn’t understand me or know what to do with me. I was also the tallest kid in class so I stuck out and the other kids like to torment me to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore and would blow up at them and then I would get in trouble ’cause I was always the one to get caught.
It got so bad that in 8th grade the principle didn’t know what to do with me anymore so she tried to have me home schooled. Plus I was really sheltered as a kid so I wasn’t very street smart so when I heard something and repeated it I would always be made fun of for using it the wrong way.”
Sorry to hear that, how did you find you were around the community without knowing so?
“An ex-girlfriend of mine was actually involved in the community and might have even been a donor. I had actually met a few vampyres through her without even knowing it.
Once I found out about the community, I found out that a friend of mine is actually a psychic vampyre. She said she once tried to feed on me on accident ‘cause she had no real control at the time but she found that she wasn’t able to. That’s when I found out from a mentor of mine that I was born with a shield that protects me from such things.”
That tends to be the case, most people have swam with a shark without knowing it as well. Have you been to any events within the community as of yet?
“Sadly no, the club that my ex liked to go to that I found out was owned by a vampyre had to close due to money issues. I’m not as well informed as I wish I could be. Since quitting my team I have only been in contact with Akhu and Flair. My psy friend has moved to the east coast and we don’t talk as much as we used to.
I would be honored to be put into the loop and informed of events if I could be but I don’t feel right just finding the local house and asking to be kept in the loop. I feel that it’s something that has to be earned if you don’t actually belong to the community as a member, sort of like a trust thing if you will.”
It is true, houses would be wary of non members due to safety issues for in person events.
So, any stories you have for us from involment in the community?
“Just that I’ve met two amazing people that I am very honored to call my friends.”
And from what you’ve seen, what’s your take on the community?
“I have a lot of respect for the community as a whole. They do what they can to make sure that their members feel welcome and safe. I like that there is a code of ethics that the members can all live by. I just wish I could help people stop fearing the community and accepting everyone for who they are as a person and nothing more.”
From what I’ve heard you’ve been helping in your own way, you have been keeping in touch with a Mradu, yes?
[A Mradu is the community’s version of "guardians" or "peacekeepers" within their own circles. Using the Black Veil, or personal morality, as guidelines they work to ensure the group is safe and the members maintain ethical standards. One of their main purposes is to ensure there are no unwilling donors and that willing donors are treated properly.]
“I try to do my best. As a guardian I cannot tolerate people hurting others for their own amusement or personal gain. So when I learned that a psychic vampyre was attempting to feed off of someone that I love deeply without her permission I took that rather personal so I found a Mradu and reported him.”
And by referring to yourself as a guardian, what do you mean?
“I was wondering when you were going to ask about that. I am a guardian of the balance of light and dark. We protect the balance. I am in the third circle. Hard to explain. We are currently working on ways to fix what has happened in the last fifteen or so years to tip the scale to darkness.”
And what happened 15 years ago to cause that tip?
“We believe it has something to do with the leaders of the supreme nations. They have become increasingly greedy and are seriously messing with the worlds economy and natural balance. Yes this is something that has been happening time and time again but now it is worse than ever. We aren’t even sure how to reverse it.”
Any ideas how this would affect the community?
“What’s bad for the world is bad for the community. Everyone is effected by this. It could lead to more aggressiveness towards anyone. There is a huge possibility that it could set things back a ways to where you will have to double or even triple your efforts to become accepted. But I strongly implore the community to not lose hope and not give up trying. You all deserve to be respected like everyone else.”
Do you have any advice for anyone interested in getting to know more on the community?
“Research everything. Don’t trust everything. Some people know what they are talking about and some don’t have a clue. Make sure you aren’t looking up stuff about a RPG like I kept finding. Yes, it will be frustrating but once you find what you are looking for it is very rewarding. If you find a way to get in touch with anyone from the community listen to everything they have to say. They may know stuff or they may not but they can tell you what it is like for them. Trust me it is rewarding.”
[The names of those involved have been changed in this article due to saftey reasons.]