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Tonight we have the honour of bringing to you an article written by the renowned, and highly respected, modern vampire sub-culture leader Lady CG of Smoke and Mirrors. The topic is not a new one, indeed, many may well recall past writings of a lady who went by the name of The Infamous CJ, the topic may well arouse the same discussions and tit-for-tat contests that often go hand-in-hand with such things in the modern sub-culture but it also marks a return to a question that goes much deeper than it seems at first glance.
On January 1, 1863 the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, issued The Emancipation Proclamation that was aimed at all of the areas in rebellion during the Civil War. It proclaimed the freedom of slaves in the eleven states that were still in rebellion. It marked the recognition of a segment of the population of the United States as being free to make their own decisions and lives within the larger cultural group of the population of the country.
In 1918 the Representation of the People Act was passed, enfranchising women over the age of 30 who met minimum property qualifications and giving them the right to vote in the United Kingdom. The Representation of the People Act 1928 extended the voting franchise to all women over the age of 21.
Two examples of two different cultures recognizing the right of a sub-cultural group to exercise not only their inalienable rights as members of the human race but also opening the door for later petitions by other sub-cultural groups, such as the contemporary recognition afforded the Wiccan movement, to be recognized as valid and valuable parts of the whole. The topic was also touched on, and superbly so, in the July 2012 editorial by Lady Elzie Roze, “Bigotry in a Marginalized Minority Community – Vampires and Human Rights”
RVL E-Zine is very pleased to be able to reprint, with full permission of the author,
Sang vs Psi: Making a Case for Separation
(or, I Want My Blood, and Drink it too!)
I got involved in a conversation the other day that inspired some soul searching, on my part. I thought I’d share my mental processes and perhaps shed some light on what causes Sangunarians to occasionally opt out of the greater Vampire Community. While I do not know if it is wise or even possible to separate the VC into its individual component groups, I DO believe that there is a need in the community for more separation then it currently has, or a change in community politics if the greater Community wants to keep its Sangs around over the long term. There is already and alarming exodus of older Sangs to private communities and away from public shared communities. There is much to gain from this, but also a chance that much will be lost.
I was an active community leader for many years. Stress and bickering and Community drama caused me to actually leave the entire VC for a couple of years. I’m back, but I have little public interest beyond my Sangs and my Vamplings. I’ll fight tooth and nail to protect them, but I don’t have a ton of interest in the community beyond that, and they are the only ones I come out fighting for now. There are some good reasons for that. While it’s true much of the Community is very supportive of Blood Drinking, there is a vocal minority that make becoming a healthy Sang a damned if you do and damned if you don’t proposition.
The most difficult part of being a blood drinker is that there is no politically correct way to get the blood we require to feed. We require blood. It’s dangerous to take it from donors (disease, accidents) and it’s cruel to use animals… We’re threatened with criminal charges, we’re attacked for our feeding methods on all sides. We’re told by some that we should “evolve” to feed on methods that do not suit our nature, we are expected to live up to the expectations of those who do not need blood and when we can’t magickally conjure it out of thin air we’re damned for incidents of rage, dramatics and expected to behave like normal people, no matter the results of our inability to feed, especially if that inability to feed creates media worthy incidents that draw negative attention to the Vampire Community.
It’s difficult to feed in a way that is considered safe and politically correct, and yet that very necessity is the answer to minimizing negative incidents in and around the community. An unfed Sanguinarian is an unstable Sanguinarian. If there was a way to insure that everyone who needed blood could safely get enough the number of incidents would decline dramatically. Desperate Vamps find desperate solutions, or they act out in rage. Non Sangs seldom understand that starving Sangs are not that different from any starving creature. We get sick and we get cranky and we get desperate. Think of the difference it would make to our public image if there were no headlines regarding slips of the knife, forced feedings, animal cruelty by beginners learning to kill animals for blood. Think of the difference if every Sang knew how and where to get blood and how much they required.
Sadly there is far too much stigma attached to blood feeding in the VCs present state of evolution. There are few places where this kind of information can be passed on publicly or in a way that would reach everyone who needs it. There is far too much condemnation from our own community when it is here that Sangs should find the most help and support. The topic of blood drinking is unwelcome on most boards and groups and certainly not welcome in any positive way in news groups and other semi-public Facebook groups, which have become the primary means of communication within the VC at this time, if they were ever welcome at all. Want proof? Try bringing up killing animals for blood on any group and see the results. How do we pass on information and techniques without talking about it publicly? How do we catch young Sangs before they learn bad habits or make horrible mistakes that lead to incidents that might make the news? As the community stands right now, it’s almost impossible.
I’m one of the leaders with the opinion that we Sangs need our own community and should drop the name “Vampire” and just leave the rest of the community behind. While I believe the greater community WANTS to help, it’s clear that many have no desire to support or help Sangs, and even those who do realize there is a liability involved. We are not politically correct enough.
While I believe there are ways Sangs and other sectors in the community complement each other, it becomes more and more clear that we need our own communities where we can insure our kind are being fed and are healthy. The community in general doesn’t seem to see its better for the public image of the VC when blood drinkers are properly educated. Fewer media worthy incidents are a GOOD thing. Of course.. It’s not as easy as it sounds to separate ourselves from the community we presently inhabit and have taken part of for years.
The problem lies, in this case, in the fact that other Vamp communities feel threatened when Sangs talk about leaving the community all together. I’m sure almost everyone is aware of the Psi / Sang wars back in the 90s. Psi’s demanded the right to part of the Vampire Community, which originally only encompassed Sangs and our donors.
(We’ve been trying to get rid of them ever since – I jest, of course, sort of -don’t get your knickers in a twist, we all know I have a back handed sense of humour)
I have a lot of Psi friends, and I do believe there are places where it benefits us to have joint projects, my own message board is open to Psi’s, Sangs and most of the Otherkin communities, but we are NOT the same, and for some reason the idea of Sangs going off on their own again panics the community. I can understand why Hybrids would find it threatening, though.
When I owned the board S&M DARK, a more “adult” version of Smoke and Mirrors I had separate forums for Psi and Sangs, and as an experiment, made people choose which one they would be in, they could NOT be in both. It was very difficult to watch hybrids try to decide where they belonged, and not an experiment I’d want to do on a community wide basis. That said, there needs to be a better system than we have at present.
The sad thing is: It should not be NECESSARY to separate the Sang and Psi communities at all. We do have much in common.. but as long as the communities are joined at the hip, it will be impossible to get MOST Sangs feeding the way they need to for optimum health, and “incidents” are going to continue happening as long as we have unfed Sangs running around. We will continue to have unfed Sangs running around as long as other parts of the community continue pressure to make the community politically correct. We can’t have it both ways. If Sang feeding continues to be demonized the attached stigma will continue to prevent us from creating a truly healthy Sang community. The lack of a healthy Sang community is what demonizes Sang feeding in the first place. It’s an endless cycle
The first step to a healthy Sang community is breaking the cycle and teaching EVERY Sang that it’s OK to feed, and that there are healthy, even legal ways to do that.
I realize this opinion piece will likely create a lot of discussion, and I hope it does. I’m known for shooting straight from the hip and I think I’ve done that here, though I probably should have followed advice from Anthony Hogg when we were discussing the topic:
“…framed as a dietary thing, it would be much more…palatable, heh heh“
Lady CG 2014
I would suggest that we are not simply looking at a “separatist” issue; we are not looking at some attempt to establish an “elite” class that hold themselves over and above others… no, what we are reading here is a representation of the RIGHTS of every person of a sub-cultural group to follow their own path, believe in their own beliefs and the basic HUMAN right to be left in peace to explore their own identity and group consciousness without fear of malice, vilification or interference. As long as the group does so WITHOUT harm to any other then this is, and must be, as hundreds of commentators have pointed out before, a basic right to be respected and an assured right for EVERYONE.
Perhaps now is the time that the wider sub-culture extends those basic rights to the Sanguinarian community.
Guest article: “Sang vs Psi: Making a Case for Separation” copyright Lady CG 2014
Reproduced by RVL with full permission.
Introduction and closure, copyright RVL 2014
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