Rerun for Halloween. 🙂 (queue spooky music….)
Question: Can a vampire help a transgender person transition?
Best Answer: Hey girls! I know there has been some talk on Reddit and around about using a vampire to transition. This question seems to pop up now and again and at first glance seems in some ways to be a good idea. The rumors sound so tempting, especially if your funds are limited or if the dysphoria has grabbed you so tight that you feel like you just have to transition YESTERDAY. It might seem like a real short-cut and it makes a girl think twice. Is it true that you just have to let some sparkly dark hunkwaif with sensitive eyes drink his teeth into you and then somehow everything gets turned inside out and outside in and there you are in the morning, with pretty breasts that are just the right size, and subtly round smooth hips that are somehow both firm and soft, and a torso that is actually the right slim size rather than some disproportionate underboob-hiding-sequoia-sized-six-pack, and a small dainty larynx that sounds like a pretty warble rather than a bag of hammers – is this even a thing? The word on the street is officially yippers, yes that’s right, I’ll say it again, yippers (It is a real word, look it up- but ignore what it says it means in the dictionary, it really means “well gosh, yeah!”).
Now the good old word on the street has come up with some pretty unbelievable stories before, like the idea that the moon landing was just staged for television, or that there are live space aliens being held against their will in Area 51, or that you can find women’s size 13 shoes on the shelf of an actual store, so a girl really never quite knows what to believe, but the vampire thing does come up just often enough to make you wonder. I’ve heard that when a vampire drains you they feed on your actual soul (the blood is just a mixer I guess), and the parts of the soul that zips and zings the most are the hungry corners of unfulfilled purpose or dreams which get drained and used by the vampire to prop up the shimmering life and power they seem to exude, and I guess that sort of makes sense, because nothing gets a person up and going in the morning (errm sorry, evening) more than the call of unfulfilled purpose that dwells silent and unnoticed in their center.
They say that when the vampire is feeding, a replica of your soul apparently moves back into your bitten shell. This replica is a lot like your original soul, but it contains primarily all of those unfulfilled purposes and desires that were tugging at you and may have caused you to agree to be bitten in the first place. If your unfulfilled desire is to fly, or change shape, or to have incredible strength and speed, or to exude irresistible sexual charm (and who doesn’t want any of those things, I mean really), those desires consume and inhabit the new body in a way that is just plain crazy so that it conforms fully to those unfulfilled desires. It is the obviously cool things that get noticed and played in the movies because they feed so deeply on our basic fears, and it is true that a bunch of glittery yahoos who have unimaginable speed and strength can indeed wreak all sorts of frightening slaughter and havoc. But fewer people have heard that some vampires can lead a rather mundane and quiet existence for centuries depending on whether their unfulfilled purpose involves some lovely or esoteric pursuit like science or chia pet gardening. But even these characters can cause trouble if left unchecked. There are some who suspect, for example, that there is a monkish vampire who might have recently somehow risen from the Smoot-Hawley era with an unfulfilled and inexplicable passion for convincing people that tariffs and trade wars are actually good for the economy. Oh well, what can you do but just roll with it sometimes?
The idea that morsels of suppressed identity are so delicious to walkers of the dark night and are therefore so potentially transformative may explain why transgender persons might be susceptible to seeking out a vampire. All of us transgender folk know that we have vast oceans of those hungry corners floating around in our mojo. We usually have some inkling at an early age that the way we feel inside of our soul does not match our bodies or milieu. If we are lucky enough to be blessed with the proper context and support early on, we might be able to avoid some of the flight of denial and the depersonalization, isolation, and dysphoria that dogs us all along the way. But for most of us at some point our very lives come to be so detached from our identity that we feel like we are already just a shell living some other person’s life. We might keep at it for a while because of training or ideology, or love and not wanting to hurt those who are close to us. But eventually we all reach a point where we realize that no matter where you go, there you are; even though it feels like you aren’t. An easy vampire fix can start to seem very attractive, and after years of depersonalization, even the prospect of realizing that your fabulous new body might just not quite have your very own soul going forward starts to feel not all that different from how you are living now. At least some reasonable facsimile of your soul gets to inhabit a hot (if that is what you want) body that matches who you were in your true inner life. And it sounds not half bad to get all of this without having to deal with hormones and all hell knows what else. The process certainly sounds a lot simpler than WPATH transition. The only things needed are one neck, two teeth, three hours of sucking, and four professionals you DON’T have to see. That’s right girls! Imagine just simply bypassing the four horsemen of the transopalypse: shrink, endocrinologist, surgeon, and divorce lawyer.
It seems like every trans support group you hear of has someone ask about vampires at some point, especially as October rolls around. Some quiet sweet non-transitioned girl with painfully broad shoulders and a Rock Hudson jaw line will be sitting at the far end of a table clutching her celery when someone says “popcorn Lucy” but it doesn’t quite register right away that this means it is her turn to talk. Eyes turn to her and then she blushes a little and looks like she is going to take a pass, but then she blurts a question as to whether anyone knows if a vampire can really help someone transition. Everyone tries to look empathetic, but some of the girls’ eyes accidentally roll and it quickly gets as quiet as if the cis-gender psych student intern were still sitting in, until someone either coughs or one of the ftm guys absently crunches the sausage and gravy/habanero flavored potato chips that were left over from the last meeting. Eventually the nicest lady there asks her where on earth she got those fabulous earrings, and somehow the topic takes a few turns toward more comfortable topics like finding a place to pee, being outed at work before you were ready, or how to deal with the occasional thought of driving your car into a stone wall.
So… Other than not many of us taking the stories too seriously, how would a girl go about finding a vampire in the first place? This is not as easy as Hollywood would make you believe. In the typical vampire trope the denizens are literally dripping out of every nook and cranny in overwhelming hordes, and just when you think you can trust some character, SURPRISE!! OH NO!!! THEY’RE A VAMPIRE TOO!!! This was basically the main plot of “The Lost Boys,” y’know, new kid moves to town, and it turns out-(SPOILER ALERT)… everyone (nearly) in the town is a vampire. It made it look so easy to find a vampire, that you had to wonder how any of them could have been lost in the first place. “Van Helsing” has almost no discernible plot other than following the formula that (SPOILER ALERT)… everyone (nearly) is a vampire and Hugh Jackman and friends just need to keep killing and killing and killing them until you want him to just make his adamantium skeleton go SNIKT! finally and get on to the next movie, (I apologize for bringing his Wolverine character into this totally non-Wolverine movie, I can’t help it, it happens for me in every movie he is in now. In Les Mis when Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe were fighting next to Ann Hathaway’s death bed, I kept waiting for that sharp metallic SNIKT! sound, which could only have been a positive contribution when compared to the sound of the singing that happened to be going on at the time).
In the real world, vampires just don’t seem to be dropping out of every single rafter, y’know. You may have all seen posters for “vampires” reaching out to connect to the wider community. I have seen the flyers at The Flying Monkey or Bandito Burrito, they are usually just slightly more noticeable than the flyers for Paw Paw’s Medicine Cabinet. Don’t fall for these flyers girls, they are just paper click-bait. One friend told me that she was a little curious, so she called and found out these are likely to be either a pitch to turn your time-share into cash, or (even worse) an invitation to a poetry slam.
You might think that you would recognize a vampire and be able to simply approach one yourself, but this comes with its own set of problems. Does one just go up to that sparkly dark fella who is standing off-handedly in the corner, yet still seems to rivet the whole room to his attention even when he is slouching down into his phone and say, “Hi! I hope it doesn’t embarrass you to be asked, but do you happen to be a vampire? You see I am a transgender person, and I was wondering if it is true that vampires can help a girl become a girl faster?” Well, in the first place, what if you are wrong and he gives a snarky-toned answer, that not everyone with a slick widow’s peak is vampire and that he is actually vegan… and well, then you have just outed yourself to someone who now knows that you rely merely on the most superficial stereotypes to size people. Or even worse… what if you were right and he is a vampire and he isn’t all too happy that you noticed? Maybe he was trying to go stealth-human, just trying to fit in and not let the addictive creep-charm ooze out. Maybe he was even trying to quit the feeding lifestyle and actually become a vegan. This is, after all, rumored to be the most reliable way, if they can stick with it, for vamps to finally find the true death and move on. Well! We all know what it is like to be clocked when you thought you were passing, and we also know that this makes nobody feel very friendly, and now maybe you have someone who can move faster than darkness feeling a tad unfriendly toward you. Feels like lose-lose.
I am a little reluctant to tell you how I have heard so much about this whole vampire thing, since it feels a little bit like betraying a confidence, but I won’t use her real name (I’ll call her Lucee’) and anyway, I don’t think her world is small enough for you to be able to hurt her. Chances are the other way round might apply. She showed up at our local transgender support group. In retrospect the first thing that should have tipped us off is that she first attended right after we had a change of venue. You see, for a while we were meeting at a church, which I know might seem odd for a trans support group. I mean, y’know, I go to church, but churches have not always been a very comfortable environment in the experience of many transgender persons. Now our meeting spot was just a small sweet little LGBTQ friendly church, with as many pictures of rainbows as angels on the walls, but still, there were a few in our group who had found it a tad triggering to meet in a church, so we had been looking around for another spot to gather. She showed up at our first night in the new place. The room was nothing fancy. Think of the typical off-white cinder-block basement décor that most support groups call home, but it was still a little more comfortable than church for a few of our folks. The coordinator of our group was late because of a crisis at work, so we sort of assumed he had invited her and given her all of the details about the meetings. She said she was a transitioned transgender girl, and she had been wanting to join the group but had not been able to attend until we had moved to the new place.
What was weird, though, is that she did not look transgender at all, I mean, she had absolutely no tells whatsoever that I could see. She looked so super cis you would not believe it. I figured that she had perhaps started transitioning in adolescence after puberty blockers and all, but I mean it isn’t the fact that she just looked like a cis-girl, she was perfect. Most trans-girls I have met are at least a little taller than cis counterparts, but she was built like a little pixie Audrey Hepburn girl, with a perfect slim hourglass shape and round eyes as deep as a shadow of the blood moon. Her voice sounded soft and musical like birdsong mixed with starlight, it was captivating. I mean, it was literally, captivating. When she started talking I felt like a huge space inside of me was being drawn out into a larger emptiness. I could hardly look away, and certainly couldn’t interrupt, and I soon dreamily noticed we all were equally entranced. We didn’t sit there like numps on a log or anything, we did react, but in ways and in times that seemed to suit her. A break or a pause in the narrative that typically would elicit a nod of affirmation or a smile, or even a slight shift forward or backward in the seat all occurred where you would expect them too, but with a strange sense of blankness. I would nod or smile or shift, but without any attendant reactive feeling. And we were all doing it, not in unison exactly, if I shifted, the girl next to me would soon nod, or the guy across the table would then smile empathetically, as if it all had to seem spontaneous even though it was in reality a choreographed mix of randomness and tempo.
She came right out and said that she had used a vampire to transition. She used to have broad shoulders and a Rock Hudson jaw-line and all the rest of it, and it just seemed like the best way to become the woman she always felt she truly was. I felt a little distant spark of anger that she had come here just to put us on, and that there were no such things as vampires, but like I said, it was just a little distant spark, and I found myself nodding in agreement, and soon felt that it was as silly to say there were no vampires as it would be to say there were no gay people in Chechnya. She wouldn’t tell who her vampire hunk was, she seemed a little jealous of that information and didn’t even seem too keen on telling us how to find one. Most transgender groups err on the side of oversharing techniques and options, but she held those particular cards close to her perfect chest.
She said that it was not really all that it cracked up to be anyway. Yes, she had a perfect body, but she couldn’t even see it in a mirror and it wouldn’t even register on a camera either. So after all those years of avoiding mirrors because they triggered dysphoria, now when she desperately wanted one, it was of no use. She tried commissioning a portrait, but it was unsatisfying to her, because she had a nagging feeling that the artist had merely fallen under her vampire spell and was just reflecting her own perception of how she wanted herself to look, she could never really be sure, so she turned him into a vampire to make him immune to her spell. That was a total bust because apparently his unfulfilled purpose was to work in velvet media so thereafter every subject of his art ended up looking either like Elvis or a dog playing poker.
She said the three hours of sucking only involved sucking and nothing that rhymes with sucking. It supposedly really does just involve the teeth and nothing from the designated nether worlder’s nether regions. Why then, do we have all those decades of cinematic innuendo and dark entendre in vampire movies? Well, turns out they were just selling tickets. She said that it hurt a lot more than laser treatments, lasted a lot longer, and he was the only one who seemed to be having any fun, so maybe that counted at least as some sort of solidarity with a common female plight. The worst part was that she didn’t really feel any satisfaction after the whole thing was done, people would stop and stare at her and even though she could read their minds and know they thought she was gorgeous, she still could not be sure if it was just her own expectations being regurgitated back at her, sort of a crazy hopped-up telepathic version of a retailer gendering you properly with a friendly “thank you ma’am” but you don’t have the confidence to know if they meant it or if they were just being nice.
Not only did she feel no satisfaction, about the only thing she felt at first was a constant hunger, not even desire…, just hunger. But at least she had the companionship of her handsome vampbeau, and they had some great adventures riding waves of stardust and moonlight and all that, but even that relationship started to lose a bit of its shine off the beam. One day he told her that vampires were only supposed to feel hunger, but that he was starting to feel annoyed that he could also feel annoyance. He was really peeved that she had all of these powers and speed and strength and wisdom, but all she could ever do is whine about how she couldn’t see herself in a mirror or a selfie and he was getting tired of telling her how great she looked all the time and frankly he would rather have someone stake him then and there rather than have to keep doing that for centuries. He said the next lair they got would by all means NOT have any mirrors! Not because it bothered him that he couldn’t see himself, he just didn’t want her to be asking over and over again if there wasn’t please just some way that he could fix the mirrors, maybe if he could just fix them they would work, and no dear it has nothing to do with the mirrors, vampires ABSORB light, we don’t REFLECT it remember, humans see us ONLY because we want them to and yada yada yada.
So soon she had graduated from feeling only constant hunger to also feeling persistent loneliness. That is why she had sought us out. We were people who could relate to what she was feeling. She called us her little group of inklings. I think she was prepared to drone on beautifully for hours or even days (see why I am nervous about poetry slams?), or even centuries without any of us being able to escape or get a word in edgewise. Anyway, I think we would all still be there except for the fact that our group coordinator, a super nice ftm guy named “Bubba” (not his real name) came bopping in all distracted and late with “Thrash Unreal” seeping out of his ear buds. That may have been what saved us because he never heard her voice, or maybe Against Me! songs might ward off vampires. Or it might have been the snacks he brought, he does bring the weirdest snacks, he didn’t say a word, he just plopped the open bag of Wasabi flavored potato chips in front of Lucee’ (I think he was trying to be nice), but instead it made her stop in mid-sentence and curl up her nose and actually snarl revealing a couple of moon white fangs. She regained her composure and hastily said, she had to go, that she would bring the snacks next time – she made the most interesting finger sandwiches, then she said “popcorn Lona” and was off with a gust of sadness and screams.
Bubba just stood there dumbfounded as we all slowly emerged from our trance. He slowly took out his earbuds and asked what that was all about and was it something he said or didn’t say or what and he was concerned that the new girl had left all apparently in the strangest kind of huff he had ever seen, and well, sheesh!, what was that?! We pieced it out for him bit by bit trying to remember whether or what portions of it were real, but I think since we all remembered just enough of the same bits between us, we were confident we knew what had actually happened, (which come to think of it, is one of the really cool things about even more ordinary transgender support group sessions). We figured out pretty quick that we had survived a near miss and all started hugging and patting Bubba on the back, and he kept reminding us that he wasn’t as much the hugging type anymore, but oh well, he was glad he could be of service.
I don’t know if the wasabi made her flee, I don’t think that is a thing. You hear about garlic chasing off vamps in all the books and such, but wasabi is primarily horseradish not garlic, and I’ve done a lot of research online and stuff and I have never found any mention that horseradish works against vampires. Maybe she just thinks wasabi is plain disgusting, and I personally really can’t blame her.
So! Bottom line girls: if you feel you have to change fast, go ahead and transition, but do the hard work, face the tough facts, stop any self-loathing, give yourself a freaking break for once, have the hard conversations with family, and call the professionals. I would definitely NOT recommend toothing up with a vampire to do it. I mean, think about where it all leads, you still feel an unfulfilled purpose, you still can’t see your true self in the mirror, you float around not sure if or what your own true soul really is or if you are even attached to it, and you are still uncomfortable in church. I mean, even if others think you look FABULOUS, this still does not sound like a fix for the transgender predicament, it sounds just simply like a worsened form of dysphoria and face it, you have been doing that all by yourself for years without needing to bring a pair of teeth into your neck. And the worst part is, if you go the vampire route, it might last forever, which does sound just a little bit longer than the time it takes to get all of your laser treatments done.
So whatever happened to Lucee’? I don’t know. She never came back. I feel bad for her, I really do, but whenever I think of her I get a cold shiver in my butt. She did, after all, keep us glued to those awful metal folding chairs for nearly two hours, and she was just warming up I suspect. In any event, I don’t know if she will even want to come back, but just in case she does we have moved our group back to the church, we always have Thrash Unreal playing softly in the background (now THAT is a song that is hard to play softly) and we always serve wasabi.
Hope this Helps, Lona.
I am pleased to announce that this short story has been published in “Sissy Fit” Alabama’s only queer literary magazine. It can be obtained through a subscription at the following link. check it out and come have a Sissy Fit! There is a lot of really excellent pieces in this Volume 1, No1, and I am both grateful and proud to have contributed.
© All rights reserved for text to Lona Gynt, October 2018
Image is from Pixaby, free download and non-commercial use, but I did pay the artist a cup of coffee.
Other Disclaimers and Acknowledgements:
Reddit I am sure is a trademark for Reddit, and is used here as fair use for satire. There is no association of this post with Reddit.
I actually would love to go to a poetry slam.
I like the movie Van Helsing, but I didn’t love it
I never actually made it all the way through The Lost Boys
Both Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe can sing better than me.
Tosha Michelle’s recent poem has a list of beautiful aphorisms about why we write. One of them inspired my description of how I reacted to Lucee’s voice. Check it out here and see if you spot it. https://laliterati.com/2018/10/24/and-we-write/
“An official at Russia’s Justice Ministry has said at the United Nations that the rights of the LGBT community were not violated in Chechnya because there were no gays there.” This is both ridiculous and terrifying and they need to be called out on this. See this link for the full article. https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russia-tells-un-there-are-no-gays-in-chechnya-61450
All of the other characters in this post are fictional except for me.
Paw Paw’s Medicine Cabinet, Bandito Burrito, and Flying Monkey Arts are all real to goodness awesome Alabama thangs. Check em out.
I have included a link to Thrash Unreal by Against Me! – just in case 😉