Thursday, 22 October 2009


When I saw the title of Stephen Marche's piece in Esquire on Wednesday, with the thesis-title "Vampires as Gay Men: New Moon's Homosexual Vampire Connection" I clasped my hands with joy as I imagined teaching this in a few year time. In a primary school.

In the article, Marche explains the recent fangirl obsession with vampires - to which we fitcritics are perhaps not entirely immune - by invoking young women's latent desire to french with gayboys.

Duh. I mean, what girl doesn't dream of her gay boyfriend vomiting on her?

Referring to Meyer's inexplicably popular vampire series Twilight, Marche writes that "vampires have overwhelmed pop culture because young straight women want to have sex with gay men." Although the logic of the article isn't quite clear, it is an intriguing theory, suggesting that the unavailability and yet obvious desirability of the vampire/gbf serves as a safe locus for young women's desires.

So, for example, Edward Cullen is moody, beautiful and dangerous - and has a secret which Bella can't quite put her finger on but which in retrospect is screamingly obvious - but in reality provides a safe and virtual heterosexual relationship. Similarly, the mystery surrounding actor Robert Pattinson, his moodiness, smelliness, and all round unavailability has done something to the tween mind which that little slut Zack Ephron never could.

And although the article doesn't, it should be mentioned that he is well into glitter.

(This took five hours to make. Worth, no?)

I think Marche's thesis has much to say for it, although Jezebel points out that it ultimately presents a female image of gay men which is quite disturbing. Which is not to say that it isn't true. Is it possible that the simultaneous demonisation and infantilisation of gay men in our culture - in which women have as much a part to play as men - has produced a dangerous and yet desirable monster? A monster, moreover, which infects its victim with a deadly disease?

I think the implications run deeper than Marche realises, and that following these threads could lead us somewhere more revealing, as both the vampire and the gay man represent something altogther darker in the collective unconscious. That is to say, our obsession with death and sterility, and their baudelairean beauty.

A beauty, in fact, which looks much like RPattz.

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