Jeanne Thornton 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow

Jeanne Thornton 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow



I'm honored to be reading tonight at Antioch my I'll be graduating under a false name I'm also honored to be lambdas emerging voices token trans lemon fellow for 2015 following in the footsteps of Morgan page token trans woman 2014 and Grimm Kelly token trans women 2013 so this is how you story written during this writers retreat it's a completely fictional story it's called vampire queer writers retreat to enter his face a vampire must be invited so the first and most difficult task that any vampire faces when attempting to integrate herself among the living is to get herself invited into their domain this is hard you must sometimes work harder than the living might in order to do it so you are honored to be invited to a desert retreat for writers you writers among the monsters villains and no contents you imagine how nice this will be how distinct from your normal life hiding among the living who do not suspect your curse to speak at last with other vampires about your shared project of articulating your vampiric experiences there right how are the only vampire here I are the only vampire here you write to your book to repel me code ensconced in or granite tower within the northern prairies I feel as if I am succumbing to a despair about the monstrous community and my place in it that I have previously avoided by preemptively cutting myself off from that community and other human souls generally and now I have to go through that despair and it sucks everything sucks except this fire bit that I'm warming my feet besides in the freezing desert but everything sucks to you this market is pretty rad pampers all about fires you know that Nikko will get this email the letter you wait for her to respond in the meantime you attempt to get over your disappointment you attempt to relate but necessary to explain your vampire niece you start to wonder about whether you are talking too much about this sometimes other living monsters began to talk about early experiences this sparked spots in your mind you start to explain your own history make connections tell stories sometimes this works what people can find connections sometimes this doesn't work places become blank the ways of the dead are strange to the living the question arises a smart one you think and relevant to your work about whether does narratives are played out in vampiric literature how did you die are you are you know taking pills in order to die are you can extinct anytime soon most people have a sense not to talk about death narratives anymore good on you pat ourselves on the back many questions however remain where do vampires buy their clothes what is the meaning of a vampire's name what pronouns might a vampire use speak louder our vampires deceptive what was the nature of a vampire's desire our vampire is permitted to have desires is their desire to say drink the blood of human women do you ask yourselves that question do vampires ask themselves that question do vampires ask other vampires that question and what if there are no other vampires to ask and when a lil Niqo write back to you and let you know what she thinks you can't know this because Neko is not here physical proximity so we are replaceable it takes time for information to travel by stream of bats at one point another vampire is brought in to explain how to write about to the other monsters this is necessary because there aren't many vampires at the retreat itself people will come up to you to ask you your opinion on this presentation by this vampire they're all very excited about it there's not much space for you to say that you liked it and edit us with it too you will be a downer everybody wants so much to include you it is nice to meet people halfway and you didn't not like it you longed for it frankly marking it on your schedule trying to convince tired and busy people to go the memory of meaningless vampire in passing it's something you don't know an award ceremony an event she doesn't remember you and she is famous and everybody crowds around and talk to her about her work vampirism etc it is helpful it is interesting and then she is gone and you realized in the moment of her leaving you not having spoken to her again despite being extremely aware at every moment of the party in the courtyard smoking cigarettes drinking maybe too much blood with other monsters of her physical location yeah you don't want to intrude and then she is gone she is sealed beneath the lid of her coffin and you return to your room and you realize just how much everything you thought would be okay as long as you had a nonzero expectation of encountering another vampire to talk to within the near future and now only monsters who are like you and then not like you remain you talked with the leaders of the space about this issue much more has already been done to make the space safer for vampires than in previous here the fields of garlic surrounding every dormitory of have been plowed up for example the gigantic crucifix hoisted down from the wall above the dining nook others complained to it is sunny because it's the desert but this is hard to help if a vampire inclusion is a hard problem if only more vampires would apply except you know that they do if only more vampires would become appropriately credentialed as potential workshop leaders except you know that they are you discuss strategy regarding this problem with a noted one did a lie count Rigel the Lich Lord he has good notions there are a number of religious race ghosts remanence and other undead spectrum identities present in this regime how that's to explain the relationship between vampires and lynches etc you guess had a good might be the way the trans women in space after space are systematically dramatically underrepresented relative to transmit and masculine gender queers but this is a subject of more general interest to human people and you don't want to get sidetracked with this metaphor you want what other people want you want to write you want to talk to people you want to connect to your history you want to learn to communicate it you don't want to complain vampires always complain you call people out you make it unsafe to speak you are always intruding into spaces you're equipping appalls with your loud thin fingers you are cata you are loud you are taking up space you are taking up time you have living privilege you tell yourself that you are being unfair you tell yourself that you are being unfair no one can help the world and everyone all of them are nice to you everyone is struggling everyone is alone in the end for now you have to go on you must learn to trust them better you will be kinder to yourself integrating better into the broader monstrous community you will stand up for yourself morning and you will know what the work of standing up for yourself within a living and monstrous space is going to become too difficult toughen up relax have a good time lose yourself in your work and conversation with people who you tell yourself you get that you love despite their not being vampires must they be we're all monsters our similarities are more important than our differences you are feeling better you will be okay and then Nico writes back to you God that sucks I'm so so sorry and I'm so in love and I want to tell you everything about it talk soon and for the first time – eat your heart swells with whatever curse thing that you and she share instead of blood how does one kill a vampire it is impossible to do it in the mundane world she will only turn into mist and disappear she will run from you smiling and disconnected as she melts into the shadows but it's different beyond the mundane world because he or she does not want to be invisible and you can only kill a vampire when she is to expose her heart thank you all very much [Applause]

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