I’m starting to think that instead of vampires as a metaphor for oppressed people, we really need to start using vampirism as a metaphor for privilege.
Like, yes, you’re a vampire and you probably can’t help that, and sometimes people will freak the fuck out when you’re coming at them even if it’s just to ask if you can borrow a cup of sugar for your blood muffins or something, and you’re like, “Hey, don’t judge me just because I’m a vampire!”
And then a human’s like, “Um, well, historically, vampires tend to attack us humans and drink our blood.”
And sure, your first instinct is to go “Hey, I’m one of the good vampires! I have a subscription service at a blood bank and everything!”, but… that… doesn’t change the fact that historically, yeah, vampires have survived by eating humans. Any changing perception of vampires is going to have to start with vampires.
So instead of protesting your innocence, you have to start by going to find other vampires and being like “Hey guys, we have to stop eating humans.”
And unfortunately, a lot of vampires are gonna think they’re already doing everything they need to to be Good Vampires, and this needs to be combatted. Being a Good Vampire is a never-ending struggle, and it’s not very rewarding, but it’s what has to be done.
And some humans will never, ever stop being suspicious of you, and you’ll have to accept that. Humans don’t owe you their respect just because you’re doing them the basic service of not flapping into their bedrooms at night and biting their necks. That’s like, the bare minimum of not being an asshole vampire. And some humans will probably still make jokes about how vampires can’t go in the sun without burning up and how they have no reflections and how for some reason they think “Alucard” is actually a cute baby name, but you’ll just have to deal with that, because they’re coping with the fact that this is an entire population of things that historically have always eaten them.
But it’s not about you. It’s about making the world safer for humans, and combatting it every damn time you see another vampire planning out a good old-fashioned round of feasting on virgins in nightgowns, and saying “Okay, no, that’s really offensive” the next time one of your vampire buddies refers to a human as a bloodbag, and generally working overtime to present a pro-human standpoint.
Because really, what good does it do to make the monsters the oppressed ones?
My 400+-year-old vampire character is always explaining this. He’s quite aware that he’s an undead fiend from hell, or in his case Perthshire, and so on, but that does not mean he gets to behave like a complete and utter bastard and swan around calling himself The Kindred or wearing vinyl trousers. He tries to be more of a largish well-dressed and consent-minded mosquito, minus the disease vector thing. Of course humans are going to fear and hate him for what he is, if they happen to find out what he is; it’s on him to refrain from giving them a reason to. Whining and angsting that nobody likes you because you’re a vampire is sort of actively, offensively ignorant.
(the last set of young crushed-velvet-and-PVC long-haired Kindred with a capital K who came and tried to take over his London got the above lecture first, and when that didn’t do much of anything, had a femur or two tied in an overhand knot just to underline the point. he tries very hard to avoid that sort of thing simply because it’s in poor taste and undermines the moral standpoint, but if you’re less than a hundred years old with a head full of Anne Rice sometimes you don’t listen very attentively without being given concrete examples.)