In this day and age, and in a free society, a person can call himself anything he wants to. This doesn’t just apply to gender. If an anatomically male individual claims to really be a female “on the inside” and wants to be referred to as a “she,” I will do so as a show of courtesy; who am I to say? (If a lady tells me she’s really a ficus tree and wants to be referred to as a houseplant, though, um, no.) Even so, I admit that it bugs me to hear people refer to themselves as “vampires.” A vampire is, by definition, a reanimated corpse. It is a mythological creature. It possesses supernatural abilities. By definition–again–a human being cannot be a vampire. (Don’t get mad at me, y’all; argue with the dictionary.) There are some folks who profess to BE supernatural beings possessing supernatural powers, and these folks tend to spend a great deal of time boasting about the fact on social media. Again, you can call yourself anything you want, but I, and many others, would prefer different terminology to delineate the mythological monsters of Literature and Cinema and living humans who, for whatever reason, feel the need to consume blood.
My friend Alexia over at THE RED CELLAR makes an able attempt at defining the various terms–sanguivore, sanguinarian, Med-sang–attributed to the human blood-drinking community in this column. To this I would add another qualifier, for those who insist on using the term “vampire” to describe such individuals. I say, if you have a heartbeat, you belong to one of the three categories offered above. If your body temperature is equal to or lesser than room temperature, then possibly you might be a vampire. Go look in a mirror to make sure.