prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age.“ageism in recruitment is an increasing problem”
Ageism has been a thing in the GVC for quite a few years now. Sadly, this issue is NOT going to go away any time soon.
There was a time, when I first entered the community that it didn’t matter WHAT your age was, for the most part. Indeed, I was, as I have recounted several times before, 13 when I first entered the Vampire Community as a FULL member. I was taken under wing by a woman who was fully in her 30s, and there was a man who was above her in his 50s. These things, in the past, were commonplace. It was common for people to “give respect” to their “elders”, as well. This system of functionality worked for decades. It was the foundation that gave the burgeoning community its strength to fight the negative connotations of the name chosen to represent what we are and what we do. Indeed, such words as “leech”, “symbiont”, and a whole host of others were debated upon, to all be tossed aside for the moniker, “vampire”. Even then, our predatory nature was taken into account and accommodated for what it was that we did… “Live off of the living, breathing life-force of others” (as was taught to me by my first Elder, Ashanti Whitemantle).
This was fine throughout the 70s, 80s, and even into the 90s until… Enter one each club promoter and vampire fan… Suddenly, there was a marked change in the way the “scene” laid things out. It was no longer correct to be a person above the age of 30 and be in the community (this age has changed as promoters of events have grown older, however, it still is an underlying factor). When I first stepped out of the shadows and began to work openly (at 25), I was told by certain members of the community that I had “limited viability” (Again, repeating mistakes made by the Gay Community, so I tend to draw a LOT of parallels). It is as if people who are 30, 40, 50 or older no longer have a right to live, let alone celebrate the life that they have or have had. This, formally, by way of the harsh treatment that many older community members get by the “thin-blooded, thin-skinned, overly demanding fledglings”, is AGEISM. Pushing members out of the community because they simply don’t meet your unrealistic expectations of an age limit, is both heinous and FULLY a form of bigotry that is growing within the community.
No longer do we, as a community, celebrate the accomplishments of the older members of the community. No longer do we, as a community, treat them with dignity and respect for the fights that THEY have had to fight so that the younger members of the community can continue to do their little party promotions and activities. No longer do we, as a community, accept their experiences as a form of foundation for our own to grow on and move into the next level.
Ageism cripples the GVC on a nigh daily basis. You can see this at EVERY major event thrown FOR the community. There is nothing available for those who are no longer into the “stripper bar” way of life. There is nothing for those who are no longer into the “bar” scene on any level. (To add to this, there is nothing that is even NON-ALCOHOLIC for our brothers and sisters in addiction recovery at these events)…
Think about it. I am soon to be 52. I STILL enjoy getting on the dancefloor and shaking the dust off my ass to music, both past and present, for my OWN reasons. I STILL enjoy celebrating life and meeting new people (and reacquainting with old friends). I STILL enjoy living. Curmudgeon though I am becoming, I STILL enjoy living. AND THERE ARE OTHERS LIKE ME OUT THERE IN THE GVC!!!
So. Why the sour grapes when someone over the age of (currently) 40 speaks on their experiences within the community? Why the sudden need to flock to just one person’s experiences over the more than 30 GVC members that fall in the 40+ category? Even as recent as March 24th, 2016, there has been a young person in the community disparaging “old people”. How we are not part of the future progress of the community. Really? REALLY??? Are you fucking nuts?
First. If it WEREN’T for the fact that we bled, sweat, and cried over self-identity and the creation of “safe places” for us to gather, there would be NO COMMUNITY. No matter WHO claims to be the mother or father of the community… We would still be slinking around the outskirts of the BDSM community like some sort of parasitic growth, meeting in secret, as if we were ashamed of who and what we are. We FOUGHT so that the “thin-blooded fledglings” can be self entitled little disrespectful shits towards us?? Not this faggot. I FOUGHT so that I could enjoy the community, events, people, and places that I go to. I FOUGHT, fang and claw, to step out of the shadows and break away from a group that was solely dedicated to secrecy and keeping its doors closed to be shut out by a group of little “flitters” that just crawled out of the bat closet screaming for recognition in the big, bad community that they haven’t done one damned thing to EARN that recognition.
The truly sad part in all of this is the fact that one of the CURRENT people calling for this stupid shit is a young man who hasn’t bothered to be part of the community, nor help with anything in the local community except ONE thing in which perceived slights happened that angered him, so now he is taking out on anyone in the community that will not bow down and kiss his ass when he makes an overgeneralized, broad-stroked, all encompassing statement that are just factually inaccurate. He assumes, like so many of the younger people out there in the community, that EVERY Elder equates to the same person(s) who he perceived slights from.
Second. I may not agree with EVERY community leader out there (and lord knows that I am an opinionated old fart), however, I respect their work for what it is… THEIR WORK. I have had more than my share of run ins (sometimes like rams clashing in the mountains) with Elders who I feel have diametrically opposed views, however, I have ALWAYS respected them (though I can be terse at times, given health issues and/or lack of sleep). Even if we have ended up in heated arguments (no other word for it) and been on diametrically opposed sides of an issue. Lady CG, CJ, Deacon Gray, to name a few… *shrug* That is just the way I am and I see NO reason to change this any time in the near future.
Third. Riding on the coattails of those who came before you without acknowledging that they are still active and choose to remain active within the community is like cutting off your feet and trying to run on the bloody stumps. Damned near impossible and stupid to boot.
How does one combat such stupidity? Where do us “old people” go when faced with the potential amounts of inanity that is being produced by younger members of the community who are simply looking to make a name for themselves by denying the very basic fact that we… “old people”… are STILL going to be present in the GVC, no matter what they think, feel, or attempt to justify and that ONE DAY, they, too WILL BE AN “OLD PERSON”?
So… You think you can continue a community WITHOUT the root of it? You’re either sorely moronic or haven’t followed a single ounce of history in your life… Cut the root away… EVERYTHING dies…