BIPOC Vampire Day

BIPOC Vampire Day Interspectional

For the last episode of Black History Month 2022, we end as we begun: Celebrating Black Joy.  We are talking about BIPOC Vampire Day with its founder Jamila aka @BlackBettieCosplay. BIPOC Vampire Day (well, weekend) took place on September 17-19, 2021. For this weekend, cosplayers and artists of Black, Indigenous, Latine, Middle Eastern, East Asian, South Asian and other POC backgrounds embraced their “dark” side and dressed up as vampires and various creatures of the night. As movies, television and media have embraced vampire lore over the past few decades, people of color have often been left out or left with minimal representation, with #BIPOCVampireDay, Jamila sought to change that as well as bring a community of diverse, creative people together for a good cause. In this episode, we discuss the inspiration behind BIPOC Vampire Day, how event developed and where it is going next. I hope you enjoy it.

Episode Transcript

Latisha: Hey everybody. And welcome back to season two of Interspectional, the place where we have nerds talking about nerd stuff through a social justice lens. That is my new tagline. I hope you like it. Today I’m super, super excited because today we are talking about BIPOC vampire day. First day that this happened was in 2021 in September. Super exciting event.

And I have with me, the person who created it all. So could you introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about your fandoms and a really, really, really quick intro to BIPOC vampire day. 

Jamila: So hi, I’m Jamila of Black Bettie Cosplay. My fandoms are wide and vast. So anime, a lot of Disney, Marvel, various indie comics, some D+D stuff.

Kind of just like if it sparks my interest and it’s usually in the fantasy/sci-fi end of things. I’m here for it. Vampires are its own subsection of obsession which is kind of how I ended up making the event. I feel like I was talking to some various friends and we were always complaining about how there’s just not much rep.

Despite how popular vampires have become on movies and TVs and stuff lately. Like the rep is still incredibly low. Like it’s crazy how little you see, as far as diversity, when it comes to the characters that they create. Like, I can maybe name a handful of shows that actually have POC characters as not background characters, but lead characters that happen to be vampires or just villains or anything.

So it’s really small and Black Fae Day happened and it was amazing. And I was like, what if I made a vampire day? Like, why not? That’d be really fun. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time, but it was kind of like, “Ooh, the momentum’s there. People are like hungry for it.” And so I was like, “Yeah, let’s do this.”

 Let’s have a BIPOC vampire day. And so that’s kind of how it started. And it was September. It started out as I think a weekend. And then it became three days. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. 

Latisha: That’s amazing. And I’m glad that you mention kind of like some of the impetus started around Black Fae Day because I remember I found out about Black Fae Day late.

Like the day of is what I found out about it. And I saw all these amazing pictures and wings. I was like, this is my exact aesthetic I’ve never seen in my life. And this is it! Why did I not know about this earlier?! And so when I saw BIPOC vampire day, I was like, “Oh, this is like the dark side of that same theme.”

And so that was. Super super exciting. And you mentioned the representation, and that was a part of the story of how this was created. So what surprised you the most about people’s reactions? Cause I know you put out the “Here’s what we’re doing” months earlier.

So what was that first reaction of like, “oh, this is happening?”

Jamila: I think how much excitement there was around it. I mean, I knew it was gonna be some excitement. I had a feeling cosplayers would want to get involved because it was like, “The cosplayers are bored. We have no cons. We need something to do.”

But just like having all the people who had other forms of media, like reaching out. Like I had a bunch of people who are doing gaming related stuff, who were like, “Hey, what if we did a bunch of calls for games that happened to be more centric around BIPOC vampires?” And I was like, “Oh my God, that’s exciting.”

And all this stuff started coming out. I mean, I obsessively follow vampire projects. So I was already like reaching out to people. I already followed for their other vampire projects were like, “Hey. There’s an event coming.” But just generally, how surprised I was about how many people were willing to just jump into it and create little mini events around it, because I announced that it was happening after Black Fae Day had finished. But I didn’t have the dates u ntil like June or something. So it was still very like, kind of last minute as far as like planning it, because the main thing for me is I want it to be a fundraiser and a charity event, because I was like, “If I do anything vampire related, I really want it to tie around some sort of blood something cause blood drive.”

 And so once the dates were all set, I just expected it. “Okay. There’ll be a little bit of excitement.” I didn’t think it would blow up quite so much. And that there’d be like not one fundraiser, but like four fundraisers all happening. And that we were able to kind of work together in the last minute to make it this big, like event full of stuff. Like we had streaming that was going on.

There are games being created. It was… definitely a surprise. I didn’t expect to see all that happening at the same time. So that was cool. 

Latisha: Yeah. So can you elaborate a little bit more on like the fundraisers? What they were and how they tied into the event? 

Jamila: So yeah, I wanted to do something tied to some sort of something to give back.

Cause I was like the events that have been happening are really cool. And I was like, “I don’t want it to just be like, oh, I dressed up in a costume and that’s it.” I was like, we’re getting all this attention to it, so we need something. Like, representation was already kind of happening. It’s like Black Fae Day started pushing that like already.

So that was good. So I was like, “Well, what’s another thing that can be brought into the place?” Like not just, “Oh, Hey, you should consider us!” But something else. And so for me, I was like, “Well, sickle cell anemia is a blood disease that affects a lot of POC is significantly more than anyone else.” And then I was looking on the website of a couple of the national organizations and they’re like, “Oh, it’s September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month.”

And I was like, “Oh shit. Like, I didn’t even plan that.” I was like, “Oh, well now it’s meant to be like, clearly it was supposed to be in September all along.” I didn’t even have a clue that that’s what was supposed to happen. So I was like, “Okay, well now I have to make up a fundraiser for the event and they can be linked to forever.” So that was one of the fundraisers that was going. Another group I think, was doing it for Lifewater. Cause I think they had set their stuff up before they we’d kind of gotten to communicate about it. And so another gaming group that was doing a lot of the streaming. They also did fundraising f or the Sickle Cell A ssociation of America as well. 

So we had two of them kind of running simultaneously side by side, and then we had another group that was doing charity water at the same time. So it ended up turning into something where you’re going to have excitement and we were also going to be able to give back, plus I had a lot of people who were not POC who were like, “I want to help somehow.” And I was like, ” They can share.” But I think some people really liked the fact that they could also help donate and support and have it go an extra step. So that definitely was like, saw some really good traction for people who just wanted to find their own way to get involved.

Latisha: I think that’s so cool. And I love this like communal aspect of the entire event. And I have another episode where we’re talking about vampires and talking about in essence, the way they are primarily portrayed in media is not just folks who are usually white, but also of the upper echelon in many ways, both literally in the text and figuratively are somehow taking away from society or way from somebody’s life.

 I feel like in many BIPOC communities, the community growth and the community concern is one of those things that’s more primary. That’s more like put forward. And so I love with the fundraisers is that you get to put the community in the, like the vampire aesthetic was really cool and it should be inventive.

And it really helps the enjoyment of this work also feel very grounded in different types of people, in different types of cultures and backgrounds. So like I just found that it’s so cool and so interesting. Were there any particular like characters or stories that were in media or in television or books or movies that influenced these celebrations specifically or influenced you as someone who liked vampires?

 Was there like a particular series, like, you know, Was Vampire Hunter D on your list? You know, you have made an entire statue of Alucard somewhere? Like you never know. 

Jamila: I mean, they’re all, they’re all like on my list. Like my first encounter, I think when I was a kid was. Yes. When I was a kid, I’ll admit that was I think finding Vampire Lestat like, that’s that book. I think that was the first one I read out of order. And just like becoming obsessed, but I also read like a lot of folklore, which like had like vampire aesthetics and stuff, but I read plenty of elf things. They kind of similar elements to them. So I’ve seen some people say like, “Oh, fairies and vampires aren’t really that different.” I could have like a long discourse just on vampire lore… Don’t get me started. So yeah like, Alucard. Vampire Hunter D. Like all of that was just like (eat it up). Basically I was like, look up like vampire anime, just like, “What do you got? You have anything new that I haven’t watched yet. Please give me! I need that sweet vampire content!”

 So, I’ve consumed a lot or at least whatever is immediately available. There’s still tons I have not even had a chance to look at. That’s also I think where the… The disappointment comes in because it’s like, there’s just so little. Like, I was super happy when they redid Castlevania and they had some representation in there.

Thank you. But it’s still like, so small and far between, or there’s more movies you see that will include POC in vampire stories. That’s the key thing here is that they’re still rarely the vampires. They’re always like fighting the vampires or whatever, but I’m like, “I get it.” Most of the narrative, we tend to see vampires are rich. They’re usually taking away from society. They’re a curse. They’re awful. So I get why that tends to leans to like, “Oh, well we’ll just make the vampires the oppressors because that’s just like the obvious place to go.” And so you see that storytelling often done and I think that’s probably why it also so heavily leans towards tending to be white people. 

 I think in books, they’ve done a better job of exploring it. So you find more books where you have vampires of color like stuff by Octavia Butler and whatnot. It’s not just telling one version of the story. And it’s funny, cause I was looking up some more books for inspiration.

There’s like one, I haven’t had a chance to read, but like some of the earliest vampire stories, one was actually about a slave that became a vampire and then use that power to get revenge on their slave master. And I was like, “Yeah. Were those, were those movies, please? Where’s that?” Because it’s a version of the whole concept of a vampire that like someone who didn’t have power is getting power and is using that power for their benefit.

And you almost never see that in stories, especially the character tends to be white and already in a position of power. Maybe they might be poor and they use it to ascend, but you don’t see it always extended to the other groups. And so I have noticed that trend a little bit more when you do see those stories is that is how it tends to be used.

In fact, there was an Amazon one, which I’m not going to recommend because I didn’t love all of it, but there was like one of the villain characters that was his villain origin stories. He was like, “We were working for the slave masters.” But then they became vampires. And so their whole goal was to up and the power system.

And I was like, “Yeah, that’s smart.” Like, I mean, why not? Why wouldn’t you do that? You’re given power. You didn’t have, and now you couldn’t like use it to your benefit. Like that’s so smart. So I would like to see more different stories explored. And I think that’s why I was so interested in trying to encourage people to get them, because I know so many people who are like, “Oh, I want to do this vampire, but I’m Indian or I’m black. And people are going to give me crap about it.” Like immediately, they’ll be like, “Why are you doing that? Vampires are supposed to be pale or vampires are supposed to be European or something like that. “

 And so I know plenty of people who want to tell these stories or want to create these characters and have literally been told they shouldn’t because of just the vibe always being a certain look, unless it’s like the five vampires where we were like, “There’s Blade! There’s Akasha”

I’m like, there’s probably two more, but it’s not a very long list. Like in True Blood, they had the black vampires. They weren’t the main characters, but they were in there. They’re like, “Oh, ah, the ones with Twilight.” And I’m like “Yeah, he was only there because of the director.” He wasn’t even supposed to be black. Putting that out there, I’m salty. I have many, many feelings.

Latisha: Many people share those feelings and those salty feelings, unfortunately, and I know this is going to get me somewhere, but like I did not watch all of the Twilight series. I didn’t know. I knew that I know that there is a black vampire. I would guess that he has a total of maybe 10 lines. I could be wrong about that. 

Jamila: No, he has like 10 lines. It trust me, you didn’t miss it.

Latisha: I was just guessing. I was just guessing. But what’s really funny. And I know I’m going to keep on referencing the previous episode, just because we did the exact same thing about slaves or, you know, formerly enslaved people becoming vampires and how that would essentially up in the entire system. And if you already had vampire in that system? Well, no, they’re not going to turn the slaves cause that upends a system that’s already working for them. I was like, “Yo, what if, and I’m going to repeat the same thing I said before. And I was like, what if like Nat Turner right before they hang him? Boom. Vampire!” 

Jamila: I know right! It would change everything! Part of my obsession is I’m working on my own story and comic and whatnot. And I was like, “You know what? Think of how much, like you could really change history?” It’s not to diminish what was done historically, but I was like I have a Haitian character. And I was like, “What if some of them were vampires? Maybe that’s what helped them win. Maybe that was the turning point.” And I was like, “Yes, that’s her original story. Okay.” 

Latisha: I’d be like, “That French vintage taste good, don’t it?”

Jamila: I freaking love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. 

Latisha: Well, also speaking of vampires, for whatever it’s problems, the one that people don’t talk about much, but it’s a solid horror movie is Vampire in Brooklyn

Jamila: Yes. 

Latisha: Which I feel like one of the reasons why I didn’t do as well as it could have is cause people were expecting a comedy, and they actually got a modernized version of Bram Stoker, which they were not expecting. But if you watch it just for what it is, it’s like “This is actually interesting.” And then how Eddie Murphy does take the vampire story and fuse it with a more black, Haitian Afro-centric narrative, and it’s really interesting.

And it’s like, how do we take these stories… Cause one of the things that I find interesting, whether it’s vampires, werewolves, et cetera, we’re all, especially if you’re American, we’re all inundated with the same stories. And I feel like people forget about that. I’m like, “Yeah. Alice in Wonderland. Wizard of Oz. I was raised with those things as much as you.” 

Jamila: Yup. 

Latisha: So being that, that is as much in my psyche, as anyone walking down the street. I also feel like I have like my own level of, “Yeah, this is part of my culture.” And yet I also have another aspect of my culture and I might want to either blend the two or modify or do something so that, you know, I can see myself expressed in the culture that has literally been forced on me since birth.

Jamila: Yup. Yup. 

Latisha: So it’s really fascinating. And you mentioned, people who participated, who were of various ethnicities, where they were Indian, Asian, Latinx, et cetera. And have you seen anything from a variety of cultures with BIPOC vampire day or anything that someone said like, “Oh my gosh, I always wanted to do this, but I’m Indigenous and no one knew what to do with me, but I can do this.” 

Jamila: I definitely saw it. Actually someone gave me a little bit of flack about like, “Why it wasn’t specifically just black?” And I was like, ” No, because here’s the thing. It’s mostly just white vampires. There’s not really much diversity at all.”

And it kills me because as somebody who loves folklore, like I’m obsessed with folklore. I have read so many different versions of vampires. I hate to break somebody’s bubble, but Bram Stoker is not the first person to invent vampires. He didn’t do that. He just took folklore and mythology and superstitions that already… 

Latisha: Not even his folklore, by the way. 

Jamila: NOT EVEN HIS FOLKLORE! It’s somebody else’s folklore. Somebody else’s folklore and turn it into this thing. And so people are always like, “Oh, Bram Stoker”. I’m like, “Yeah, but he didn’t make vampires. Stop it!” And I tried to bring it up a little bit with the event. I’ll probably push it more next year. There are so many takes on vampires, partially because malaria and mosquitoes are everywhere. Not even kidding. That’s like part of the reason, that’s it. That’s why there’s… 

Latisha: And bats. No one likes bats. 

Jamila: And bats. Bloodborne disease and flying creatures that drink blood, they exist. So you have ones that are like, there’s some really cool ones that are Aztec vampires. You have like the Aswang in the Philippines. They have ones that are specific to the Caribbean. Like I grew up with stories of old hag. No, they’re not always like a literal interpretation of what we accept as vampires. Like sometimes it’s like the line crosses with witches and fairy and all sorts of stuff, but there’s still very clearly blood drinkers.

The key thing here. There really is so many different ones. And that was one of the really cool things is some of the people I saw post would give some of the backstory of their cultural vampires, you know? From various walks of life, because some people are like, “Oh, there’s this native blood drinker.”

And they brought that up and they shared that story as they did their makeup or their inspiration. It’s like, anything you wanted to do, you could like pull from your history. You can just make something up. It doesn’t matter. And that’s why it was really cool. As you got to see all of that come about and people got to see that and go, “Oh, maybe I should read it to that more”. Like, “Oh, I didn’t know. There was like a vampire native to this place. That’s so cool.” And so it’s like all of a sudden you don’t have everybody like, “Oh, vampires can only be these five things”. Nope. That’s not how it works. 

It’s just a very simple rule. That’s it. And then you can do whatever you want. It’s just a fantastical creature. You can have fun with it. And so it was nice to get to see people find themselves in that character, whether you like vampires or not, whether the villain or not. They could find their place and how it relates back to them. And that’s what I wanted. 

Latisha: Yeah. I think that that’s so amazing and so fascinating. And also there’s something to be said about like a particular culture’s monster or variety of monsters, you know? And I also feel like, you know, we end up in globalized society, whatever you want to say. So many things end up being homogenized and to being commercialized so much of it is whatever our folklore version of folklore is.

It’s interesting that yes, well, many of us want to connect to the heroes of our cultures. There is also something to be said about the monsters or villains that are specific to our cultures as well. It’s kind of like, what are we afraid of? Or what do we know that others don’t or, you know, Even if this is kind of the dark side, this is a dark side of me, right? And all of that matters. So that’s just really cool and really interesting.

 You mentioned getting a little bit of flack, but have you received any other like negative feedback? And if so, how did you deal with it? 

Jamila: I don’t think I really got much. I mean, I think the only thing that people were like, “I didn’t know this was happening” and I was like, “I don’t know what else I could’ve done.” I’m like, “I announced it like in May. Kept talking about it forever. I don’t know.” 

Latisha: The internet is large and vast. 

Jamila: This social media life is rude. It’s cruel. So I’m like, I mean, the nice thing is there’s going to be, it’s going to happen in next year. So I’m like you’re being notified right now. And from then on, literally up to the event again. No excuses. But overall, it was pretty positive. Like there really weren’t that many issues or complaints.

I was like, people like vampires, I don’t know many people were like, “Why would you do that? Why would you do vampires?” I’m like, “I don’t know. Cause they’re cool. Leave me alone.”

Latisha: Cause they’re cool. Cause they’re interesting. Because I decided that that’s what we’re going to do. 

Jamila: Yeah.

Latisha: That’s awesome. So what do you hope that people will get out of celebrating these days? Whether it be, you know, vampire day or Fae day, I hear mermaid day is happening next year. So as one of the people who’s helped push this forward, what do you hope people get out of it?

Jamila: I feel like a sense of community, cause like, it’s definitely nice to see like, “Oh, Hey, all these people like this thing too. I have new friends maybe.” But also just like seeing the creativity and the drive. It’s been a rough couple of years and I know a lot of people need deadlines or just something to look forward to.

And so that’s kind of been the nice thing, like whether you participate or not, you’re like, “Ooh, I get a day where my feed is just flooded with this, whatever this thing is, mermaid.” So exciting, you know? And so I feel like there’s a little something for everybody. If you’re like, just looking at it, you get something neat to see for one day, if you participate, you get a show off.

Sometimes it’s the first foray into doing something for anybody that was like, “I might not cosplay, but I sure like vampires or I sure like cows I’m going to do a cow thing.” And that’s the first time they might do something, but they’re going to get to have fun, you know? And it’s like a little Christmas. You know, you open up and you have that day were everything super exciting. I feel like we could use as many of those exciting days as possible. And it’s nice to have a day that’s about celebrating instead of mourning or just being upset or angry. Cause there’s plenty of that. I’m so angry. I want to be excited and make beautiful things. And so it’s kind of nice to have an event where that is the goal: is to make something beautiful, to contribute, to help, to find new artists to follow. And it’s just a positive thing that we just need. So it’s been nice to have those like little moments of positivity throughout the year 

Latisha: Absolutely, absolutely. I can totally see that. And what advice would you give to someone who is interested in participating, but it’s like a little unsure. a little intimidated. They’re like “I saw all these wonderful things on my feed, but I could never. I will just admire from afar. Beautiful people. “

Jamila: I’m like, if you want to do it, just do it. There’s no like prerequisite, it’s not a contest. Like this is just about getting involved. And the nice thing is almost all these events have little ways to get involved. A lot of them are open to artists that like, “Oh, you wanted to do some art.”

Some people do art. Some people do art of other people participating. Like there’s all these little ways. If you’re a photographer, find somebody who needs a photographer for their costume or some other thing. There’s like little ways to get involved. Like I’ve seen people be like, “oh, I’m gonna make a comic project for this.”

And it’s like, “Yeah, just find your thing.” Someone made a video game. I was just like “What in the world?” Someone made a DnD game with vampires. Cause they’re like, oh, this event’s coming up. The nice thing is so many of these events are so open-ended, you can find something to get excited about and be involved in.

 But there’s no high requirement. So it’s like do as little or as much as you can. And if you can’t do it that year, if you know they’re going to have another year just prep for the next year and take your time. Cause I definitely like had some where I was like, oh, I want to do it. I do not have any time.

So I’m just going to share every single person I see. I’m gonna just keep reposting everybody. And that was my way of contributing is I was like, I’m just going to like everything and comment and share all the stuff so I can look at it later. So yeah, I feel like it’s like, don’t be pressured.

Don’t feel pressure. 

Latisha: I did the same thing where it was like, share ,comment, share, let them know. I love them. Engagement, engagement, engagement, because I want this to come back.

Jamila: I know it’s like, give them all the love. That’s the most important thing.

Latisha: And I personally think like Like you never know, who’s going to see it for better, for worse.

So many of us spend so much of our time online now. And I still feel, even though there has been more than many of us, many people of color who are creative and our interests and all these different things and who feel very isolated. You know, am I the only one in my friend group who was interested in this? Am I the only one in my block? Am I the only one in my school? 

And so just knowing that there are other people out here who are into similar things who are grown-ups, who were into similar things who are, you know, successful in our own right. And just saying, “You know what, I’m going to go out and have fun.”

And just knowing that there are other people out there like you can be so encouraging. 

Jamila: Yeah. 

Latisha: You know, so it’s just one of those things of like, “Yes, let’s celebrate.” And speaking of, you know, the games and all of this and you’re moving into next year and I’m going to ask you to share the date soon, but not quite yet. Is there any media or more media being built around vampire day? Like is there a TikTok series web series, you’ve mentioned comic books that people made, the DnD game.

Jamila: Yeah, there was a lot of submissions or just art and makeup looks and projects. And so I’m trying to get that updated so that people can kind of see all that stuff for inspiration for the future. Someone was making a diverse vampires book of like six or seven illustrations that a bunch of people had done to inspire people for future character building and design.

There was a slew of games that were all made by one group. They had people submit various role-playing games and tabletop games. There were some video projects that were shared with me. Just so many things that people were just like, “Oh, it’s my time to shine!”

Latisha: I’ve been waiting for this all my life. 

Jamila: Give me all of your vampire things PLEASE! (eat it up) Let me support you. I think it also just energized people to see that there was a demand and a need. And so It’s good because I think there’s so many times where people probably pitch something and just were told, “Oh no, no, one’s going to be interested in that. Just do the same old, same old.”

And it’s like, “Oh, well, here’s an example of how people had no interest in just the same old, same old. They wanted to see all this new stuff.” And so it’s been really good to just like, have all that, just to get that it’s like,” Ooh, people would agree. They want it.” 

Latisha: “They want it. They see it. I’ve got to have it.” 

Jamila: So, yes, there is so much that has been created and I’m trying to like, get it all showcased so people can also see all the different places that they can support all these projects. So yes, so much came out of that. It was so mind boggling. 

Latisha: Fantastic, fantastic. So we talked about next year, but also, you know, where do you see this going? What do you feel is like the future of specifically BIPOC vampire day or just in general, this kind of interest in diverse fantasy and including, people of various cultures and backgrounds and kind of the fantastic lore that is presented.

Jamila: I’m hoping that it will start getting more people, seeing that in the widely known media, that it’s okay for them to have more representation and not just on the sidelines, but in the mix. You’re starting to see like more TV where they have diverse groups of people like mixed race families, all this sort of stuff.

They’re starting to be like, okay, these projects are like, people want to see them, but it’s still. Still far reaching for fantasy and stuff like that, because they’re like, “Well, we got to put a lot of money into that. ” But there’s you starting to see the shift just a little bit, like even on Amazon, I think Amazon, Netflix, just the fact that they started having more POC led fantasy movies, like just appearing.

And I was like, “oh my God, it’s happening finally.” It’s like, “We want this too please!” So it’s like all of these events, they see it. I mean, I hope they’re seeing it, but they can’t miss it. Hopefully, they start realizing that there is an audience for this. There are people who are craving this.

They’ve been craving it all their lives and we can’t just keep churning out the same boring stuff they’ve seen. It’s fine. But we want to see a little bit more diversity. The world’s diverse. Let’s see it. And so many books have existed for so long with so much diversity already in them. They’re just like, “Well, let’s just make Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the 80th time.”

I mean, I love the story, but there’s like a bajillion stories out there. Can we like tap some of those? So we’re starting to see more of that happening. And so that’s good. And I hope that momentum keeps going for the event. Like next year, we’re hoping to just get more prep and have more streaming content, just like some things that people can enjoy online.

And again, the fundraiser is still going to be happening. Just ramp up a tiny bit. Not going crazy. I’m excited that all these events keep bringing so much joy to people. And like the representation that isn’t seen in the media is finally getting shown somewhere else so that little kids can see it.

Adults who never got to see it can see it and they can be like, “You know what? I wasn’t weird for liking Lord Of The Rings and wishing I could be in it.” I’m not weird for that, because look at all these other people, they felt the same way. And maybe one of those projects that people hype up during those event days will actually get greenlit because there’s so many that are looking for funding and these are the events that help them get that funding because they’re getting directed right to their audience.

So I’m hoping that more and more, we’re going to see that shift and it’s going to change because it’s time. It’s way overdue, way overdue. So– 

Latisha: Yeah, I love that. I feel like there’s almost like two levels when it comes to the type of engagement. I feel like there’s the wide media landscape. There’s Netflix and Disney and the folks all the money who makes the things and the stuff that gets sent out there into the world.

But then there’s people on the ground floor on the level of like, “Hey, usually I’m a fan, but no, I create my own stuff too, or I know my fandom community. I know the people that I hang out with and here’s what we’re doing to encourage ourselves to make us happy. And if Marvel or whomever is not going to do it. No worries! We can take care of ourselves to make ourselves happy.” And that’s the plan. So I love that you’re doing that. I love that you’re part of this conversation and moving the story forward. So the moment that I hope you listeners have all been waiting for.

When is 2022 BIPOC vampire day? Please tell us. 

Jamila: So it is going to be in September again, and this time it’s going to be September 23rd, 24th and 25th. So one week before October starts. 

Latisha: All right. So put that on calendar. September 23rd, 24th and 25th of 2022. You can get an early prep Halloween costume. So that’s what we’re doing that weekend. You know! You have all this time to get ready. Thank you so much for joining me here on Interspectional. I’ve enjoyed this conversation immensely. I hope my listeners have as well.

And can you please tell people where to find you on the interwebs websites, social medias, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Jamila: So I go as @blackbettiecosplays, pretty much everywhere on Instagram. There’s an S at the end. And on Twitter, it’s really weird. It’s @bbettie_cosplay and it’s Betty with an I E not a Y. On Tik TOK Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all over the place, pretty much. So follow me. 

Latisha: Yes. Follow her, follow BIPOC Vampire day. Follow all of the wonderful, homegrown fantasy media that you will see in 2022 supporting people of diverse backgrounds and diverse audiences, also known as the global majority. If you don’t know that phrase, learn it. And we’ll see you again.

Or hear from you again next time on Interspectional. So everyone thank you so much for listening and have a great day.

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