Lesbian Desires in the Vampire Subgenre: True Blood as a Platform for a Lesbian Discourse

Eve Dufour


The vampire subgenre is currently a phenomenon in popular culture. It attracts all age groups and has been presented in multiple mediums including novels, films, and television series. Why is the vampire subgenre so appealing? Vampires are human-like beings of outstanding beauty, with great sexual libidos, who embody death. These characteristics intrigue human spectators by representing wonders and fears that are deeply relevant to human lives but are often repressed by morality and norms set by the dominant culture. Arguably, what is most pertinent in the vampire subgenre and attractive to viewers is the implicit and explicit revelation of non-normative human sexual desires.

True Blood is a television series in the vampire subgenre created by Alan Ball. True Blood’s presentation of gorgeous vampires, sexuality, and human fears has made this show very successful in attracting viewers. Set in the fictional Louisiana town Bon Temps, the series addresses the conflicts that arise in a society where predatory vampires and their human prey learn to cohabitate upon the recent revelation of vampires’ existence. Through the portrayal of vampire-human relationships, True Blood addresses human fears of ‘the other’ and reveals the complexity of human sexualities and sexual desires. The series presents non-normative sexualities that lead to the presentation of lesbian images and bodies and subtext to implicitly address lesbian desires. Although its depictions of lesbians are not always positive, True Blood is nevertheless a platform presenting a lesbian discourse in a fictional patriarchal society infested with sexism, racism, and heterosexism that reflects the realities of a Western society.

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