I spoke with Lady Lovelace back in September. However, with the Paranormal Travelers Interview in the printed GBM magazine in October, I didn’t want this interview overshadowed.
Once the magazine came out, I saved the interview for a fresh start for the November read. The Baltimore court is a very juvenile one in some regards, just barely a year in the making.
Nevertheless, Lady Lovelace and her Community have begun to set a pulse in the city that’s hard to ignore. Much like NOLA, they’re out in their community effecting change in not just the vampire world but the mundane one as well.
So when Lady Lovelace agreed to my interview, I was only too thrilled. Our conversation was indeed an honor.
Artemis Dai (AD): Lady Jessica Lovelace you are the Queen of the Vampire Court of Baltimore. Will you please elaborate on your title for our readers who aren’t aware.
Lady Jessica Lovelace (LJL): The title; Queen of the Vampire Court of Baltimore, was bestowed upon me by someone once recognized as an Elder in the Community.
It is an honorary title given to me to recognize my leadership of the VCB — Vampire Community of Baltimore. I don’t think I am the Queen of a kingdom. I do not “rule” the entire population of any area. I am merely a public servant to those who choose to be a part of the Court and the Mobtown Vampire Community.
AD: Your Court is open to not only vampires but other-kin and therians — a term used for the were-animals, as well. What made you decide to open your court up to such diversity?
LJL: When I took on the Vampire Court of Baltimore, representation for vampires, donors, other-kins, and therians seemed marginalized at best; if not nonexistent.
So, it just seemed natural to create a group for all of us to be able to come together and learn about each other, from each other.
There are too much strife and animosity both in the city of Baltimore and in its subcultures for us to want to create an exclusive environment around ourselves. We are trying to combat the rejection and cold shoulders many of us are often faced with by others.
The city needs better than that, and we are hoping to create better for our part of it within the town. We turn our back on no one who seeks us out based on who they are.
AD: What do you say to courts, vampires who are isolationists, who say that what you are doing in Baltimore is wrong?
LJL: Luckily thus far, the Vampire Court of Baltimore hasn’t had to face too many isolationist rhetoric or general opposition at all. Granted; we have only existed for a little over a year, we have plenty of time for them to come out and speak their mind.
As an organization, The VCB — Vampire Court of Baltimore, tries to be as transparent with what we are doing as possible and stick to our values. We are not interested in being involved in outside territorial nonsense or political drama.
The members of the VCB and I are much more interested in our efforts towards a better community and working with other organizations to get there. Clashing with others only hinders progress.
AD: The Facebook groups that many of us usually see contain some bickering between Courts, Houses and Clans. However, continuously, VCB has a positive message, why is that?
LJL: I have personally made it a point to treat the Vampire Court of Baltimore as a sort of safe zone away from the internal turmoil that always seems to be going on within the Greater Vampire Community.
The GVC — Greater Vampire Community, can be dark and unforgiving at times. It can be harsh and not conducive for learning. We wish to be the beacon of light that brings those who feel lost to a concrete landing pad for growth.
Majority of the members of the VCB do not have too much experience with the OVC — Other-kin Vampire Community, or the GVC, and I don’t force them to dive into the fray if they choose not to.
I’ve let everyone know that I can gladly coach them through it if they choose to divulge into the community and I keep them informed of the treachery that lies beyond our borders.
My focus is much more inward to my Court, my family, and my local community. The antics of internet bullies only has the power you allow them. They’re doing nothing for us, so we do nothing with them.
AD: As a member of a court how do you feel vampires should act when they, we, are around those that aren’t aware of us, some say hide your, our, true nature while others say flaunt it. What is your opinion and why?
LJL: When it comes to personal style, it’s no secret that I indulge in the Vampire Goth aesthetic, quite regularly. To a vampire who doesn’t know who I am, they would think I was a lifestyle person or flaunting for attention.
I’m not sure what came first, the vampire, alternatively the goth style, maybe. My awakening and my style evolved kind of at the same time. If that is a coincidence, I don’t know.
I’ll never forget my freshman year of high school. From the first day of school until about two months in, I had everyone convinced I had fangs. My mother bought me my first set of scarecrow fangs around thirteen years old, and I had worn them so long everyone just accepted it.
Growing up into my adulthood, blessed with opportunities that have allowed me to be very open about vampirism, now more so than ever, my style has never changed.
If anything it’s only evolved, and I’m often even able to work representing the Vampire Goth look, I’ve always loved.
The majority of the people I know on my dayside accept me as a Vampire and even a Vampire Queen. I don’t know if they know how deep those things go, in any case.
Now, with all of that said, there is a time and place for everything. There are times and places where dressing as a full-blown Victorian child of the night is inappropriate, unfortunately.
There are times where bringing up feeding habits or trying to explain what a vampire is to people who aren’t aware of us is just not what should be happening. Being able to make good judgment calls on when the time and place is right, is paramount to the survival of every vampire.
AD: Do you hold yourself to a higher standard and if so, would you elaborate?
LJL: To hold myself to a higher standard first one must present itself along with obligations. I hold myself and my Court to a certain level of decorum when in public, but other than that I can’t say what a higher standard is without more context.
AD: VCB — Vampire Court of Baltimore, seems to be a court that cares about the community. Not just the vampire community but that of the city as well. What causes that drive and compassion for others?
LJL: Baltimore is a tough city. Living in and around Baltimore my entire life has shown me the true meaning of the struggle. Seeing my conflicts and ones of others my entire life has shown me that simple acts of kindness make all the difference in a person’s world who needs it. Also, let me tell you many people in Baltimore need it.
As a Court and as part of the Mobtown Vampire Community we want to support people who struggle because we’ve been there. We all have stories in our lives that drive us to help with the charity work we embark on throughout the years.
Our experiences are the driving force that makes us want to make the lives of others just a little bit easier if we can. No matter how big or small our efforts are, we are helping to uplift at least one person’s life, and that’s all that matters.
AD: Many vampires, most people in general, follow a spiritual path. Do you follow a spiritual path, or do you identify with any religion?
LJL: I would say that I am spiritual, not religious. The best way to put a title to what I believe is eclectic paganism. Yes, I realize what a broad label that is so hear me out, while I believe the wisdom of the Old Gods, science and reason are important to acknowledge.
I do not follow a specific path in witchcraft because I use what works for me. I believe in a natural and energy based spiritual practice that uses ancient techniques and proven theory in my everyday life.
AD: What advice would you give to someone who believes they are a vampire, other-kin or therian?
LJL: My very first bit of advice for someone diving into the world of maybe being a vampire, therian or other-kin is: Don’t be afraid of not being what you want to identify yourself as if it makes you feel better.
What the heck does that even mean, does that sound insensitive then let me explain. The vampire, therian, and other-kin communities have many people discovering them and diving into those because they don’t fit in elsewhere.
Sometimes they start as a vampire and jump from group to group trying to find their niche. Ninety percent of the time they’re just misguided and drawn in by something within the community and afraid, to be honest about who they are.
Do not do that.
Our communities need traditional human allies and even donors. Many organizations; including the Vampire Court of Baltimore, would welcome you with open arms for being generally interested in our community.
Huge mega bonus points if you care and get involved. These people are often called Black Swans, and they are a gift when they’re genuine.
Aside from those mentioned above, I’d say please do your research. No, I don’t mean reading a web article and deciding this is what you are. I mean actual research. You need true background knowledge to base your questions on when you finally reach out as it is extremely helpful on your journey.
AD: Any advice you’d give to fledglings out there, those that are genuinely looking for answers and afraid to ask questions?
LJL: Do your research. I know we just went over this but it is very important. Read as much as you can and dig as much as possible online to find a baseline of information because it can do you a world of good.
There is barely anyone in the Community who has the time nor the patience to teach a fledgling a 101 course on what you’re going through at the time.
However, I don’t know a single person who would mind answering questions for a young one who has already done their research and needs a little help filling in some gaps.
Don’t be afraid of any changes or realizations you’re going through or making about yourself. Embrace them, for they are now a part of your existence. Awakening and becoming a young vampire, therian or other-kin can be strange and unsettling at times.
If you’re upset or having any negativity about it, it’s only prolonging the process of honing your energies and heightening any abilities you may now have.
Do not be afraid to ask questions, but make sure to vet the people you’re voicing your inquiries to carefully. Not everyone is whom they say they are, especially online. Misinformation on the internet is common, and you need to be careful what you’re taking as fact.
AD: Last question, sort of, the stage is yours. Is there anything you’d say to the world at large, our readers are all over the world. They come from all walks of life. You have their attention.
LJL: Modern vampires are all around you. We’re parents, children. We’re siblings, even your neighbors. We’re in your grocery stores, hospitals, schools, and of course in your nightclubs.
We do not have generic size, shape, or style. We’re real people, with real lives, with real dreams, and real struggles. We are more than our vampiric nature. We are not night stalking weirdos in the darkness. Well, not all of us are at least. We are not mythological immortal creatures, nor do we believe to be.
Responsible behavior in every community is what keeps it thriving, but the nature of society is to highlight the rotten eggs and perpetuate shocking headlines to demoralize or devalue a culture for profit.
Do not believe all the outlandish, sensationalist hype you hear about the vampires of today. Just remember, all of the time you spend buying into sensationalism or contrary points of view, you could be spending educating yourself or trying to understand something outside of yourself. Try not to fear what you do not understand.
AD: As always thank you very much for taking the time to enlighten our readers.