‘The taste of blood meant the end of aloneness’
Vampires and gay men in Poppy Z. Brite’s Lost Souls
in Queering the Gothic
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In the Gothic of the later twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the male vampire has progressively become associated both with the physicality of homosexual practices and with the expression of a specifically gay identity. One of the most striking commentaries may be found in Poppy Z. Brite's Lost Souls, a novel short-listed for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Science Fiction/Fantasy. The gay vampire lifestyle is rarely scripted with the comforting closures and concluding contentments that characteristically distinguish the domestic novel. The tension between the ability to enact desire and the corresponding ability to express or own to that desire is thus imbricated within the sexual plots of modern gay vampire fiction. Lost Souls represents the culmination of gay vampire fiction, in its twentieth-century incarnation at least. The gay vampire exists, even prospers, within the heterosexual human world, but is ultimately not committed to it.

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