LOS ANGELES – Many are called “icons”. Anne Rice really was. She died yesterday at the age of 80 from a stroke. His son Christopher, a prolific writer in his own right, was by his side.
He posted his death on his popular Facebook page:
âEarlier this evening Anne passed away from a stroke. She has passed away almost nineteen years to the day, my father, her husband Stan, has passed away. The immensity of our family’s pain cannot be overstated. As a mother, her support for me was unconditional – she taught me to embrace my dreams, reject conformity, and challenge dark voices of fear and doubt. As a writer, she taught me to challenge genre boundaries and surrender to my obsessive passions. In his final hours, I sat next to his hospital bed, awed by his accomplishments and courage, awash with memories of a life that took us from the misty hills of San Francisco Bay to the magical streets of New Orleans to the sparkling panoramas of Southern California. As she kissed Anne goodbye, her younger sister Karen said, “What a ride you took us kid.” I think we can all agree. Let us be comforted by the shared hope that Anne now knows firsthand the glorious answers to many great spiritual and cosmic questions, the quest for which has defined her life and career.
The post has already been shared hundreds of thousands of times, with nearly fifty thousand condolence comments.
One fan called her “the Mary Shelley of our generation”. Another pointed out that in the creation of the vampire genre there are only two real creators: Bram Stoker and Anne Rice.
“To me vampires are the heroes, the mystical heroes, the international stars of the pantheon of monsters, I love them the most,” she remarked of her fictional children. “They dressed the best.”
Anne Rice has written over 40 novels, and certainly the cornerstone of those were her Vampire Chronicles. One of the best-selling novels of all time, Interview with the Vampire, was published in 1976 and launched the Chronicle series.
She is credited with creating the passionate and sultry horror genre, as well as the dark erotic goth movement itself.
Her work featured a fictional experience that reflected LGBTQ realities. His characters were carnal, three-dimensional, and exhibited fluid genres and sensualities. The bloody contagion of vampirism seemed to reflect the real experience of AIDS that many gay men were going through. As a result, his work has found a deep and enduring fan base in the LGBTQ world. She said her vampire creations were representative of the “stranger in all of us”. His strange audience seemed to agree and loved him for his truthfulness and frankness.
âThe gay reviews of my literature have been the most satisfying I have ever read,â she said.
She has never betrayed this love and loyalty of her LGBTQ population. She publicly rejected her Catholic education and her links to homophobia: âI refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial contraceptives, âshe said in a public statement. She saw herself as a gay activist and was never comfortable coercing people with gender identifications.
Regarding transgender people, she said, âThey have a lot to teach us. When people have sacrificed so much and gone through so much to come together and do what they believe is right, they will have spiritual lessons to teach us.
In many ways, she saw herself not so much as an LGBTQ ally, but as a member of the community herself. âI think I have a gay sensibility and I feel like I’m gay, because I’ve always transcended gender, and I’ve always seen love as transcending gender. In my books, I have always created bonds of love that have transcended the genre. But I never associated AIDS with vampires, myself. I have always been a strong advocate for gay rights and gay-produced art, whether it was the early Frankenstein films that had such gay sensitivity to them, or any art created by gay men. homosexuals. I am very sensitive to it. I have a gay sensibility.
Even with her intrinsic connection to the community, Anne admitted that she was somewhat concerned when Christopher himself became gay. She told The Advocate in 2000: âPeople react in very different ways to what it means to be gay. And there is still a tremendous amount of fear in America. There are still hate crimes. There is still a lot of awareness to be done, but not with us. I was afraid, like everyone else, that Chris would face obstacles and prejudices. But I didn’t like her a drop less.
For future writers, Anne left this advice: âRegarding writing, my advice is the same to everyone. If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. If you stop, start over. Record everything you write. If you feel stuck, write until you feel your creativity flowing again. Write. Writing is what makes a writer, no more and no less. – Ignore the reviews. Reviews are a dime a dozen. Anyone can be critical. Writers are priceless. â- Go where the fun is in your writing. Go where the pain is. Write the book you would like to read. Write the book that you tried to find but couldn’t find. But write. And remember, there are no rules for our profession. Ignore the rules. Ignore what I’m saying here if that doesn’t help. Do it your way.
Do it your way. She did, and it was fabulous.
One entity that Anne Rice was fascinated with were ghosts. She felt that they were evolving as humanity is and that they found deeper ways to communicate with us. As Anne now finds the answers to her “cosmic questions” and meets these entities that she only imagined before, perhaps she will find her way through the veil. Perhaps we will not hear from his latest news.
We can only hope.
Rob Watson is the host of RATED LGBT RADIO, a national podcast and he is one of the founders of evolequals.com.
Gay dad, businessman, community activist and blogger / writer, Watson is a Los Angeles Blade contributor covering entertainment, film, television and culture with sometimes political elements.