As HBO prepares for the premiere of the final season of its GLAAD Media Award-winning series True Blood, The Advocate's Daniel Reynolds takes a look back at the vampire drama's impact on the LGBT movement over the past seven years.
Vampires of every race and sexual orientation have “come out of the coffin” and demanded social and political equality. Some have done so through savvy media campaigns while others have raised angrier voices, reacting to threats from religious zealots, antivampire politicians, and infected blood.
In the real world, viewers needed only to switch from HBO to CNN to see similar scenes unfolding. From the 2008 passage and 2013 overturning of Proposition 8 and the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” to the ongoing HIV and AIDS crisis and the death of Fred Phelps – whose signs reading “God Hates Fags” picketed the funerals of LGBT people – have been among the numerous real-world parallels depicted inTrue Blood.