Author Anne Rice put the bite on homophobes today when she denounced the hostility regarding Ellen Page’s coming-out statement and her own congratulations to Page regarding it. Her vastly popular series of Vampire Lestat books about vampires may well be responsible for the current trend in vampire TV and movies as well as the burgeoning Victorian-era-flavored Steampunk trend.
Page, the star of a number of hugely popular independent and major films such as Juno and X-Men: The Last Stand, made headline news on Friday when she said “I am gay” at a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) conference in Las Vegas. The event was held for the benefit of promoting understanding regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) teenagers.
On her Facebook (FB) page, Rice published a statement congratulating Page on her decision.
The response was apparently explosive, and Rice elected to employ her talent to beat back those who openly promote “hostility and hate” under the guise of “Christian belief.” She expressed her disgust and impatience with those who carry the pitchforks and torches of “bigotry, bias, superstition, and ignorance.”
The hateful comments to which Rice referred were not posted, and she announced that as a result of the vitriol she had essentially put the bite on the apparently homophobic remarks on her FB comments.
In 2010, Rice formally announced her break with organized religion owing to moral grounds. She refused to acknowledge herself as a Christian but maintained her belief in God. Her reasoning was on moral grounds, and her latest comments on FB appear to corroborate her decision to remain as she claimed four years ago.
The first novel Rice had published was in 1976, Interview with the Vampire. It was later made into the 1994 film of the same name which starred Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst and other A-list Hollywood stars of the decade. The popularity of the book prompted a series titled The Vampire Diaries which followed the anti-hero, the Vampire Lestat.
Rice’s up-bringing in New Orleans and subsequent life in California, along with her many other books about the underlife in both areas, have prompted many readers to have long understood what led up to her congratulatory announcement to Page.
According to the Web site AnnRice.com, her FB followers number approximately 745,000. She maintains the site by posting frequently as well as answering questions daily.
Rice, however, has a personal stake in the way such hatred affects civilization. Her son,Christopher Rice, is gay and a bit of a celebrity himself. On the same day that Page made her announcement, Out published a story about the top 10 most eligible bachelors of 2014. Christopher Rice was said to be No. 8 on the list. The list was announced after the gay rights-advocate site proffered a list of gay men that its staff believed were the 100 most datable guys on the planet.
While the world will always be filled with hate, it is with hope that Rice will use her influence and at least prompt those who cannot restrain their intolerance to bite the bullet and keep their homophobic remarks to themselves.
By Randall Fleming
Follow Randall Fleming on Twitter: #BreweryObserver