Interview with a Vampire: Black Bettie Cosplay hosts BIPOCVampDay 2021

On Friday, September 17, 2021, the internet was taken over by a horde of vampires. Social feeds were swarmed by blood-thirsty immortals as they revealed themselves to the public, infinite in their numbers. They would not stop until the following Sunday of the 19th. Some say their carnage still goes on to this day. Haunting visages of all types circulated the stomping grounds of mortals with one thing in common: They were all BIPOC.

BIPOC—for the uninformed—is an acronym standing for “Black, Indigenous, People of Color.” It’s basically a way of saying “non-white” without actually saying non-white. It’s a moniker for minorities, that some may find divisive. Some use it to identify themselves, others can’t stand it. Whatever your stance on it, it played a crucial role in what is dubbed “BIPOC Vamp Day.”

BIPOC Vamp Day is the brainchild of cosplayer, photographer, designer, and all around creative Black Bettie Cosplay. I had the chance to interview them about their event and what inspired it. Check it out below!

What gave you the idea to start this event?

I’ve always wanted to have some sort of vampire event – because I’m vampire obsessed. After I saw blackfaeday, it just felt like the timing was right and it made it seem possible.

Had you always planned from the start to include a charity drive during it? What inspired you to add it and pick the cause/organization you did?

Yes, I have always wanted to have a charity involved – like the idea of vampires running a blood drive just amuses me greatly. Sickle Cell was always one of the causes that was in mind because of how much it impacts black people – the fact that Sickle Cell Awareness month was September was just the sign I had to do it.

BIPOC Vamp Day’s Charity Page

If you had to give a rough estimate, how many participants would you say joined the event? How many participated via the different channels? (The website, Twitter, IG, TikTok etc)

Oh gosh. I don’t actually know… but based on the tags across all the social platforms, a lot of people got involved. There were 2.4k posts on IG alone!

It looked like there were some partnerships with the event like the stream event. Did you reach out to them or vice versa?

Yes, the TTRPG and streaming folks actually reached out to me first when they were planning the Vamp Jam as did the group Friends Who Roll Dice.

What was your favorite part of BIPOCvampday?

Seeing all the amazing creations! So many stunning looks and character designs and even the games! I was just in heaven.

Will this be an annual event? Are there any things you would change or add to future events?

Yes it will! I hope to get more people involved to help run things more smoothly next time around. I ended up wearing a lot of hats. And we’re looking to coordinate more local/in-person events as well as our own dedicated streaming content.

And now some vampire-specific questions: favorite vampire?

He’s not BIPOC but Lestat will always have a special place in my heart. I love that bastard.

Which vampire ability/trait would you pick if you could have one?

Eternal youth and healing – you gotta have both. I wanna see what the future holds. Future cars.

If you could fancast a vampire movie (or show) who would you cast?

Oh boy…so many choices, but I would love to see Lupita N’yongo, Rahul Kohli, Selma Hayek, Chance Perdomo, John Cho, Angela Bassett, Idris Elba – just a few actors I would love to cast in a vampire show or movie.

Do you have any advice for someone who may want to run their own similar online event? Not necessarily BIPOCvampday, but other types of themed creative events?

Definitely plan ahead and give people as much time as you can – not just for the participants but if you want to do any charity or sponsorships, having time to plan that is important. And don’t try to do it all by yourself.

Be sure to check out the hashtag #BIPOCVampDay on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to see more of these awesome vampires!

Didn’t catch the event this year? Follow the official BIPOC Vamp Day Twitter and Instagram for updates on next year’s festivities!

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