When I started my blog in 2018, all I was trying to do was establish an online writing portfolio that I could show employers in hopes of landing a job. I had been laid off from an editorial position a few months prior and was feeling completely lost. I had never been laid off before, and I was panicking. Vamp Jenn’s Corner began as a professional undertaking to get hired and gradually transformed into a space where I could express myself as a proud macabre Latina.
Writing has been a passion of mine from a young age, but as I grew older, I lost touch with it. I had been meaning to return to it creatively for a while, so when I found myself unemployed, I was motivated by both fear and determination to put pen to paper, or rather, fingers to keyboard. I decided to write about what I knew and am interested in, which is in large part all things spooky. At the time, I was also reviving my connection to the goth subculture. I got into goth music as a teen and fell in love with the darker side of life but fell out of the scene during my 20s. So, I decided to return to my gothic roots and cover the odd and macabre (as I like to call it) on my blog.
Blogging about goth, horror, Halloween, and other spooky-related topics year-round is already quite a niche space to be in. These are subjects that tend to lie on the fringes of mainstream. This world gets even smaller when it comes to Latinx/a/o/e bloggers. I’m Mexican American and although there are many Latina blogs out there, I didn’t come across any that were focusing on more darkly inclined content or covering alternative, underground scenes. I was excited when I came across a gothic fashion and travel blog created by well-established Japanese blogger La Carmina. However, it also showed me how few POC bloggers there are in this dark alternative realm.
I grew up in the Los Angeles area where there’s a thriving goth scene and no shortage of spooky events happening. I’ve also noticed a considerable Latinx presence at these functions, so I recognized there was an audience for the type of content I wanted to highlight. I think of the popular saying, “write the book you want to read,” and essentially I created the blog I wanted to read. I threw myself into exploring and sharing the strange and unusual.
My Mexican heritage has always been very important to me and I like to incorporate topics related to it when I can. For instance, last year I attended a huge Dia de los Muertos event that happens annually in Los Angeles and covered it on my blog. I saw it as a way for me to showcase the delightfully uncanny aspects of my culture.
Because of Vamp Jenn’s Corner, I’ve also managed to connect with other Latinx/a/o/e creators who have an appreciation for the macabre, which has been amazing. That has to be one of the most significant blessings my blog has brought me. There are many Latinxs doing impressive creative work in these underground scenes that I find important to share because they’re being overlooked by mainstream media.
I’m talking about Latinxs in the dark art scene, such as Mexican artists Dos Diablos and Karikatura, who are producing fantastic pieces that don’t shy away from the darker aspects of life. I’ve had the opportunity to see their works in person and meet both of them, which was such a pleasure. I recently interviewed Salvadoran-American YouTuber KB whose channel is dedicated to highlighting goth bands from across Latin America. And speaking of goth music, there’s a multitude of Latinx goth bands that deserve more recognition. I’ll be featuring one group from Chile called Seatemples on my blog in the near future and talking to them about their music. A couple of years ago, I also connected with Adrienne LaVey, a Latina goth content creator of Mexican and French descent who is becoming a respected absinthe connoisseur and is an opera singer. Those are worlds where there isn’t a strong Latinx/a/o/e presence, but she’s making her mark.
I’ve found that, although being a major introvert, my blog has helped me get out of my comfort zone to meet like-minded individuals and find a sense of community. Over the years, I’ve attended many events, from dark art exhibits to goth nights to horror conventions, and I’m grateful that most of my encounters with others at these gatherings have been positive. There are many people I’ve networked with in these alternative scenes, both Latinxs and non-Latinxs, that support what I do and have promoted my work on their platforms. As a Latina goth, I’ve always felt welcome in these spaces and accepted for the perspective I bring. Plus, my content and what I do has allowed me to reach other Latinx goths who read my blog or follow me on social media.
It’s empowering to help represent Latinxs in the goth scene and add to the diversity of the subculture. In fusing these two worlds together through blogging, I’d like to think that I’m showing people how my Latin roots enrich my goth side and how identifying as goth adds another dimension to being Latina. Often, I think back to the insecure teenager and young adult I once was who just wanted to be seen. I wanted to be more vocal about my interests in the goth subculture, my love for the macabre, and my Mexican roots, but I always felt awkward expressing myself through conversation. In many ways, Vamp Jenn’s Corner has given me the voice and visibility I desired and has allowed me to contribute to the Latinx blogging sphere and feel accepted for who I am, spookiness and all.