Happy World Goth Day!
This post is dedicated all those who have invested time, effort, thought and feeling
to improving understanding of the Goth Subculture.
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I have been involved in the Goth scene for more than 25 years. It is fair to say it is not an incidental part of my life, but a jolly significant one.
Undertaking this research project has required me to reconsider what the subculture – and even the word – really means to me.
How has it informed, shaped and influenced my life? How do I feel about Goth now that my forties are marching by? How has my relationship with Goth changed? How was I labelled Goth in the first place? For years I skirted around the word, denied it, smirked at it… but really there was no denying it… I had to admit…
I am a Goth
Once that unpleasantness was behind me, I asked myself – well, why Goth?
It may not look like much to some, but it’s ours…
To my mind, my musical preferences have never been that extreme, I don’t worship Satan (maybe satin a little), I have never thought of myself as a darkling and negative commentary about dangerous youth cultures seemed unrelated to me.
For me, being involved in the Goth scene has taken many forms over the years: from pretentious teenager (ok, I can admit it now, the velvet cape in the Australian Summer was too much), to serious art-school student, to Goth-Industrial dance-floor devotee, to incognito manager (yes, Goth to Boss), and back to Trad Goth university researcher waxing lyrical about the Goth subculture.
With this reflection has come the realisation that the very characteristics which prevented me from fitting in to mainstream youth culture and originally propelled me towards Goth when I was young have, over time, become very important to me indeed: bookishness, scholarly debate, rejection of vacuous and syrupy pop culture, curiosity and acceptance of the slightly weird, rejection of narrow-mindedness …
For me, the experience of being in the Goth scene – participating in Goth events – has always been comfortable and for me that is the core of it. I enjoy the intimacy of the smaller venues, the familiar faces, indeed even the familiar set lists. I never cared what people called us, I knew we were having a ball, we loved the fog machines, the (feigned!?!) melancholia, the audacious and poetic clothing with its inferred antiquity and the layers allusion in the music.
So, this year I have chosen to celebrate World Goth Day and be proud.
To everyone celebrating World Goth Day today – however you choose to do it – be proud and have a fabulous day!
Celebrate with me – here, have some bat cake…..
Thank you for the survey contributions, keep them coming!