Thursday, October 10, 2013

Goth questions: Answers Part 1

So I get lots of questions about my appearance and lifestyle from friends and strangers alike. I get it people aren't used to seeing Gothic people out and about especially being that I am African American.

I joined a group at school called African Student Association. I was bit nervous to join because I don't really identify as African because I was not born in any of the countries nor am I second or third generation African. I am mostly African American and partially Native American, but not no contact or relationship with that side of my family.

I got a few questions about my appearance and lifestyle. Some of which I've heard and some are new so I decided to type this to answer them here.

Are you Gothic?

Yes, I do Identify as being Goth.

So what made you decide to be Goth?
It's not a decision based on one thought or one action. It's a process that takes years to really dig into. I'm attracted to the art, the music, the culture, the fashion, the literature and everything about it. I liked a lot of these things long before I even knew what the Gothic scene was or that it even existed. My gosh this is complicated to answer because it leads to further questions, and more and more, and more.

First I am flattered that you are so intrigued by me and my lifestyle to ask so many questions out of pure curiosity. I appreciate that you approach me in a calm and respectful way.

But, you have to understand that you are asking me to tell you my whole life story which is not a one liner or something that can be simply explained.

What is Goth?
There are many blogs, books, websites, and pages that can answer this question far better than I can. But keep in mind that it is in the eye of the beholder so each answer may vary depending on who you ask, how you ask, what you are looking for, and so many variables.

To me, Goth is a lifestyle filled with interest in dark colors, dark fairy tales, history, literature, music, art, and tons to enjoy. It goes back centuries before  the 80's goth music scene emerged.

What is Goth?

What is Goth art? What makes it Goth? Who decides what is and what isn't Goth?
Art is an umbrella term filled with different mediums, experience, talent, etc.
Here are some examples of Gothic art

What makes it Goth?

The emotion conveyed, the use of colors related to darkness, death, strength, halloween inspired  looks, spooky, etc. 

Who decides what is and what isn't Goth?

No one really decides what is and what isn't Goth. But there are certain things that just isn't. It's more of a hit and miss. There is not a secret society or league that decides what is and what isn't Goth? We aren't run or controlled by any higher power. It's basically a movement that celebrates those who have an interest in the darker, spoookier things in life and who aren't afraid to embrace it. The subculture just brings together a group of people with similar interested so we can celebrate our uniqueness. 

What is Goth music? 
Goth is an umbrella term for a wide variety of things. 
There are the 80's goth bands like 
Souixsies and the Banshess
Switchblade Symphony
The Cure
Sisters of Mercy
Christian Death
Dead Can Dance 

The newer Goth bands 
Lacuna coil

Bands and music that don't identify as Goth but Goths tend to like
Emillie Autumn 
Marilyn Manson

Goth Lolita Bands 
Tons on Youtube

There's a long list of them Here

Metal, alternative, soft rock, country bands aren't considered to be Goth but Goths and non Goths alike do tend to like or dislike them. 

Goth myths
  • Goth is Not a Religion. Goth's ranges from all sort of religious and none religious backgrounds. 
  • You do not have to sign and Oath's to be Goth
  • There are no Goth police checking up on people to see who's following all of the rules of Gothom
  • There are elitist who would like to have you believe otherwise, but most of us just end of making fun of them 
  • Yes, we do have Goth slang and terms that you may not get if you aren't affiliated with the scene
  • Yes, Black, African American Goths, as well and many other races and cultures can identify themselves as goth.
  • It does not mean that I am attempting to conform to standards of "white Beauty" 
  • It's a subcultures that's open to all who are interested
  • You do not have to wear all black all of the time
  • You do not have to like everything considered Goth
  • You can dress however you want
  • It is not a cult
  • I do not want to be a vampire when I grow up, however vamperish is a religion that has nothing to do with being Goth. Though some Goths do practice this religion.
  • I am not just doing this to piss people off, however it can happen. Those that mind don't matter. Those that matter don't mind. 
  • You do not need body modifications to be Goth. 
  • You do not need tattoos to be Goth
  • You do not need to shave your head, dye your hair, or do anything you are not comfortable with. 
  • We do not convert people into Gothom. It is a choice not force.
  • It is not a phase. 
  • It has nothing to do with self mutilation, though some do it's a psychological problem that goths and non-goths alike suffer from. It is not "cool" it's serious. 
More can be found here

How do I get into Goth? Do I just wear all black?

No it doesn't work that way. You should be genuinely interested in most  things associated with the culture, lifestyle, music, fashion, art, and naturally gravitate towards these things. Not because it's cool, or you saw someone else do it and want to try it.  I strongly urge you to do tons of research in books, magazines, web, youtube, blogs, websites, etc to see if this is something right for you. 

More research links
I have a side panel of Blogs I read often. Check them out

This is beginning to get quite lengthy, so I will make it into a series and answer them more in depth as much as a can and refer you to as many places as I can. I highly encourage you to do your own research as well. Thanks fro stopping by :-)

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