Where my Goths at?
August 31st, 2011
08:00 AM ET

Where my Goths at?

The sprawling, battered, hand-me-down sedan had slowed down to a putter alongside me in the dark for at least a block or two, but I willed myself not to acknowledge it. Head down, bangs yanked over eyes, one combat boot clomping in front of the other, I tried mightily to will myself to disappear into the night air - or at least brace for impact.

"FRRRREEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAK!"

The passengers exploded into laughter and peeled off down the suburban avenue. They'd not offered any specific critique or cause for their verbal assault, but I had a sneaking suspicion that it was black lipstick I was wearing. Possibly the long black skirt and black fingernails. Definitely the dog collar.

It had not gone unremarked upon before; in fact earlier that week, my mother - generally a supporter of my right to individual weirdness - had sat me down in the kitchen for a serious talk. "Mrs. B. said she saw you walking along Fort Thomas Avenue and she was worried you looked like a...a...punk rocker!"

Author Kat Kinsman in high school, circa 1990.

I sighed and rolled my eyes, as 17 year old girls are contractually obligated to do when dealing with parental figures. "Did you mention to Mrs. B. that I was a National Merit Finalist, got a 5 on my A.P. English exam, had been a varsity cheerleader, am the editor of the yearbook and got into every college I applied to - with scholarships, even?"

She nodded grimly. "Of course I did. It's just that you've started to look so...different..."

I snapped back, wounded. "And by the way, Mom. I'm not a 'punk rocker.' Geez. I'm Goth. I'll be downstairs."

"Downstairs" was my parents' basement. Cliched, yes, but it was increasingly the only place I felt any semblance of safety. I painted, made sculptures, wrote dreadful and lovelorn poetry, listened to the dark and bloody-voiced bands that I adored and generally bided time until my impending escape to art school. Life just hurt less down there, and I felt comfortable in my own moon pale skin.

It was true that I looked different on the outside than I had before, moving from pastel flowered miniskirts, jelly shoes, polo shirts and jean jackets to shredded black tights, witchy dresses, clunky boots, cross necklaces, purple-tinted hair and eyeliner galore. I wasn't trying to stand out. I was trying to match my appearance to my inner self. I was trying to be beautiful - even if no one else thought so.

In the late 1980s in suburban Kentucky, there was no Goth.net, no "Lady of the Manners" Jillian Venters offering sage advice online to babybat Gothlings struggling to come out of the coffin, no Goth Cruise, no copies of Gothic Beauty magazine gracing the shelves of my local Waldenbooks. While so many of us have found and befriended each other later in life - catching a glimpse of a slightly ornate ring, spying an old cemetery-posed picture on Facebook, or a mutual "like" of a band like Bauhaus or Siouxsie and the Banshees - there's a constant refrain: "Where were you when I was younger? I needed you. I was the only one where I was."

While some young Gothlings managed to find a kindred soul at their school or at their local alternative club, so many of us were left to our own devices. We stayed up through the bleary hours, hoping to catch a Camouflage or Ministry video on MTV's 120 Minutes. We rifled through bins of 12" singles at record shops, read Anne Rice books in college coffee shops, wandered through cemeteries with cameras and sent away for Burning Airlines band T-shirt catalogues - all in the hope of finding another soul singing in the same key.

Now, twenty-some years later, there's a light in the crypt. With the advent of the internet, a 15 year old girl in rural Indiana is not just scribbling verse upon verse about rose thorns and bloody tears into a journal she tucks into her backpack; she's posting them on her Livejournal for all the world to see. She's got Goth friends - who, technically, she may never have met in person - but she's not alone. Gone is the record store scramble and snail-mailed mixtape for a penpal in another state; it's a Last.fm or Spotify playlist or jockeying for a turn to DJ in front of a virtual crowd in a turntable.fm room. There is guidance just a click away from ElderGoths who've seen it, done it, bought the concert shirt and written a book on how to do it with style and grace.

For those who seek it, there is community in both online and off, via message boards, mailing lists, Facebook groups, blogs, dance clubs, elaborate Steampunk parties (Is Steampunk part of Goth or not? Discuss.), Goth Weekends and other forms of assemblies. For the more reserved among us (last year I went to a Gothic picnic and knew no one and tried to talk to groups of strangers and it was wicked awkward), there is the quiet peace and pleasure in knowing that that we’re not the only ones perusing sinister and pretty items on Coilhouse.net and pictures of people we might well have known, way back when on nowthisisgothic.tumblr.com. The emotional and aesthetic solidarity does my dusty old heart an awful lot of good, and I’m sure – at last – that I’m not alone.

Those of us who stumbled through the dark alone may have toned down our lipstick shade (which didn't stop a makeup artist from suggesting he style me as "CNN Goth" as he was prepping me for a recent live TV shot) and spider web necklaces to meld more seamlessly into the work environment, but if you look closely, the little details shimmer through. An elementary school teacher in Las Vegas has barely-covered tattoos and Peter Murphy on her car stereo. A high-level executive assistant in midtown Manhattan sports black polish in his fingernails and a suit-wearing real estate executive in the West Village wears a heavy, silver cemetery cross ring and plays Dead Can Dance on his iPod on the subway. A Chicago restaurant marketing director posts Sisters of Mercy videos on his friends’ Facebook walls late on a Friday and a London internet creative uploads pictures from yes – the Goth Cruise. Old Goths don’t die – we just dress that way.

At its core, Goth is not about liking a particular band, the height of one's hair, rejecting sunlight and obsessing about death. The outward manifestation varies wildly, from Hello Kitty fetishists and Victoriana recreationists to Pagans, Steampunks and closet Corporate Goths. It's notoriously difficult to pluck out the common thread but I've come to believe this to be true: despite many of its outer trappings, it's not a fixation on or desire of death - quite the opposite.

Goths are in love with a darker beauty - a life scored in a minor key and played with great passion. While some people may dally and dabble for a while and toy with the accoutrement (I was not annoyed several years ago when black nails and lips were all the mainstream rage - it just meant I could stock up on better brands), every now-adult Goth I know says essentially the same thing. "I didn't decide to be Goth. I just…was."

And it wasn't easy. Though the outer trappings may float into fashion (okay - I'll admit that I am cranky at Ed Hardy for appropriating our lettering, cemetery crosses and fleur de lis, but mostly because it all looks so dopey – and while we’re on the subject, vampires may dominate books, film and TV right now, but this incarnation is Emo, not Goth), people can be downright cruel - even murderous [Sophie Lancaster], or at least rudely inquisitive. It's up to each one of us to decide how high to let our (black, studded, shredded, skull-bedecked) freak flags fly.

As it happens, some six and a half years ago, rifling through responses to my online dating ad, I came across a message from a handsome, black leather jacketed man leaning up against a stone graveyard monument in his profile picture. We got married on the altar of the deconsecrated  1850s Gothic stone church in which we now live together, and for our five year anniversary, we're going to Northern England's Bronte country and Scotland to tromp around castles and run through the moors screaming for Heathcliff.

My inner 17 year old self might be rolling her eyes at how giddy and lame that sounds, but I bet when I look away, she'll crack a smile.

soundoff (504 Responses)
  1. stillgoth

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2011/09/02/fashion-is-a-feminist-issue/

    Here's an interesting perspective on fashion as self-expression. It doesn't specifically speak of goth, but I thik it makes some very valid and related points.

    September 3, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  2. Tyler

    Damn, this speaks to me. I know first hand that it isn't really easy being 17 and gothic, even today. It's really weird for me because I have never actually come into contact with another goth (i live in a rural MI villige) but im about as ligitamate as they get. But out of all that I read here i love the statement "you don't choose to be goth, you just are" it's so true but for some reason people don't seem to understand that. Oh btw on the whole is Steam punk goth debate i would just have say that i think it's a form of sub-gothic style but i would not deny it from the community.

    September 3, 2011 at 1:32 am |
  3. feebletroll

    "I wear black on the outside because black is how i feel on the inside"

    September 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  4. Momuk

    Reading this article was a stroll down memory lane. I still have Camouflage and Siouxie on my iPod. No one was called Goth back then, the term hadn't been invented yet. We were just called "freaks".

    September 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  5. wonderwall

    The Sophie Lancaster Foundation site was moving. Thanks for sharing that.

    September 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  6. sassybritches

    I manage an upscale food establishment with my neubauten guy tattooed on my right forearm and psychic cross on my left. We are out there. I am in Iowa currently and have an ipod full of stuff like sisters of mercy and and one and das ich and ministry and throbbing gristle. We are everywhere but i look pretty normal now. No 2 ft deathhawk as of a year ago. I am helping locals here get into goth music. Might even start a goth night in des moines in like half a year or so.

    September 2, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  7. Sabrina

    When I was in High School, I really was alone in my style. However, I took personal pride in being original and coming up with ideas and styles that nobody else had. However, it was still very lonely when my parents refused to acknowledge anything positive about it, and then the other kids saw it as freakish. I am an artist that was recognised several times as being extremely creative and having a personal style of work that is prefered by the punk, goth, emo, and pop cultures in todays fasions. But where were these people when I was in school? I was the one who actually CREATED the trends that are now going through the schools. I am absolutely serious too. The haircut that I did with a pair of scissors in the art room in my junior year, caught on after I showed my siblings friends some old photos of me. Well whaddy know.

    September 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  8. AMH

    I will admit that your depiction of 'your' Fleur de lis is an abomination as far as I am concerned.

    September 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  9. me

    I love the goth ladies, always have and always will. Nearly 40 and married a goth girl a few years ago. She gets to go to the clubs when she wants and dress however so she enjoys it, and so do i.

    Always had a soft spot for the goth girls in my heart...they always got me very excited 🙂

    September 2, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  10. Morph9201

    Your story is eerily familiar. Thanks.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  11. Gene

    Oh I meant long may it reign not rein lol

    September 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  12. Liisa

    Nicely done!, Kat! I was like you, and so many posters above. Not Capital G Goth anymore, but still very goth. I wrote this book you might like: Encyclopedia Gothica. It's out next month. Thanks for the article.

    September 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      I can't wait to read it! Will keep my eye out for that.

      September 2, 2011 at 8:09 am |
  13. Kasey

    I grew up in a fairly conservative town, mostly white, and mostly conformist. I did not go all goth all the time but I did various things to my hair, wore mostly black, and wore punk clothing as well. But I dyed my hair blonde, then natural red, then black, then orange, then pink, and purple. I was about one of two of three people that did this to their hair in my school and one time I even had a mohawk. I just mostly wanted people to look at me and either freak out or think I am weird. Since I am weird. The odd thing was though, most of the teasing and name calling I got was from other punkers or goths and no so much the jocks. Anyway, I am glad that people wanted to be different like me and are successful. I am an Astrophysics major now and I wish I could do just about anything to my hair like I used to. I miss wearing punk clothing but dress codes at work prevent me from expressing myself through my appearance. I just hope that changes and people become more accepting of people no matter how they dress. Can't everyone just remember to not judge a book by it's cover?

    September 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  14. Gene

    I'm not goth, I'm more of a goth tourist, have been well...for well along time let's say. Now that isn't to say that the music or the way of life isn't important to me just the opposite, but it has given me a unique perspective. As long as I've been a 'goth tourist' I have never seen two goths at any given time agree on what it is to be 'Goth' and that's OK. The best things in life are like that, cool as hell and almost impossible to describe.I can only tell you what I've learned and what I've noticed,hanging out with the goth tribe as an outsider looking in on a group of outsiders. No one ever judged me by what I wore, which to a goth must have looked very unimaginative. No one ever judged me by how long they may have thought I was in the 'scene' or by the number of bands that I knew (or didn't know) Obviously by the way I was treated being Goth was more than a matter of style, it was a matter of the soul. This article just reinforces some simple truths: Being Goth means something different to everyone (from a trip of nostalgia to a way of self loathing or self loving, )Anyone who tells you they know the definition of Goth is selling something, there's more to being goth than knowledge of it or how long you've been one, individual human expression is our most important (and complicated) freedom, (long may it rein) and god help planet earth when everyone decides to be the same. These are the lessons I learned from my time among the Goths.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • AJ Kendal

      Exactly, subcultures will always be a joke for the same reason that most followers of society's fads will never be happy. Incidentally, I'm not Goth either, but the Gothic lifestyle has been the biggest influence I've ever been struck by – literally struck, considering the first time I ever learned to care about...really anything (I know this will sound extremely lame) was the first time my whole body jerked back, my mind drew a complete blank, and for a moment I saw spots (see, I used all cliche's – how much more lame could I have made it?) when I was a kid seeing Robert Smith for the first time. This was my first experience seeing anybody so purely happy with themselves that I had to learn everything about him, and what made him tick. From there on, I realized that the true balance to happiness is acceptance. Acceptance is a broad term for me, considering that everything I accept or refuse to accept is a decision made out of pure passion. So really, in the way that I raised myself from that first experience with happiness; happiness and acceptance and subcultures all flow together in one passionate cycle, and I will spend every moment admiring that. In fact, I met a Goth girl once when we were in middle school and I was in love with her (not chick-flick movie love, the kind where you just admire and respect a person for everything they are) – one day someone asked her why she became the freak that she was...I was about to punch the kid out, but she laughed, and instead held me to her and said, "Everyone needs a reminder to keep living – I like to remember that any day could be my last. But us Freaks all have different reasons for who we are." She winked at me and told me I shouldn't be so angry, my life could end the moment after such a violent act, and would I be happy then? Of course not, so I learned to divert my frustration to good cause. Unfortunately, like so many "Goth chicks," "Emo kids," and "those freaks over there" happen to pick up, it's writing, but that's the best thing that's ever happened to me. And one day, hopefully, I'll make a little bit of difference to somebody...that's what will make me happy. Reminding people to live life (within that cycle of happiness) like they have a purpose, even if they aren't sure they have one or not.

      September 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  15. Illyria

    Thank you for such a well stated article about our lifestyle! I too wandered through my teenage years wondering if I was the only one who preferred darkness in my life. I sat through comments from school administrators telling my mother I would not be treated so badly by other students if I would just "not dress so strange". (I went to school in a small rural area in Ohio, full of "normals").
    I got married to a normal and ended up divorced, and it was only after putting up an ad on several different Goth sites that I met my (now) husband. We will be married 5 years in October 🙂 I can't tell you the exhilaration that I felt stepping into a Goth club in Philadelphia for the first time and as a result having a tight knit Goth family as a result of people I met. Sad to think it took me until I was 28 to find others like me, but what a relief to find a place I finally belonged!!!

    September 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  16. Karissa

    I live in Kentucky. Times have changed. I wasn't exactly Goth, I was more on the Punk side of the subculture. While in school, I realized teachers were more tolerant to the way I dressed. My fellow students tried to give me grief in the 9th grade but that just motivated me to be a better student than them. I've been out of high school for 4 years now. I have a little cousin who is in 11th grade who followed in my footsteps, style wise, but no ones ever bothered him. I believe this state is becoming more tolerant and will continue to do so. I really enjoyed reading this article : ) thank you for writing it.

    September 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  17. Kraven at Obscuria Gothic Shop

    Although this scene has been dying a slow death, it will always remain in some form. Whether it be through music, fashion, art, literature or mentality.There are cliches and stereotypes in any scene, but it takes guts to be non judgmental of others, while your personal appearance and actions could be considered far from the norm.

    Not all of US, are depressed outcasts crying for attention. Some of us simply enjoy the aesthetic of a dark brooding atmosphere, as a backdrop to cultivate our intellect and artistic abilities. At 36, I haven't "grown out of", what some call a phase. Just be who you are, regardless of what others think, and you'll be a lot happier for it!

    September 1, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  18. Fluer D' Phillys

    I have to chuckle every time I see some Goth style peeping through to the mainstream. Nice that Goth kids aren't really getting harrassed anymore. If my daughter wants to get her freak on, we don't worry.

    We all get dressed up once a month and walk around the city, just like old times, which is not quite as much fun as dancing until dawn at a club, but much cheaper and our daughter can join us. I like to think her Dad and I paved the way for her to be comfortable being herself. Of course, it was more fun when it was rebellious. Now I feel so normal...

    I miss the days when most of my wardrobe was club-worthy. I miss being able to go out dancing three nights a week. Dancing was were it was at. For me, it's always been about the music and the fun of being exactly who you wanted to be.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:13 am |
  19. ROBERT SMITH

    http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/goth-talk/274582/

    September 1, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  20. ROBERT SMITH

    HEY YOU GOTHS SHOULD CHECK OUT THE "GOTH TALK" SKETCHES ON SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. THOSE WERE FRIGGIN HIGH LARIOUS.

    September 1, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  21. Steve

    Like anyone who's "identity" is tied up in their clothing and makeup, Goths are apparently uncomfortable with just being themselves. While this is to be expected in the teenage years, it's rather sad that the author still hasn't found her own identity but instead has remained a conformist.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:44 am |
    • stillgoth

      All it's about is putting on clothes that you LIKE in the morning, and walking out of the house happy with the way that you look. If that's "having your identity tied up with clothes and makeup," well, than I think everyone should have their identity tied to their fashion. I just call it having a personal sense of style.

      September 1, 2011 at 8:17 am |
    • jennydevildoll

      If she took off her goth clothes and looked/behaved in a way "Steve" approved of, would she finally be non-conformist?

      One nitpick – although I completely agree the Christian Audiger licensed Ed Hardy merchandise is horribly designed and textiled, Don Ed Hardy himself has been tattooing since the late 60's, and has trained both under Sailor Jerry and tattoo artists in Japan, so I'm pretty skeptical that he appropriated design elements from late 80's/early 90's goth culture. (though if I really really want to nitpick, design elements such as fleur de lis, skulls, cemetery crosses etc. have been in existence for centuries anyway!)

      September 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Carrie

      Oh, Steve, don't be such a fuddy duddy. It's fun to dress up and pretend everyday is Halloween. (Anybody who know that reference, can tell when I was dressing that way before I became a normal 😉 Have fun and dress how you like. It's much harder to be on the fringe.

      September 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
      • Shaun

        I haven't heard that reference in such a long time. One of my favorite 🙂

        September 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
      • Seraphim0

        great. Now you got that song stuck in my head.

        September 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  22. Dizzyd

    I consider myself goth – dressed like Winona Ryder's character in 'Beetlejuice', wandered through cemetaries; but didn't know about all those cool groups. Now, I wear lighter colors and am not pale (I'm Mediterranean) and proudly and defiantly fat (now THERE'S a fringe group!) But I still like dark things – even as a Christian (big fan of Ghost Hunters and Scooby Doo) – even though I gave it up temporarily to please the snobs at the church my husband and I met at, but they turned on us when we needed help). I still like these things – have since I was a kid – always will! (Except I draw the line at things having to do with the devil or gory things!)

    September 1, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  23. Lil

    I was never Goth but I've known a number of them. They are all good folks, in my book. It's the inside that counts, but for those who slam them, so obsessed with appearances, I do have a question. I suppose you think the bleach blonde, botox-injected, unnaturally tan, liposuctioned, nipped, tucked,and lifted Stepford Wife wannabe's are all that? Meh. Let them do as they will, but methinks THEY are the fffffrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeaaaakksss! Peace, out. 🙂

    August 31, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • BJ Baron

      I grew up in the late 80's and early 90's in Los Angeles going to Helter Skelter and Control Factory. Back then there was no Hot Topic or internet that could bond people together. We had to make our own clothes, shop at thrift stores, and smoke clove cigs. Goth was not popular and at the time was considered extremely out of the norm. Today goth (if you even want to call it that) has become accessible to anyone who wants to look "dark". I remember people having to go into a record store and look at a cover and buy it. Not having options where you can listen to a song and decide if you want to buy just that song. As the article describes, I am one of those individuals who went into the corporate world, holding executive positions. After all that I experienced in those great years of my youth, THE MUSIC stayed with me. I appreciate the memories I had with all of my friends from taking the typical cemetary pictures, watching Rozz Williams, Sex Gang Children, and Siouxsie play live, to dancing in wedding dresses with 5 inch thigh high heels to "Just a lifetime" from the Legendary Pink Dots at Helter Skelter on Sunset Blvd.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:26 am |
      • Kris

        Oh, we ran in the same circles!

        I dont think of goth as a look (although it is one), its more about who you are not what you look like. I have a corporate job, and look the part, but you can peek on my desk and see who I really am.

        September 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  24. Denise

    Great read. I can relate so much to this: "Goths are in love with a darker beauty – a life scored in a minor key and played with great passion."

    I was definitely goth (amongst other things) at that age when teenagers start questioning the world and finding themselves, and it is a big part of who I am to this day. I am now a professional working for "the man," but channelling that same rebellious, cynical, "outside the box" spirit into my work. I still love the Cure and have an even deeper appreciation for their music & lyrics now that I have 20 more years of life experience.

    And even if I tried, I can't shake my love for goth elements in my wardrobe. I still proudly don lots of black, purple, and chunky silver jewelry (tastefully, I would like to think)... and I probably always will.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • mickey1313

      I think goths were awsome back in the day, but ALL emo is for looser f@gs who are to afraid to say they are gay.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  25. Strunk

    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL JOURNALIST. WRITE IN ENGLISH NOT GUTTER!!!

    August 31, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  26. madamearchel

    I'm so glad to see some of the old AG and AGF folks on here. As for you youngins smarting off at them? I'd like to smack you upside the back of the head with an alchemy gothic walking stick.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  27. Tr1Xen

    I went through this phase when I was in high school in the 90's but now I no longer feel the need to dress the part. I got tired of spending an hour and a half in the bathroom in the morning when I can get ready now in 15 minutes. I guess I just grew up. Still love the music though! 🙂

    August 31, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  28. Johnny Orlando

    Goths, wiggers, and hipsters are the dredges of culture. We get it, you think youre special. Now quit wearing clothes meant for winter in the summer.

    August 31, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • mickey1313

      The dregs? Id love for you to say that to a true goths face, at best you will be headbuted, at worst, maybe have an ear bitten off. But serously for judging, you are a pr1ck.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  29. McSaisha

    The author was HAWT!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the girl(I think) on the top pic has horriable face acne!!! EWWWWWWW

    August 31, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  30. Jess the Badfaerie

    i'm sitting behind
    gauzy, bloody burgundy,
    crosshatched lace curtains
    in the brilliantly fading sunset
    reading your article...

    dappled evening light plays
    across my mocha skin,
    highlights the gray hairs and
    glitter that's permanently
    embedded in my little girl Afro.

    the new Peter Murphy CD, "Ninth",
    looped entwined with
    my favorite Swedish
    Stadium-rock band's CD

    (tongue-in-cheek translated
    to "You and Me Death"
    in an homage to Ingmar Bergman...)

    my eyes play across a
    tattered Depeche Mode poster
    (circa – 1986 – the Black Celebration tour)

    Elfquest peeks out from
    around the corner.

    i remember what it was like
    to be different and viewed as...
    different...

    even by my paler Kin sometimes.

    still –
    one can only be themselves,
    now, can't they?

    We always knew that
    within.
    your words
    Celebrate All of
    our inner Seemings...

    *no need to run
    and hide –
    it's a wonderful
    wonderful Life...*

    beautifully written article.
    thank you.

    August 31, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  31. brokenteeth

    There are no more real goths. They either grew out of it , died from a heroin overdose or are recovering in state hospital .
    The goths I grew up with defied stereotypes that we have now were everything is pigeonholed , marketed and sold .

    August 31, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • g0thiC_iCe_cReaM

      Yup, happened when they released The Crow lol. Honestly though, what it was is dead for the most part, there will always be another counter-culture to replace the last though.

      August 31, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  32. Dave

    "Where my Goths at?"

    More importantly, where did you learn to butcher basic English?

    August 31, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Tara

      It is a slang saying Dave. Probably derived from popular music or movies. Other such sayings include; Where my girls at?, Where my dogs (which means guy friends in slang)at?, and my personal fave, Where my bitches (pimp slang for hoes)?.
      Her English is fine. Her use of slang apparently goes over a few heads though.

      August 31, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  33. Newo

    "we're going to Northern England's Bronte country and Scotland to tromp around castles and run through the moors screaming for Heathcliff."
    Made my day. I'm not a goth, just a book nerd.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  34. lostnyc

    Great article. I can relate. Kudos 🙂

    August 31, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  35. Drifter

    Steampunks are not a subgenre or relative to goths. Steampunks are just douchebags in tweed.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  36. dj empress alyda

    Well done, Kat!

    August 31, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  37. Jay Cool (jaycool.net)

    "And by the way, Mom. I'm not a 'punk rocker.' Geez. I'm Goth. I'll be downstairs."
    ROFL
    priceless.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  38. Buster Bloodvessel

    I have friends who are Goths, and I have friend who are Vandals. On the whole society has been much harder on the Vandals.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  39. stillgoth

    Generally, in my experience, if you give a job a chance to figure out that you're good at what you do, they won't care how you dress or how you do your hair. (Sitting at my desk in black lace and red hair dye....)

    August 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Whitecollar

      Fine. Fine, look they way you want, but don't over do it with the patchouli.

      August 31, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
      • stillgoth

        😉 I haven't worn patchouli since the 80's...
        Seriously, "too much perfume in the office" can be a problem... but it usually not a goth that's the offender!

        August 31, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • g0thiC_iCe_cReaM

      Women can get away with a lot more with their appearance than men can unfortunately.

      August 31, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  40. stillgoth

    What I don't get is why others don't enjoy expressing themselves through their personal appearance. Why do they react with contempt and hostility when they see someone who doesn't choose to look as they do?
    When I see someone who chooses to look remarkable in some way I might love the look or I might hate the look, but either way I respect that the person has made an effort and is doing something with an aesthetic. Everyone should look the way they want to; the way that makes them, personally, feel cool and beautiful.
    The fact that there are different styles and different fashions out there make the world a more interesting place – just like the fact that there are different kinds of people out there, with different preferences, philosophies, and aesthetics.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • mickey1313

      thats easy, they have been brain washed by thiests to believe that different is wrong.

      August 31, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  41. Philip

    I am a 38 year old Eldergoth who has been in the scene since 1990. For me it has always been a part of my romanticism and how I see things. Its strange since every time I have left the scene, its always brought me back. Part of this is because I am a keyboardist who has played for several goth projects. My current band is Post Rapture Party,check us out. But mostly its because this is who I am. I like everything attached to the subculture minus the petty bickering. I like listening to my Fields of the Nephilim while driving around at night. I like shadowdancing at my nearest goth club. I like dressing up in Victorian lace and wearing skull buckle boots. I don't dress like that except for club nights, however it is something I enjoy to do.

    The scene is not the same scene it was in the 90's. I rarely get to got to a club and hear my goth favorites. Now the music is very much computerized and real goth music is on the decline. But still the same kind of people are there and I dont think the underground is going away. There are some interesting stirrings from the post punk revival bands though. Music is cyclical so I am just waiting for the spooky stuff to come back.

    For those of you who say that we are whats wrong with society. We are a reaction to the society you created. A society without passion. A cold and meaningless world ruled by greed. We are not the problem, your philosophy is the problem. We take the ugliness of the world and we turn it into something beautiful. I quote Andrew Eldritch "And I know the world is cold, But if you hold on tight to what you find you might not mind to much.Even this must pass away. This song lyric from Some kind of stranger by The Sisters of Mercy is one of the things that got me into the scene in the first place. That and lots of Cure songs. The Scene is a place where people who feel this way have a place to belong. A tribe so to speak away from mainstream American life. Its not a tribe based on violence but a tribe based upon music,poetry and art. Now tell me what can be wrong with that?

    August 31, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  42. MoreGun89

    I miss the good old days, although Sisters of Mercy is still on my playlist, not to mention Acumen Nation, Alice Cooper, Dio, Danzig, Empire Hideous, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, even Mr.Bungle. And the days when I could style my hair any way I wanted and still get a job! I miss it, but that's life in today's world, anything with a semblance of difference is spit on. As Dream Evil says "My skin is clad with metal studs!" Rock on Gothlings of today, rock on!

    August 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

      If you get a sirius/xm radio, check out channel 40 "Liquid metal". That station is right up your ally.

      September 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  43. Matt

    Ha Ha, Goths are a bunch of dorks

    August 31, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Daniel

      The truth of this statement made me cry. Also, if you try hard, you might be able to detect sarcasm in that previous sentence.

      August 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Sencho

      Don't know if I would call them dorks, but I do call them derivative. We worked goth to death in the 80s; sorry there was nothing new left for you kids.

      August 31, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Release The Bats

      ...says the envious former jock who spends his days over the deep fryer reminiscing over his high school glory days. Sad to think your best days are behind you, isn't it Buford?

      August 31, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
      • LadyPhoenix

        OMG... I laughed so hard. Dr Pepper through the nose hurts, btw. In case you didn't know.

        August 31, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • mickey1313

      but you wouldnt have the testies to say that to there face, so you are a pu**y.

      September 1, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  44. Night Shade

    I was what would have been considered Goth over 30 years ago in Chicago. Dressing as I did then, the black lace, the docs, dark red lipstick against my pale skin, was as close to being "me" as I have ever felt in my life – both then and now. It wasn't about upsetting anyone, or seeking attention, it was what I saw as beauty. And although I now am in the corporate world, if I could, I would still dress that way. Nights at Medusas, or the (original) Exit or stopping for a snack at "Punkin" Donuts on Belmont and Clark are some of my most treasured memories – not only for the freedom I felt for truly being me, inside and out, but also for the love and comaraderie of the friends I had at the time, who ranged from hardcore punks, to preppies to Deadheads. What it taught me most is that life is way to short to judge others by how they look or dress because deep-down, there is a little bit of misfit in all of us.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • DJP

      best cloth shopping on clark and Belmont too right off the L

      August 31, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
      • Night Shade

        So true, DJP. And 2 stops down the blue line was the original and never fully replicated Wax Trax. Best record store ever. (Only then it wasn't the blue line it was the Englewood/Howard line.)

        August 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
      • g0thiC_iCe_cReaM

        @Night Shade – did you make it to the Wax Trax retrospectical a couple months ago? It was a blast from the past seeing KMFDM, Front 242 and RevCo live...so many people from the old days of hanging around in Chicago there too...made me quite nostalgic...was almost like I got teleported back to 1995 when they played Juke Joint Jezebel.

        August 31, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  45. Daniel

    Her name is Nyteshaed, yo don’t call her cherry tomato.
    She looks like Paisley Tinkle but poisonous like Topato.
    She says her hair got attacked ‘cause it’s black and it’s blue.
    She’s got a Johnny the Homicidal Maniac tattoo.
    Legs all deep in the boots, boots all up on the heels —
    yes, the kind to make a certain type of fetishist squeal.
    The ordeal I endure: this close to her splendor
    yet besieged by my shyness; try this: I surrender!
    I’ll render my intentions in the usual way
    (home alone, suicide girls up on the cathode ray).

    I love MC Frontalot. Couldnt have said it better myself.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  46. Valerie

    Thank you so much for this article! I had almost forgot Burning Airlines...and where I grew up, in the same time period, we didn't use the word goth–we were death rock.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  47. Nick Naranja

    Never really bought into the whole dress-up thing. Had an old man once tell me when I was 13 that I was better off not trying to fit in to any pre-manufactured role. I'm just me. I was definitely in to the dark music and movies, but never saw the point in advertising it. Despite what the Ministry song says Every day is not Halloween.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Sencho

      Such a conformist. ;^)

      August 31, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  48. Firefallz

    My little sister (10 years younger) is in high school....I was flipping through her yearbook the other day and I saw the Seniors "Most likely to..." section.....I was pleasantly surprised to see a Goth boy voted "Most likely to become famous!".....nice to see society is more accepting of us now 🙂

    August 31, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  49. Time Bandit

    I see nothing with those who want to be Goth, I found some to be very nice and polite. More polite than those that aren't Goth, my opinion, do what makes you happy. Don't worry about how others feel or say about you, be who you want to be.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  50. angel

    I was a goth for awhile, among several other incarnations I played with as a teenager and very young adult. That's what you do at that age. But if you are a still a goth past the age of your mid-twenties... (the exception being if you make a living at it, as say The Cure does, because that's just marketing) you are pathetic and a sad, emotionally stunted human being. It's a ridiculous look and aesthetic, the clothes and esp the make up and hair are hideous! (both the women photograhed here, esp the one with the facial piercing and DeVine eyebrows) look UGLY and stupid. Sisters of Mercy sounded good at 25, now just sounds bombastic, overblown, overwrought and cheesy. The Cure sound like a bunch of crybabies.. just KILL yourself already! And don't even get me started on Morrissey! I get why they do it... money. I get why teens and 20 somethings like it, confused and alienated. But at some point, you gotta grow up and stop being a pathetic sad sack, it's boring, nobody cares and you look godawful.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • LadyPhoenix

      It's sad to think that this level of judgementalism is still alive today. Why do you care so much? Is your life that empty that you have to give two figs what someone wears? Being goth has taught me one huge fundamental aspect: to accept people for who they are and how they come and to leave the judgements to someone or something who has achieved total perfection. And this is what I'm going to teach my three kids. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. But, if you're closed off, closed minded, and judgmental, you'll never see it. Sad.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Pagan Angel

      wow is about all I can say to your hate-fiilled rant. The Gothic look is not as ugly as your response. Talk about the need to grow up... take your own advice.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
      • Daniel

        the sad part is, they wont.

        August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • agentgirl

      Wow someone drank the kool-aid of normalcy and has become part of the brainwashed society. You obviously were never goth just a poseur.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
      • g0thiC_iCe_cReaM

        Some of us become "normal" because we get tired of being poor after a while. Nothing wrong with shedding the old clothing and make-up to actually make something of yourself, don't judge. If you saw me 15 years ago, then looked at me today, you wouldn't recognize me, and most people I knew from 15 years ago don't either...I have passed quite a few people from my goth past on the streets and they didn't even recognize me, but me on the other hand, never forgets a face... 😉

        August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
      • Pagan Angel

        This is actually a reply to gothic ice cream... I'm 49 and work in corporate america... and I'm quite successful... and I didn't have to become "normal" in order to do it.

        August 31, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
      • g0thiC_iCe_cReaM

        @Pagan Angel, maybe your definition of normal is different from mine. I can tell you I could not show up to my job with hair down to the middle of my back, wearing black eyeliner and nail polish and be "allowed" to even be visible, let alone have to talk to our clients. Now a days, I sport a millitary high and tight haircut and look like an average everyday person so I can get along in corporate america...if you can show up to work with long hair, black eyeliner and nail polish, more power to you, but most people can't...I wouldn't have had a sliver of a chance of landing a decent job if I still looked the way I did when I was in my 20s, and was told so on numerous occasions trying back then too...

        August 31, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
      • mickey1313

        Gothic_ice_cream: so, you ditched one style od self expression, and picked up one of duschebaggery (all military are duschebags) Nice to see coorporite might killing off creativity.

        September 1, 2011 at 12:08 am |
      • g0thiC_iCe_cReaM

        @ mickey1313
        Not really, I don't see how my hair has anything to do with it. I've always dressed militant, there are plenty of goths that still do, I just now am minus the long hair. 90% of the time I look pretty normal, but 90% of the time I'm working, so go figure...At some point people have to leave their childhoods behind and get on with their lives, doesn't mean they "sell out", just means they grow up.

        Do I still listen to the same music? Sure. Do I still have a fascination with the darker side of life? Sure. I have just gotten to a point in my life where it is easier to fit in to get what I need done, done so I can spend what little free time enjoying life, not worrying about where my next meal is going to come from because I can't get a job looking the way I used to.

        September 1, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • Amy

      Wow, angel. Your attitude is uglier than any Goth could ever be. You're the one who needs to grow up. Let people be who they want to be. Don't try to force them into your idea of society.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Dare

      Clearly you've heard maaybe four Cure songs. They've got a pretty wide range of moods - they even named an album to say so ; )

      August 31, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
      • angel

        yeah, that was kind of harsh, I agree... chalk it up to being really fed up with this stuff. Why is this a news article? Goth culture is main stream now... these people aren't brave... not like we were in the early 1980s in Wyoming. I mean sheesh! The feeling I was trying, not well, to convey is that sorry, but there is something stunted about you if you get stuck in this–or any other phase or style–from high school on. It's not a matter of becoming "normal" or not normal, be weird, be different, I'm for that, it's a matter of growing, of personal growth. Seriously? Goth, or anything, for years and decades on end? That shows a person who is stuck, who doesn't grow. And yeah, beauty is a matter of personal taste. My belief is the woman with the tranny eyebrows is really, really ugly. It's not a good look. Sorry, but I'm entitled to think that. The other one is better, but still not my cup of tea anymore. Oh, and I've listened to plenty of Cure, I have almost all their albums... and I was no poseur. Outgrowing something does not make one a poseur. It shows you are capable of evolving. Where I lived, in small town America, we got rocks and garbage thrown at us for looking like this and/or punk (at various times, I was both of these things). You don't suffer through several
        years of being beat up, ostracized and having rocks and garbage thrown at you when you are a poseur. Talk about
        judgmental... this is the classic pot and kettle. My point and opinion, and I'm entitled to it, is that if you cling to this, or any, look or aesthetic for this long, you aren't growing as a human being. To each their own, but this is a very tired look... how long has it been? 30 plus years? DO SOMETHING ORIGINAL!!! I mean, these are the sort of people (punks/goths) who made fun of hippies for still dressing like it was the 1960s. Well, guess what? The hippie look as it was done in the 1960s and early 1970s is not being worn by anyone anymore and has not been for over 40 years. Why are people clinging to this goth/punk aesthetic for so long without change. It's stagnant, its tired and stickign with something for this long without change shows a person profoundly lacking in personal growth. These people aren't original... they all look the same! They are as conformist as anyone else. And, Heathcliff and Kathy were no goths. You all may want to read Wuthering Heights that way, but it ain't the case

        August 31, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
      • LadyPhoenix

        @angel

        Maybe I'm confused, but how is expressing yourself through your makeup, clothing, and writing, stunting yourself as a human?

        This is quite the opposite. If goth has taught me anything, it's to open your eyes to everything around you...even the things that most would shun or people that have been labeled pariahs because of how they act, what they listen to, how the dress...

        You seem to have a lot of pent up anger, frustration, and negative energy at the goth culture in general. Did a goth shun you in some way? Was your bully in school a goth? I'm just confused at this level of close mindedness that you're displaying.

        August 31, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
      • stillgoth

        angel wrote: "Goth culture is main stream now... these people aren't brave... not like we were in the early 1980s in Wyoming.... there is something stunted about you if you get stuck in this–or any other phase or style–from high school on. It's not a matter of becoming "normal" or not normal, be weird, be different, I'm for that, it's a matter of growing, of personal growth. Seriously? Goth, or anything, for years and decades on end? That shows a person who is stuck, who doesn't grow."

        The thing is, some people do the "goth" thing because they're trying to be 'brave,' or to rebel, or to fit in with a high school clique. Other people are goth just 'cause, well, whenever we dress in a way that we find aesthetically attractive, people say, "oh, you're goth." It's just what we LIKE. From Baudelaire to Oscar Wilde to the Pre-Raphaelites... there's a passionate, dramatic aesthetic that some people Just Genuinely Like. Why should maturing mean changing what appeals to you on a deep, personal level?

        " And yeah, beauty is a matter of personal taste. My belief is the woman with the tranny eyebrows is really, really ugly."
        And I think she's really, really hot. So. Yeah, Difference of opinion.

        "Outgrowing something does not make one a poseur. It shows you are capable of evolving. Where I lived, in small town America, we got rocks and garbage thrown at us for looking like this and/or punk (at various times, I was both of these things). You don't suffer through several years of being beat up, ostracized and having rocks and garbage thrown at you when you are a poseur."

        I disagree. You can put up with a lot if you feel you're doing something 'cause you've got something to prove. But if you truly love a style and an aesthetic in your deepest heart, I find it hard to imagine that changing drastically. Yes, teens often have a very awkward style. Often they don't quite yet know how to get the look they're going for. Older goths are likely to look more refined, more put-together. But if you were really goth, would you discard it totally and have contempt for the younger ones? Doubt it.

        August 31, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • rocknroller

      you watch your mouth when you talk about Morrissey

      August 31, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
      • Julzrael

        Amen-Ra to that. I got your back.

        December 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Daoud

      @angel, get your head out of the air, get off your pedestal and take the flagpole out of your a$$ and relax a little. So as you live responsibly and be a productive member of society, dress goth until your 90, listen to heavy metal til your 90. Do it as long as you like it, not as long as some tight butt conversative twat deems appropriate. You only live once. Live it for you, not someone else.

      August 31, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • jennydevildoll

      Does anyone else want in on the wager that Divine was and eternally is ever more the woman than this bitter angry ranter could ever be?

      Seriously, dress goth or not, whatever suits you. Individual expression doesn't have an age limit though neither can it be achieved merely through purchasing a certain type of attire. However, someone who makes assumptions about people's psychological states based on the clothing they prefer suggests more immaturity than a little black lipstick over the age of 25.

      (For the record, I was and probably still might be goth-ish but never entirely limited myself to one subculture or musical genre. If music or art says something to me, I'm for it.)

      September 1, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
      • jennydevildoll

        P.S. After reading this thread of comments further, I also got rocks thrown at me growing up in Arizona. (for looking "weird" or for my (actual and Latin) last name? Does it matter? It's rocks!) and my husband, when growing up in Kentucky was actually shot at by some of the good old boys in their moving pickup truck...neither of us drank the Kool-Aid and today are happily creating and performing music and making art...are we the most financially successful? No, but we get by and feel fulfilled in a way we probably wouldn't if we decided at any point we were "too old" to do creative things, stopped being artists and tried to live in a way unnatural to who we are? Also having both known throughout our lives many transgendered, pansexual, and basic drag performers, I gotta say don't knock "tranny eyebrows"! Those folks have better makeup tips and stuff than any Cosmo magazine.

        September 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  51. Remainstobeseen

    I am so happy to see that there are so many out there that share my same feelings! I live in a very small town, where being white is a minority...and being goth is unheard of... I got into the lifestyle very early on, maybe 8 or 9 years old. I didn't listen to a lot of the bands that are mentioned here, as my taste in music is much more rock and symphonic, but when most kids my age were listening to New Kids, I was blaring the likes of Metallica and Depeche Mode.

    I grew up feeling very isolated, and my career choices supressed my outward 'showing' as a goth. I had to be a conformist for the sake of employment, but the details were always there. Dark hair, copious amounts of eyeliner, black and other dark clothes, and always, always the music.

    I am just now at a point, and 30 years old, where I can show myself, in all of my glorious darkness, and be beautiful how I feel I am. I am still finding the culture here, and it's out there, I know it. There's a ton of links in this post that I never knew about. Thank you so much for posting them! And thank you for putting something goth out there and trying to enlighten others to our culture!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  52. T_Suisei

    I hate to be the one to enlighten you honey but you aren't and never were a Goth. The word that applies is Emo. It's always funny to hear Emos try to convince themselves and others that they are Goths. If you ever cross paths with a real Goth, you should try to make yourself as small as possible so hopefully you can remove yourself from his proximity before he bothers to notice you. A Goth is a very scary, dark individual who doesn't sit around writing poems about death... A real Goth IS a poem of death. A real Goth doesn't stay up late into the night to watch MTV... he is out IN the night following his will. The words "family" and "friends" are not in a Goth's vocabulary. So anyway, wear your black nail polish and dog collar and dream your little puppy dog Emo dreams but get over thinking of yourself as a Goth.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • David Knox

      I was a punker. I went to a lot of goth clubs. I remember leaving a concert ot the seminal L.A. punk band, The Dickies and a group of devout zealot Christians, yelled that we were going to hell. I found it to be quite funny.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • g0thiC_iCe_cReaM

      You're obviously not either...
      1st RULE: You do not talk about GOTH CLUB.
      2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about GOTH CLUB.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
      • Newo

        bahahaha!!!

        August 31, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
      • Julzrael

        Right? "Hard-Core"! The rest of us solitaries better watch our black-clad backs, because we aren't Goth enough. Whatever. If you were *that* "hard-core" you wouldn't care enough to comment. Blah blah blah, I'm REAL GOTH – what a joke. Welcome to Goth-Off!!! What do you want, a badge? You're voted off the Tor.

        December 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • LadyPhoenix

      LOL. You have no idea what "goth" is. The beauty about being a "goth" is that there are multitudes of meanings to the words. You have your "Crayola Goths" (that use color in their makeup and clothes to express themselves) along with the Techno, Rivet Heads, Victorian/Renaissance... You can be happy. You can enjoy life. This doesn't make you emo any more than watching health shows makes you a doctor.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Peter H. Coffin

      T_Suisei: You don't get to decide that. I've never seen you at any of the meetings.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
      • Jola

        ... you were probably too busy to read that memo ... having fun with your friends probably. The friends we goths aren't supposed to have ;p

        August 31, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Isis

      Its sad when people misjudge goths and we are so often mixed up with emos that it seems even those who believe to understand true goth are deeply and horribly confused. A goth is not a set of rules and things you should do and things you should say and ways you should ask, Its a mind set originating back from the Gothic era. Edgar Allen Poe a very famous Gothic writer, that according to your definition is "emo" You see my point? Understand a culture before you accuse others of pretending to be a part of it because it seems you are the one with much to learn.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Isis

      Oh and one more thing Collars are not strictly emo, Gothic, punk or any other sub sect you deem it to be. My collar has absolutely nothing to do with my being a goth, my collar is my engagement ring given to me by my Master and yes i did say master. I do live both a gothic and a 24/7 M/s relationship and I differentiate greatly between the two so think before you speak a true goth will always have respect for others weather they differ from him or her or not.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Amy

      Wow, I bow to the Supreme Overdeity of Gothdom. You obviously know everything. Your knowledge is unending. *bow* *bow* *rolls eyes*

      August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Too true, most people think that goth and emo are the same, emo are the sad wanta bes that goths went out and became. If you care what others think, you are emo not goth. A goth gives no F.

      September 1, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  53. Jared Hamline

    I love this article. I'm 27 now, with 2 daughters and a wife. But, I still rock out to my KMFDM, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, NIN, Machines of Loving Grace, The Cure, and such when I get a chance. I tend to look better in browns and blues, instead of my black band shirts and torn jeans any way. And my music tastes have expanded greatly into old skool soul, blues, classic rock, and a few others. I am slowly converting my kids into "Freaks" like their old man by getting them into Tron, Scooby Doo, and a few other things and working my from there. Glad to see a few kindred spirits on here.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  54. Seraph_x

    Wonderful article. It's nice to hear about other "old school" goths. At 46 I can look back at my life and say that although it would have been easier to just "join up" with the social norms and fit in, the life I have chosen by living the shadows has been rewarding and entertaining. As my children have grown, it has been wonderful to watch them become, not little clones of me, but to develop their own style and sense of self.(none of the 4 would be considered goth,but are open minded and free thinkers,which really is what any subculture is, at the core, about.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  55. Seraphim0

    Wow. I'm really, really surprised with a lot of the individuals posting some hateful things on here. Not saying everything is flowers and springtime, but Goths can be some of the most open-minded, friendly people you will ever meet. That appreciation for a darker aesthetic is quite like a fine wine.

    Ironic, really, I fell into the scene in my twenties, and everything just felt... right. In chicago, there are (thankfully) numerous events that can help get the community together (though things have slowed down in recent days). Despite that belmont and clark is not some mythical mecca of the subculture (though neo is right down the block), we always manage to run into each other.

    Though I listen more to things like wumpscut and rotersand, I still find the draw to go back to souixie, peter murphy, and even joy division.

    It's a community. as much of a community as any other out there.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Jola

      Seraphim, this is going to be a crazy question, but did you take my wedding photos? Goth, Chicago, named Seraphim ... just thought i'd ask on the off-chance it was you 🙂

      August 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
      • Seraphim0

        Wouldn't have been me. I went around Chicago as 'seraph' for awhile, but not full blown seraphim.

        September 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  56. Mister Gone

    Proof once again that humans need a natural predator.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • mickey1313

      we have 2 natrual predators, thiests, and the top 1% of the population, they both want all of the rest of humanity to be distroyed.

      September 1, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  57. MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

    I always found it funny that goth is such a non-mainstream style, yet they are so close minded. I think goth chicks are hot, but i personally have not met a single goth chick who was not stuck up. Also they judge who they will associate with based on how much eyeliner, black lipstick and black hair dye you use. I'd just like to meet a goth chick who would prove me wrong.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Daniel

      hahaha. the song by MC Frontalot – goth girls – comes to mind.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • jobie

      Nice to meet you. I'm a friendly, outgoing, open minded goth woman who won't judge you based on your hair colour or makeup choices. I won't even judge you on your musical choices, though I reserve the right to disagree with them :p I have friends that look goth and friends that look like a soccer mom. Me, I'm somewhere in between. I obviously don't know the goths you've met, but they sound like every other judgemental person I've ever met, regardless of how they look.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Redneck Goth

      *curtsies* I'm both redneck and gothic. I work as a bartender at a country bar and raise horses. It helps me afford my ever growing collection of leather bound books, the newest of which is the complete works of Poe. Did I mention that the man I'm with is a "non-goth"? In high school, you probably would have called him a jock. No eyeliner, no unnaturally colored hair, and no piercings or tattoos that would make him spooooky! Maybe you should open your mind up to people before judging them all based on the experience with just a few. Being gothic is just a facet of those of us who enough being delightfully dark.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • LadyPhoenix

      Quit hanging with superficial people. Goth does not mean superficial.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • leendabunny

      I've only had three goth boyfriends. My first husband was NOT goth. The second one is a closet goth (not really, but looks "normal"). You need to come out to clubs, coffee shops, etc. to meet more goth girls who like "normals". It was sorta a joke when I was younger, the "I couldn't find a goth boy to date even if I really was a vampire" sorta thing. And, as the username suggests, not death and doom goth, a fluffy goth. There are MANY types of goth. But really, that includes all cultures and subcultures, no biggie.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Jennifer

      You really haven't met a lot of goth chicks then. Or haven't given them a chance. But I can promise you, most of us are not like that. Take me for example, and I feel really narcissistic saying this, but I'm pretty easy to be around (from what I've been told). As long as you're nice to me, I've got no problem with you. I've been judged very harshly by others based on my appearance, as have many of us. Why would I want to do the same thing to others?

      August 31, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • mickey1313

      you are mixing up goth and emo

      September 1, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

      I'm glad to see the responses. i must admit it has been a while since interacted with anyone goth. At mickey1313, these incedences were before the emo movement ;). But seriously, I know it's wrong to judge any group by the actions of a few. I sometimes wonder how things would have turned out if I had met a nice goth girl, I could go for some of that. I'll reiterat: goth chicks are hot.

      September 1, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  58. g0thiC_iCe_cReaM

    Once upon a time, Chicago had a teeming goth scene, which seemed to come to an abrupt end around the very end of the 90s. Unlike the author, finding others in the goth scene was as difficult as getting on the Red Line and heading down to Belmont and Sheffield or heading over to Wicker Park. I miss those days. Now the only hints of my past are the wallet with a chain hanging out of my back pocket and my combat boots on under my jeans. I used to get funny looks from people that would walk by my office at work and hear Dead Can Dance and Lisa Gerrard's solo work playing.

    I guess I'm just getting too old to let my goth side really be as prevalent in my life as it used to be, kind of hard to deal with people on a professional level when you're still dressing/living like you did in your 20s and didn't care what people thought 😛

    August 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Seraphim0

      Oh, it's still there. There are several things usually going on at any one time. Check out american gothic productions. Sarah is a friend of mine and does one large monthly event, and usually a few concerts a month. There's also a more industrial inclined even every first friday of the month at Exit (upstairs).

      August 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
      • g0thiC_iCe_cReaM

        Yeah, I spent a lot of time at Neo, Exit, Smartbar, Club 950, Dome Room, none of it's like it used to be...used to be FUN, but honestly it's just depressing whenever I go to any of those places (that still exist). I think I was at Exit like 7 years ago or so, only saw 2 bartenders that I knew, none of the door people were the same, and everyone seemed a lot more up tight than they used to be...I don't know, maybe I'm just getting old...I realized the goth scene was truly dead in Chicago when I went to a "goth" night with Taissa and Kari Monster, (if you know Scary Lady Sarah, you know Taissa), at a place called Tai's Till 4, to get to the "goth night" you had to go through an old man redneck bar, of which the patrons were just sitting around bemused by the funny looking goth kids (actually mostly middle aged) huddled around the pool table in the back...

        August 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  59. Dextar

    Rockabilly is the punk retirement plan. Swapped out the Stiff Stuff for Murray's. Still anarchist on the inside though...

    August 31, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  60. MacFarren

    Hey Ms. 'I got a 5 on the AP English Test.'–

    Do you think you could avoid ending the title of your blog with a prepositional phrase?

    Also, "Where my" .... are you trying to be 'street' or something?

    My suggestion to you– find yourself.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Soylent

      She already found herself. Also, she probably got that 5 on her AP English exam because she realizes that it's perfectly fine to end sentences with prepositions in most situations. Do they still propagate this grammar myth in schools today? Do they still claim you're not "allowed" to split infinitives?

      August 31, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
      • mickey1313

        yes, because we let gym teachers teach real subjects to students, right out of the book, wether they understand it or not. Like that old quote "If it were not for football, I would not be playing football today"

        September 1, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • Seraphim0

      It's simply a more contemporary approach to grammar as opposed to traditional. There is a difference- and some editors even llow sentences that begin with 'but,' my friend. Nice to see you're still stuck in the old days in regards to your knowledge of English. Pick up a new grammar or something.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  61. lolsigh

    So funny how kids follow stupid fads, than grow up to do the same thing. All these people are, are stupid consumers who will do nothing but feed a corrupt and bad system that does not encourage individuality but destroys it.
    Don't join a "click", think for yourself!
    For those of you who wonder, I wore whatever I thought was comfortable in high school, I had friends in every "click" and didn;t give a crap if you where a "jock" or a "goth" because I knew than as I do know that everyone is human and segregating yourself into these "clicks" only takes away from your humanity.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • SkippyGuppy

      are you putting quotations around cliques because you have no idea how to spell it?

      August 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      The situation for a lot of us was that there wasn't a clique or solidarity of any sort. A lot of us were the only oddball (at least on the outside) where we were. That can be lonely and scary, and there are always people who want to make SURE you know that they don't approve of you. I'm grateful to have found other people, even after the fact, who went through the same thing.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • mickey1313

      I was goth for like 10 years, i never baught anything new, it was all thrift and 2nd hand for me, made the "look" seem more authentic. I was much more thrifty back then, so I think they crud about breeding consomers is bunk, the companies hate fads that recycle used stuff, goth punk, ect. The only thing you would need new would be the makeup, and I never did that, Still thought it was a bit gay for guys to do.

      September 1, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  62. Rivet

    Such a fun, great read-thank you! It brought goosebumps and tears and laughs as I read this article. I believe I recognize you from the past Eccentrik Festival too 😉

    August 31, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  63. Ratty

    Loved this! I grew up in a very rural area, and always envied those "goths" who were able to go to the clubs, find the music without driving a hundred miles or ordering from the back of propaganda magazine, and just in general, not feel like "the only weirdo around". Now that I'm nearing 40, with a successful career and reasonably content life (for a goth, anyhow ha!), I find myself looking back at those who would yell "freak" with more than just a bit of satisfaction on proving that "growing out of it" isn't the same as actually growing and maturing as a person.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  64. cuso

    I loved the Goth kids in High School. They would always get freaked out when I would talk about nine inch nails because I wasn't suppose to know who they were. I would always tell them stop being so close minded.Then slip them a mixtape of some underground hip hop.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Jen

      I love this comment.

      August 31, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • mickey1313

      ya, I was a gothic juggalo, so it was an interesting time in HS

      September 1, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • LadyPhoenix

      I'd be the goth that said "Thanks" and slip back a tape of everything from Irish Folk to death metal. I'm all for expanding musical tastes.

      September 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  65. Abbyka

    I don't know if I was goth, I had a lot of styles. I always gravitated to the things that weren't normal. One day I'd be wearing completely black head to toe, the next I'd be wearing a gold trench coat over a blue faux snake skin outfit. Everyone remembers the trench coat and the silver sequin cowboy hat most. I was voted definitely different in high school, which caused half of my friends to hate me because they thought my friend Cory deserved it. I did too, but for some reason thats not how it happened. I ended up dropping out because the bullying caused a nervous breakdown that took me weeks to recover from, and the principal decided he didn't want me to graduate unless I repeated the grade since I was absent for so long. I gave him the middle finger and got my GED. Nowadays I dress normally mainly because the stuff I like isn't sold in stores near me and is more expensive than I can afford. I look more like a mom now than who I really am on the inside and I hate it(despite the fact that I am a mom!).

    August 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  66. Brian Decker

    As an Elder Goth.. (i.e... goths over 30) I can say the Goth Culture is alive and well, thank you very much. For you nay sayers, please refer to the wonderful site http://www.gothiccharmschool.com. The MIstress of Manners is an amazing take on what Goth can be, when done right.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  67. Merrin of Giles

    Punk, Goth, Emo, what the phuck ever..... Simply just another teen fad that goes nowhere. A waste of time chasing something that isn't there.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Guest

      The looks will always fade in and out from time to time, but the mindset and the inner parts are not fads, so try actually thinking before you post stupid comments.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  68. aNN

    This look is extreme but How else can an ugly person get through high school.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • cuso

      COMMENT OF THE DAY!!!!!

      August 31, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Guest

      Wait....whats that I hear? Oh it must be self loathing and complete inadequacy. Isn't projection a lovely thing?

      August 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
      • LadyPhoenix

        They really need to have a "like" on comments.

        August 31, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • mickey1313

      By punching pretty boy loudmouths in the face.

      September 1, 2011 at 12:28 am |
  69. Paul in Toronto

    Excellent piece....makes me want to throw in my old Switchblade Symphony cd's and goth out. In Toronto back in the 80's and early 90's I was the only one in my circle of friends who loved goth and so I secretly spent nights at The Sanctuary and Velvet Undergound, hiding what I knew inside was the real me. When music, art and emotion grab you the way goth does it's hard to explain to 'normal' people. And that's kind of what made it special. There is beauty in darkness. Love in sadness. Just cuz some can`t see it doesn`t mean it`s not there.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  70. Shanty

    This really makes me smile. I remember those days in high school where it seemed like I was the only Goth roaming the halls. I always wondered why the people in the halls parted like the red sea when I was running to class. I found out later they all thought I was going to put a curse on them! Still makes me giggle. Now though? Not many would guess upon meeting me. Even when they can see the bulk of my tattoos. I know in my professional life people would be completely thrown. To them I am that polite Southern girl with the pretty tattoos on her feet. They don't know the meaning behind said ink (an ancestor tat and a memorial tat respectively) , The only slip they've ever seen was me forgetting to turn my ringer on my phone off , and my fiance calls to the ringing tones of "Be My Druidess". Thank Gods they had no clue what he was singing about. This makes me all nostalgic...almost enough to break out my corsets and head north where they still have Goth clubs...

    August 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  71. vamphy64

    I don't dress gothic by i love my black clothes my black hair and i love my gothic beauty magazine LOVE my gothic books and vampires story and i won't change it for nothing. Love the fashion of clothing and shoes boy i would have love to wear the clothes. Went i go to NYC i wear my gothic special cloth and boats and i don't feel out of place here in Jersey people look at you like if you are worshiping the devil............LOVE my hard rock music as well as Techno YESSSSSSSSSS

    August 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  72. norma.bates

    Although my Docs have been replaced by Danskos, I still credit Goth with getting me through high school in rural Wisconsin in the mid/late '80's. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to dust off my copy of The Stranger.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  73. Nic

    Great blog. It was the same in Athens Ga. but we had a community. Those were halcyon days.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  74. Punkass

    As a punk in HS I had a hard time with the goths. Not sure if it was just in my school buy they were all very full of themselves. No one "understod" them, if you tried they would roll their eyes explaining that unless you were goth, you would never understand......give me a break. The best was when they would give me crap about listening to Danzig...as if somehow I'm not allowed to listen to Danzig, or the Cure or whatever. Sorry, never had respect for the goths. BTW how funny was the South Park episode when the goth kids were first introduced?!?!? The best parody of the goth lifestyle lol.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      No joke brother. They thought themselves so dark and deep, so serious, yet they were just a bunch of arrogant freaks for the most part.
      The chicks were either anorexic or fat and the guys were more girly looking than the chicks and none of them could fight to save their own lives.
      BTW, nobody wants to read your journal because you are not that interesting (welcome to our world).
      Goth: I am so depressed with the way things are in the world. I think I need a taco. Oh diary why do I have to walk 15 minutes to get my taco. I love you taco, oh dark lord of my hunger, fester inside my bowels and deliver me unto a sacrificial alter of other worldliness.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
      • Punkass

        NO tacos to feed my hunger, so my hunger feeds my despair and my despair feeds my soul. I cried today but no one noticed me in my black cacoon. I pray for death but fear I've already died a slow death since birth. Darkness is my light.....LOL

        August 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  75. Sham69

    Punk=The original hardcore youth movement

    Goth and Emo= Stupid poseur wannabe's

    August 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Alex

      Punk is not really the original. Before punk there were teddy boys. And before them were mods. And before them were beatniks. And before them were flappers. And before them were dandies. *yawn*

      August 31, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Wanfuforever

      How elitist and ergo completely unpunk to say...sure you're not a mod in hiding?

      August 31, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  76. Josie

    I really enjoyed this article. In a way it could have been written by me. Though currently my dress blends in more, I still have moments that def shows my lifestyle and way of thinking. I and many of my friends don't care for the label of "Goth" but sadly it is the closest to what most say we are. A few of us are married, have kids, and decent jobs, but it doesn't change who we are inside. I do look back and smile at my old pictures, sadly I no longer dress that way, except when I want to for old times sake or it's a planned night out! I love black roses, cemetary at night, Edger Allen Poe and Steven King (and many other books), classical music, and many other things that show up through out my room even to this day.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  77. TechNerd

    We miss you guys.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  78. Travis

    I grew up just a couple cities south of you around the same time. While you had the rich cake-eater kids teasing you, I dealt with the farm kids and other rednecks. Glad to see you are doing well in life.

    I went on to start my own circus, and still live in the same area, just moved a little west to the shadow of the Y'All water tower.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  79. Edsr

    These are BEASTS.................these are children who should NEVER have been born...............if I were their parent I would simply give them away to somebody VERY VERY FAR away from me! You want DISGUSTING? Here it is!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Git some

      You are what is wrong with the world. Plain and simple.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Alex

      This beast is teaching your kids at college. I know others who are lawyers, psychiatrists, surgeons, and business owners. We're everywhere. Muahahaha. Or something.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
      • dragonwife1

        Yup... mother of three wonderful adult children (none of whom share my wardrobe preferences), and I work as systems support for an insurance company (we all know how evil they are!), am an actress/director/published playwright (melodramas and murder mysteries – how appropriate), and a martial artist. I guess my mom and dad should never have had me either, huh? Funny thing, they seemed to love me just the same as if I weren't an evil spawn of Satan. I completely agree with you – Edsr is a sad, sad, horribly misguided person. BWAhahaha...

        August 31, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Wanfuforever

      Me scared of unknown...Kill it!!! Kill it with FIRE!!! *sound of knuckles scraping*

      August 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • DrBeetlejuice

      BE AFRAID......BE VERY AFRAID MY FRIEND!. We are your Lawyers, Judges, Law Enforcement, Wardens, Teachers, Principles, Doctors, Military, Politicians, Neighbors, Family, Bus Drivers, Store Managers, Shop Owners, Wedding Dj's, Wedding Planners, Plumbers, Fire Fighters, Electricians, Website Designers, Publishers, News Broadcasters, News Anchors, Radio Hosts, T.v. hosts, Directors, Editors, Artists, Cooks, Waiters, Servers, Video Game Designers, Mentors, Bartenders, Bouncers, Construction Workers, Ect....

      So Be carefull. We are part of everything that helps you live and protects your freedom. The best part is we all know each other.................and we all know you 🙂
      if you feel itchy when you sleep just ignore it

      August 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • LadyPhoenix

      Good to know that hate and bigotry is still alive and well, and being taught in homes across the world. *Thumbs up* Parents must be proud.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Kim

      As a middle-aged, mainstream mom and grandma, all I can say is thank God for freedom of expression and people who will speak out on behalf of those who are not "average." Maybe, like some here suggest, others have had it worse. Whatever. They are free to write about that in a public forum, too. But to condemn you for dressing outside the "norm," that only speaks to the lack of character in the person who judges. They obviously think so little of themselves that they have to put someone else down to make themselves feel better.

      I know a little bit about that mindset–one kid who stole my son's iPhone, and to whom my son simply said, "I forgive you," was later forbidden to ride to school with us because my son had a blue Mohawk and was therefore deemed a bad influence. Now THAT is truly what's wrong with the world.

      August 31, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  80. Doe

    I KNEW I wasn't alone all those years ago. I could feel my fellow baby bats fluttering about out there...somewhere...

    August 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Punkass

      Do me a favor and get over it....sheeeeeeeesh. Like the only tormented ppl in this world are goth kids....annoying. This is why goths dont get any respect. "My whole life is a dark room....one....big, dark room" lol

      August 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
      • David in Corpus

        They just thought it actually meant something to rebel against the bad in the world instead of trying to adapt like the rest of us did.
        Funny, I see plenty of ex (fill in the blanks) working alongside us in everyday life. Finally stopped fighting the system and joined it didn't they. Fkn goths, just freaky lookin' hippies. All these types are the same. Think they are special and that everyone else is too stupid or evil to take the time to see it.
        At least goths didn't bring the country to almost complete ruin like the baby boomer hippies turned corporate have done. They ain;'t done by a dam sight either.

        August 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
      • Doe

        And how seriously are you taking yourself?

        I was watching the Misfits with the original lineup at CBGB before you were even born. Get over it.

        August 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
      • Andrea M

        Funny, in my goth time I was hardly tormented. While I was a babybat, I was also on the school color guard winning state championships regularly. I was *gasp* performing at pep assemblies! I was *extra gasp* actually fairly popular in the grand scheme of a large high school! I was *triple gasp* only picked on once in my whole high school career! Logically, I should have had bouncing golden curls and been on the prom committee. But somehow I took a wrong turn and ended up cruising school in a long black velvet skirt circa 2006. After school I just changed into black yoga pants, a black tank top, tied up my deep red hair, and went to practice.

        August 31, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
      • AJ Kendal

        Oh my, really, one dark room? Life is a dark room? That was snap worthy. Sarcasm aside, you missed the point entirely.

        While deciding to mock Doe, instead of reading what she actually wrote, you failed to see that all she was really saying was that she has respect for "babybats" and what they stand for. She did not once say that Goths are the ultimate tortured souls, and the absolute tortured souls of this world. She made one small comment that you took way out of proportion. The fact of the matter is that while feeling left out or on the sidelines based on interest, as time goes by it's very easy to get swept up in the way that everyone makes you feel. I've been called a whole ton load of not very creative but still hurtful things. Being called a freak makes me feel like a freak – go figure. It feels nice to find others with the same interests who have been shunned for them, thus her comment about baby bats. Again, did not once say that she was far more tortured than you are or will ever be. And the faux-poetry move was a low blow, considering her comment was actually very jolly and cute. So, besides the unbearably breezy first line of my comment, was that insulting in any way? I sure hope not, because nothing insulting was said. I made a comment, not a complaint. Again, go figure.

        September 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Punkass

      Oh Doe...dont get all defensive. This isnt HS. Goths dont own the title for most mis-understood. You guys just kept telling yourselves that when you were teenagers. I dont remember too many ppl embracing my mohawk and liberty spikes...or my love for Guttermouth when I was younger.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  81. Katja

    I dress mostly in black, largely because I'm a lawyer and lawyers usually wear black suits Or so I tell myself, at least.

    Thus, I was floored when opposing counsel mentioned to one of my co-workers that she thought I was a goth. My co-worker was appalled. She asked me "doesn't goth mean you wear red contacts and drink blood?" I laughed and said "not necessarily." In this case, opposing counsel was right.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Edsr

      I also am an attorney.............BLACK is too conservative and is menacing as well..........most jurors I have known deplore the color black in clothing! A dark blue or gray that is conservative is better! Along with the dark blue or gray there should be some brightness as well...............for a man.....white shirt and red or burgundy neck wear.............for a woman..........maybe a red....or yellow scarf tied around the neck. Most people look upon black as Gothic and evil.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      Fitting career choice for you, an entity that gets paid for sucking the life out of other entities while actually producing nothing tangible. Congrats on your success in life.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
      • Katja

        Never once thought that I might do defense?

        I've got this mat and it's got all these conclusions on them. You can then jump to those conclusions. Interested?

        August 31, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • NiteOwL

      The color White REPELS all colors, the color Black absorbs all colors..I would rather be absorbed.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  82. MadCatUSA

    Neglected to mention the internet newsgroup that was extremely popular in the early 90's – alt.gothic on Usenet and it's children, alt.gothic.pretentions et. al. I was heavily into participating in those newsgroups when I was younger, I've lost track of all of my friends from there, but if anyone remembers the Great Bread War, drop me a line madscrib AT yahoo DOT com.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  83. udone

    OH PUHLEEEZE.,. LOLLOLOLOL~~~~!~~~ what a laugh,.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  84. Kristi

    You think you had it bad? Try being a bisexual crossdresser goth at this time and in basically the same place.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  85. Vorona

    Thanks for this article. I'm 50 - was punk in my 20s, goth in my 30s until now (I've always said, "Goth is a punk who gave up and went into mourning."). Every once in a while I think; come on, you're 50, time to hang it up and join AARP. But I can't do it. I don't look my age, I don't feel my age, and *no one* has ever suggested I should dress my age. Thanks for giving me the strength to continue being true to my dark nature....

    August 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • jeff

      I'm 52. But not really. It's kinda strange to be here and not be the 52 I imagined when I was 22. Now is the best, in any case.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Wanfuforever

      No reason not to, everyone keeps with what they grew up with. I'm an old guard punk and I commonly went the the Castle down in Tampa. Still listen to the Sex Pistols and Cruxshadows, etc. Dad grew up with big band and listened to big band all his life; I act my age, can keep a job and pay the bills. But nothing says goth and punk has a time stamp on it (though I don't spring back to life from the mosh pit as well the next day). Simply put, I don't fit the norm very well, and never did. If other people are afraid of it, screw 'em. I do what I'm obligated to and figure I can use my freedoms while I'm on my time, so can you.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  86. Michele aka Vampness ;)-

    Great blog, totally there! :)-

    August 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  87. Larry Henson

    Visage
    Masquerade
    Out of Control

    Those were some of the places I spent many a night when I was in college or in school for the military. I still have a lot of that music on CDs and MP3s and still hang out with fellow goths and such. This article made me smile and remember 🙂

    Thanks for that – and you would not believe how many of us there are at my work – in a "conservative" work environment. Have to love the army of "stealth" goths out there...

    And now onto a great day *pounce pounce*

    August 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Siouxsie

      Ahh, Visage and Masquerade! You must be a fellow Florida former Goth. Did our paths ever cross in Orlando or Tampa, I wonder?

      August 31, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
      • Larry Henson

        Quite possibly – I wandered around there in black pants and an Eva O shirt for the most part – the joys of being in school in the Navy...limited wardrobe and space for such.

        Now, I'm in a fairly quiet area in NC – the Hickory area. I still have plenty of music though 🙂

        September 1, 2011 at 1:42 am |
  88. Elmeaux

    Great article. I am "Goth on the inside." At 51 years of age, I think it's best. 🙂 Okay, sometimes I still wear my gloves.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Daniel

      Its good to know when I get into my 50s that I wont be alone either. I stopped dressing the part in my late 20's to try to get ahead in the corporate world. Part of me is still listening to Bauhaus with my long black hair... haha. I guess I only get to let him out to play toward the end of October. =)

      August 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
      • Elmeaux

        Right on, Daniel! There's something special about the end of October...with or without the clothes. :p

        September 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  89. mankus

    Goth's will not be hired here.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      Unless she is hot and has toned it down.
      P.S. goth girls, toned down doesn't just refer to dress and makeup. It includes not trying to drink my blood or cut me before, during, or after s e x.
      FYI.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Redneck Goth

      "Goth's will not be hired here."
      Apparently neither will people who are competent enough to understand basic English grammar and how to properly make a noun plural!

      August 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  90. Blaise

    Being "Goth" or liking "goth" things is just a difference in taste. I prefer darker subjects, I find them beautiful. Give me roses and dark romantic whispers, corsets and velvet. Love them. Don't disparage my Edwardian and I will leave your Jimmy Choos alone. It's art, it's subjective.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  91. Nave

    It's nice to see that Goth lives. We're due for a massive resurgence in my book.

    http://www.facebook.com/thebandlestat

    August 31, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  92. nikki

    I love this article. I had the same experience with my parents.. Its dead on!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      Although tempted (a few times) to hook up with you gothy chicks, I chose to stick with the shallow cheerleader types who happily rode me stupid all nite and asked for more in the morning.
      We laughed at Denny's together as we ate pancakes and eggs in the sunlight while discussing how far she squirted the last time before we got up to eat, being served by some half dead looking goth chick, who may or may not be hot, who knows under all that chit.
      P.S. I stomped azz on every goth dude I ever fought. Those boys are lil' girls don't ya know?

      August 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
      • Wanfuforever

        Grats on your douche award. I sure couldn't have lived without you're trenchant insight on the human condition. Graduate up and come at me, bro. PS, this punk believes in the second amendment, so make sure to bring tampons for the bullet holes.

        August 31, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
      • Jamie Strange

        You are very lucky you never met me. I can assure you that if you were stupid enough to try to make an "example" of me, you would have easily surpassed your Insurance deductible for the year five times over, and had the distinguished dishonor of having to tell your fellow Cube-Dwelling Douchebags that the reason you had to have a four inch boot heel surgically removed from you backside was due to the comeuppance you received from a Goth. 🙂

        On a side note, why all the cries for attention on this thread? If you hate people that are different from you so much, why are you so desperate to get attention from them? Surely there are plenty of like-minded douchebags for you to hang out with that will provide you with a safe, non-threatening cocoon away from all that you fear and loathe.

        Does it really bother you that much that we simply don't care about you or anything that your brain farts out that you foolishly assume passes for actual cerebral activity?

        August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
      • Daniel

        Look at me! Im a troll! Wheeee!

        August 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  93. Dante

    Boy did your article take me back. For me, being goth was all about feeling empowered and liberated. For whatever reason, and I can't explain it, it just made me feel comfortable to be myself in front of everyone else. It helped me transition from timid to confident.

    While I no longer sport the makeup (what would my boss and kids think???) I still can't seem to bring myself to like wearing anything other than black, no matter how many times I bring multi-colored articles into the dressing room to try on with the best of intentions. Some things will never change. 🙂

    August 31, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  94. WWRRD

    This is what happens to unattractive and / or overweight kids that are ostracized by the "cool" kids in school.

    It is a shame they ruin their appreance and live up to the low standard that others have told them they represent.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      Survival of the fittest. They invite violence and derision upon themselves.
      I learned this in 6th grade and became a fake person, who didn't get beaten and picked on every other day and scored quality azz unlike the sensitive boys who actually believed the crap they saw on tv about how to be happy and pick up chicks.
      People need to learn to adapt to their environment and sometimes that means being fake in public, pushing the version of yourself that others need to see so that they fear and respect you.
      Being oppressed sucks and too often the one most responsible for it is the person being oppressed. Stupid enablers.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
      • Jenk

        Can't tell if trolling... or just fucking retarded...

        August 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
      • jobie

        Jenk... A bit of both 😉

        August 31, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
      • agentgirl

        David, how many times were you dropped on your head as a child?? I would get this issue sorted out.

        August 31, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
      • stillgoth

        This says it all.
        You're like the homosexual who becomes the loudest homophobe in the room.
        You're a sad, broken person who, through years of squashing down your true self in a pathetic effort to "fit in" has turned yourself into a jealous, bitter stunted person.
        Now, years later, you see that those people who were never afraid to be their true selves are happy and successful, and that just eats you up, doesn't it?

        You spent all that energy trying to 'fit in' and be some loser highschool jock... and for what? You turned into Al Bundy, while the goths went on to grad school and careers doing what they love...

        BTW, beating someone up doesn't make you better. As a matter of fact, just the opposite. Maybe if you'd spent a bit more time studying and a little less time bullying, you'd have a more fulfilling life now.

        And "quality" sex by definition doesn't include having to be "fake" to get it. Imagine being attracted to someone for who they are as well as how they look. A radical concept, I'm sure.

        August 31, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Tracie

      Really? Because as one of those ostracized fat kids, I grew up and forged a career in a field that I love, gained a reputation for being being creative and innovative, and live surrounded by amazing friends who struggled with the same things I did as a teen. My standards were always high and I continue to live up to them. How about you?

      August 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Jenk

      Yeah it's a good thing you're so positive and do what you can to make us feel valuable. Oh wait.
      Fortunately, we don't need you to like us. I'm happy to be goth, and no one ever put me down or "made" me this way. It's what I am, and it's what I always have been.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • keith

      Wow I have not seen such a ignorant comment in my entire life. Looks are relative to the individual, everyone sees beauty different. I am sure there is people think you blend right into the crowd. I find it sad that you advocate conformity , what a dull and uninteresting would that would be.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • jobie

      Should those of us that are goth judge you based on your preferences? Life is based on choices. You choose to be who you are. I choose to be who I am. It's not about conformity. It's not about being over weight or cool. It's about who you are. Who are you to judge those that have made different choices than you? The majority? Everyone is different. No two people are the same. Yes, people over lap. Their beliefs, interests, tastes. These overlaps form cliques and social groups based on common goals and interests. The "cool" people join other "cool" people. The goths join other goths. It's human nature. Like calls to like. Look to your own self before judging other's choices. You may not like what you see. Learn to accept others. It's one of the hardest, yet most rewarding things you can ever do in your life.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Tha Chikin

      WWRRD – What a dou**ey thing to say! All Goths are Goths because they CHOOSE to be... not because the lame "cool kids" at school ostracized them. FYI – I have seen PLENTY of Goth chicks that were waaaaay smokin hot!

      August 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  95. Leafonthewind

    Gothic and Steampunk are not the same at all, but I think they look really good together. Both are influenced by the Victorian era, late 19th to early 20th centuries. Much of the clothing and jewelry work with both genres.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Jenk

      There's actually a huge overlap. In LA we have an (ostensibly) steampunk themed club called Malediction Society, and usually at least one of the Halloween events is Steampunk.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  96. Krissy

    ahh, to be goth and feel the love! this article really hit home for me, made me so nostalgic! Personally, It was never about receding from society, never about getting attention. It's just what I loved. No big deal. People like different things.

    I still wear all black, crosses, cat-eye makeup, and still listen to the music, and all it does is feel good on me. As an adult, I've streamlined the look quite a bit, and wear it to fit in more successfully in a corporate environment... but that just gave me the affectionate title of "business goth" from my collegues!

    I never understood why people get so anxious or aggressive because of something as benign as the way I dress or style myself. Truth is people are shallow and fail to recognize that it's our differences that make this world so wonderful.

    I hope that someday (maybe in the dawning of the age of aquarius), people will say "Are you a good person? Then I don't care how you choose to adorn your body."

    August 31, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  97. Kerry

    Your headline reads, "Where my Goths at."

    Don't you mean, "Where are my Goths at?" or, better "Where are my Goths?" Maybe you meant to say, "Where my Goths are."

    CNN Editors, are you sleeping?

    August 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • TBone Lover Not a Fighter

      Yes, I see what you are talking about but maybe it's meant to sound ghetto? For example...Where my homies at? You feel me?

      August 31, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
      • Viga

        It's a reference to the saying 'Where my dogs at?" that originated in early 2000's amongst the MTV generation. Despite all that, I hate this title.

        August 31, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • rico

      Wow, Kerry. You must be asleep, or at least very poorly versed in slang. It's a saying, it is not meant to be grammatically correct. Sheesh.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Kc

      Where my ________ at? is popular slang, not that I'm an expert on pop culture but I'd credit 702's "Where My Girls At" and DMX's "Where My Dogs At" for introducing it to the mainstream in the late nineties.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
      • cuso

        Actually creidt ill Al Skratch from 1994 Where my homies

        August 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • MaggieJS

      Get over it, Kerry – This wasn't meant to be grammatically correct – as has been pointed out, it's a slang term. If it were meant to be grammatical, it surely wouldn't be, as you suggested, "Where are my Goths at?" You just flunked Freshman English.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • QB

      "Where my ________ at?" is slang. It's not supposed to be proper English grammar.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • marc

      Wow....did you really just post that Kerry...REALLY

      August 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  98. jobie

    Loved the article. I'm a 37 year old corporate goth with bright purple bangs and long black hair. I dress normally. I wear normal makeup. I've never dressed the part other than a lovely collection of Docs and combat boots and brightly coloured hair. What I am inside has never really matched the outside. I'm a jeans and t-shirt girl. I may have more Nine Inch Nails shirts than the average joe, but I keep things casual. The thing with goths.. it doesn't really matter what you look like. It doesn't matter how you dress, how you wear your makeup, what colour your hair is. It's who you are, it's what you are. In this day and age, I honestly didn't expect the level of judgement and ignorance in the comments posted here. Perhaps I'm naive in some ways. People are individuals, not sheep. Some wear Capri pants and sweater sets, some wear fishnet and have pink dreads. Why does there have to be such judgement? Are people not capable of thinking for themselves? Expressing what they feel and who they are in how they look? Goths aren't depressed, attention seeking, death obsessed freaks. They're regular people with a different outlook on life. Get over it. Learn to accept people for who they are. Your life will be richer for it.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Aaron

      That was a beautiful response I deeply related too.
      I am certainly a goth and went through stages of dressing how I am and toning it down because I couldn't handle my depression at the time and the criticism from others. i am now dressing quite goth now, at age 21. But, I do want to emphasize on your definition of goth being something that isn't always seen on the outside. : ) beautiful, thanks for the passage.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • TBone Lover Not a Fighter

      Thank you for that! My thoughts exactly. The world could be a much better place if looks etc are put aside.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • high

      I totally agree. I've been a goth since the 80's and never dressed the part. I did have someone tell me once, "you never say much, but when you do speak, it's deep." 🙂

      August 31, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
      • Not High

        Was that a deep response to the article or are you simply "off" today?

        August 31, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • dirkK

      The trouble is Jobie that the references that this writer and many other people (who proclaim to BE goths) first describe the outer tappings of goth culture. The boots, the eyeliner, the artists they listen to. If goth is a way to BE, perhaps the goths that describe themselves should lead with the 'symptoms' of goth ... ness ... er ... hood. Whatever.

      August 31, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  99. Tha Chikin

    It is sad that back in the 80's and early 90's you could not express yourself the way you can today. Those that loved Goth music or anything other than the mainstream we forced to dress other than the way they really wanted to. The reason being is they were outcasts... even though most of those so called outcasts were quite intelligent and better at school than your typical kid. So you had to learn to blend in... on the weekends and after school it was a different story. I still blend in to this day. Most people at work have no clue that I am quietly working while Cradle of Filth, Slayer, Nine Inch Nails, or The Cure is being blasted in my earbuds.

    I still have fond memories of my beloved Goth friend Suzi passing hilarious notes to me in the hall before class declaring how she was going to "set me on fire" for not calling her the night before and how the guy she liked in her Biology class would be worshipping her like the goddess she truly is and kissing her combat boots before the end of class. Because of her and a several other friends, I was not afraid to express myself... it was still difficult though. We were about 12 "freaks" in a school of hundreds. Unfortunately, we all lost touch. Now, 20 years later, I still wonder what Suzi is doing... and yes, I want to set her on fire for not calling me for the last few decades.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Chadrina

      Oh, like, oh m'a gwod, like that'd totally freak me out, fer sure. Like, um, Suzie, you're totally on fire.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
1 2 3