What Makes YOU a Goth?

I’ve seen some interesting posts on YouTube and Facebook about the grey area of being considered a goth by other people (inside and outside the culture) and considering yourself a Goth. This is the conclusion I’ve come to.

Goth, is a label you chose for yourself. There are many labels we choose to apply to ourselves and some we have no control over. I am a mixed Caribbean, valley girl inclined, Goth female. There’s probably more I could use to define myself but you get the picture. Seeing how people can like things that influence the culture and not call themselves Goth and not like things and call themselves Goth, it is something you choose for yourself. That’s it. Whether it is a phase (as many things in life are) or your a constant part of your identity, you, and you alone decide how much that is going to mean to you.

Goth on a superficial level is a really easy way to narrow down the people we might be interested in getting to know better. Even in the community, you are not going to friends with everyone, for a variety of reasons. Goth can be expressed in different ways to different degrees but at least your chances are greater in a goth club than say going to an entire city and hoping you find one person you might be interested in.

The other thing I’ve noticed is the defining line between goth and non goth. There isn’t one. Goth doesn’t harshly separate itself from the rest of society. It borrows and shares influences, it recreates popular culture for whatever needs it has, and comments on it at times. This idea that Goth is complete and isolated within itself is not true, although it is different enough to get its own label and from branches further into itself (which is pretty cool). So you can like Hello Kitty and still be goth, you can date a non goth and still be goth, and oh my god yes you can listen to Top 40 and still be goth.

What is important is that if you do call yourself goth, you recognize that there is a community with a semi permeable membrane with the rest of society. (The label doesn’t give you license to be rude or hurtful towards other people and it  doesn’t make you better than anyone else.) If I may be so bold to say, it is really appreciated when you try to give something back to the community in whatever way you can. Pay some attention to the things that led you here and champion those things if you honestly do like them. When something is truly a part of your identity, it’s like a muscle and honey I’d love to see you flex.

Did I miss anything? I’m sure I’ll comment more on this later. You can follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and YouTube for more wonderful things.

Until next time,

Z.e.D.

5 thoughts on “What Makes YOU a Goth?

  1. Asylum Attendant

    Great post! So often, it seems that people want to make Goth rules and requirements for entry into the subculture. It turns people away from the culture because they don’t feel included. Applying the label to yourself is really the only way to do it and that’s awesome. I’m a Top 40 listener and a Goth. lol

  2. Zuri

    Hullo from a 40 year old rivethead. 🙂 You’ve got some great posts going here! Goth can be very inclusive, but it can also be very catty – see how crusty old grumpygoths treat baby bats. I just try to not take any of it too seriously.

  3. Raven Winterborn

    I turned 40 and beyond. I have never been so frustrated in my life. Coming from a small town in a country with no goth tradition, this life is utterly a nightmare. All I get from dying my hair black and dressing in a non-common way is comments behind my back saying i.e. “oh, that midlife crisis in front of us, yeah I know who you are talking about” or the polite wall of silence. But this, just this: “When something is truly a part of your identity, it’s like a muscle and honey I’d love to see you flex.” will keep me going for months ahead. Thank you!

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