Monday, January 19, 2009

On Being Goth:

Eat a Pomme’ asked yesterday ‘What is Goth?’ She wanted to know if she was one and how other Goths knew that they were?

I can’t answer her question out right, mostly because Goth is such a broad term. There are so many groups under that umbrella. I told her that, to embrace her dark sided interests and be able to enjoy it and not hide from it was a good start.

I am at a disadvantage because I am older. I was Goth before Goth was a thing to be. I wanted to look like Snow White when I grew up. With her pale skin, dark red lips and black hair. I preferred black and white pictures of faces to color.

As a child I would sit in my bedroom alone and paint my lips with my mother’s black eye liner and relish the effect. I played in cemeteries while the other kids went to the park to play. I watched the original black and white Dark Shadows on TV each day with guilty pleasure. I followed The Addams Family cartoons as they came out in the New Yorker magazine long before it was a TV show.

There was no punk rock culture to group with. No Doc Martin’s, or vampire films. I was busy starting to raise a family of my own when the group of ‘Goth’ formed without me. I was trying to be a soccer mom and peace activist. I didn’t fit, but I did try.

I lived a closeted Goth life decorating my house Victorian before it was in to do it. I had Victorian costumes in the back of my closet that only came out when I was home alone. I studied the Victorian’s obsession with death.

There was a divorce for other, larger, reasons then my hidden Gothiness. I tried on other personas looking for a fit. I tried to be ‘normal.’ I had children to raise, a job to keep so I could feed them, my life was not ready for me to break out all Gothy.

Mountain Man (my current husband of 19 years) won my heart when he wanted to walk in a cemetery on our first date. He is not Goth but understands my need for it. He knows that there is a little Goth in everyone. After my breast cancer I shed the last of the ‘normal’ and embraced my Gothy self in full.

The trouble I find with the Goth culture is not in the group itself. It is in the media version of Goth. Yes, teens do have their depressions, black moods and rebellion. There are people who fancy themselves Vampires and/or Satan worshipers. That is their choice to make. But that doesn’t make them Goth by it’s self and all Goths are not those things too. I myself am not those things at all. It has been a long time since I was a dark moody teen and I am a Christian in faith.

I wear a lot of black clothing. I wear black lips and nails a lot. I like to walk in cemeteries and take pictures of myself and others in gothy clothing of all kinds. I am happy and love to laugh even though my son died nine years ago.

I am a Perky Victorian Romantigoth. Talking about death is one of my favorite subjects. But I am all grown up and have other interests also. I am Lady Euphoria Deathwatch but ever so much more too. In short my being Goth is a fit not a choice. I choose the type of Goth I like to be.

If you have any advice or information about being a Goth for ‘Eat a Pomme’ I’m sure she would like to hear from you while she explores her inner Goth self.


Kristin Dombrowski said...

Hello Lady! What a great entry. I really enjoyed learning about your goth-discovery. I also like how you call yourself "Perky Victorian Romanticgoth"--it's clever, witty, and descriptive. Although it is hard for me to call myself 'goth' or even completely understand what it mean, there is one thing I have discovered: No matter what, there is always that smirk, that laughter, and that energy within the goth culture that allows for people to laugh, love and explore. Morbidity and misery are not the central forces of goth, but being able to look at all aspects of life--light or dark--with equal admiration and curiosity are. In your own life, it seems that you have admirably learned to explore and respect both the light and the dark, all the with a touch of humor, and a beautiful taste and style!

Velvet Cyberpunk said...

Hello there! I know I don't comment a lot in your blog, but I always read and it's entries like this that is why. You exemplify what I find so good and appealing about Goths. I have been called a goth, but then I've been called a cyberpunk, a hippie, a bohemian, and a beat, so who knows what I am? Probably all of those. It's a beautiful thing when you can embrace who you are, so many take their whole lives and never know. Your peaceful serenity makes me happy, and that's why I will continue to read your blog. Peace to you sister.