I’ve never been in the goth closet. I grew up in a metal/hippy household so there was nothing to hide from, My father was a biker and a metalhead/hippy, and my mum is into goth clothes and gothic styles and is also into heavy metal. It was never a shock that I read Anne Rice, dressed the way I did or made the kind of sketches I did, not to my parents anyway.
My friends were in two minds, and many people including my dad’s exes thought it was a phase I was going through because of my parents divorce. Ehem. If anything, I’ve grown into the subculture, and cannot wait to start exploring some of the goth clubs (that are miles away from me of course).
There have been times when I’ve needed to tone down my look, and for a whole year I did not dress remotely goth, so I guess people forgot I was goth, when I dressed the way I wanted to again people started acting as if I’ve lost my mind.
Being goth has not been the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with, I was bullied for the way I looked and what I liked anyway. I understand why some people choose to hide it from their families, people are ugly, they can be monsters, they will turn away from you, and sometimes even physically harm you for looking different, some people have even lost their lives.
Where I currently live, there are no goths, none. People look at me with amusement, shock and disdain, and sometimes it affects me, sometimes I let it go, sometimes I try to go The Lady of The Manners route and smile and be polite.
Sometimes when you come out to your parents, or friends, they will act as if it is a phase, I can’t advise you what to do in a situation like that, I simply ignored any naysayers. Eventually they will stop caring that you look like Morticia/Mary Poppins, sometimes they won’t and they will expect you to grow out of it, because you’re not a teenager anymore. At times like these I would talk to them and find out what their concerns are, and talk through them, explain that the goth subculture is not dangerous and that it gives you pleasure, and a sense of belonging, that many goths hold down jobs and pay their bills, raise kids, and remain goths well into their adult lives. For some people it is a phase, but for many of us, it is not.
If your friends no longer want to hang out with you, they were not your friends, I’m sorry but real friends don’t drop someone because they express themselves through the goth subculture.
Society is a tough gig, and sometimes we have to tone it down to get around, sometimes you need to accept that, sometimes you shouldn’t, you need to pick your battles carefully. Check out Gothic Charm school, Jillian offers some great advice to those who experience conflict and issues with family and friends due to their chosen subculture.
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