Monday, March 26, 2012

Non-Club Goths and the People Who Love Them


An email I received today reminded me of a post I did on my other (comatose) blog some time back, so with a bit of editing, I found it applicable for the EVGA audience with its wonderful sensibilities and super power called Common Sense.

I will do my best to make the most of this post, and honour the sweet couple featured herein. The real pleasure in this is that I get to (belatedly) share two friends’ happy event, brag just a little bit about my handiwork (a wedding veil), and shed a little light on an often forgotten portion of the Gothic community: Non-scene goths and the people who love them.

A year ago this past All Hallow’s Eve, I very regrettably missed a wedding that was right up my alley. Yes, there are days when I really do miss writing vows and performing unique weddings. In this case, the bride and groom are well known to me and have been dear friends for several years. Since I was unable to travel north to the wedding, I offered to make the bride’s veil and she honoured me by accepting. She is a bubbly redhead with a smile that goes on for days and a laugh to match. Her zest for life is matched by her creative talent and sinister sense of humour. Yes, she is Goth. She has never been the club-attending, Goth-forum posting, Darker-Than-Thou stereotype that is so often attributed to those of us of the Gothesque persuasion, but she is Goth, nonetheless, and wears it well.

Her husband is a fantastic teddy bear of a man who makes a phenomenal friend, and I would imagine, due to his quick and twisted wit, a formidable adversary. But wait… he, however, is not Goth, although I hear he does, on occasion, wear a bit of black. How does this work? You ask…
Simple. Like so many brilliantly compatible couples out there, their relationship is based on mutual respect and appreciation, on family, quality time and love. For as many common interests as they share, there are those they do not, which is a testament to their strength as individuals.

Now why do I bring all of this up? Because of the beauty of true individuality, which is what so many claim is a HUGE part of the Gothic culture. Like couples that do not need to be carbon copies of one another, members of the Gothic community may emulate aspects of one another that they admire, but come to the table with the ability and finesse to revel in their individuality, complementing each other as part of a larger, brilliant dark tapestry. The culture is not built on, nor validated strictly by one’s attendance at “the club” every week, or the number of fellow Goths who know their name or can brag about “hang out” time spent in each others’ company. One need not post to all the prestigious forums or know all the gossip to BE Goth. The Goth club scene is a wonderful venue for mass celebration of all things Decadent and Dark, but it is one of many facets of the lifestyle. From Bat's Day to cruises, art shows and tea parties, Goths are delightfully brilliant when it comes to events. And they do not "turn back into" non-Goths when not in crowds. They ARE Goth; they ATTEND events.

And let us not forget our "Goths-at-heart".. but that is another topic for another night (very soon).

Over the years I have heard from so many people who embrace the lifestyle, the fashions, the music, the ambiance in their own way, with their own likes and dislikes. Last I checked, no one lost their Dark Membership because they owned the wrong music/boots/brand of absinthe, or even (GASP) disliked absinthe. I have also met many who base their entire self-worth on how many times they’ve been to Convergence, how many pictures are on their Myspace posing with Voltaire or the number of corsets in their closet. Please don’t misunderstand, I adore Voltaire and have my own aspirations of one day owning a veritable plethora of corsets and bustle skirts for each day of the year, however, they are among the things I like ABOUT Gothic life, not tic-marks on my Gothy scorecard. And to anyone who judges the “Goth Points” of others based on these things, I can only say… “Lighten up. You are probably missing out on some incredible friendships, and making yourself look like a pseudo-elitist ass.” And yes, I will say it all with a sincere smile, of course. I do not wish to be rude. Only honest.

So please, always be true to yourself in how you embrace and display your Dark Side. Oh, and don't forget to bring cookies.

Keep it Spooky, ruffled and set to good music,

Raven

4 comments:

  1. Great post!So true. Although we still go to a few club nights, Whitby and several other large gatherings of goths it does not define us. We have a social life that involves many things and many non-goths and have also brought up two lovely(non-goth) children. Being who you are shouldn't be measured by a gothometer and it drives me mad when I hear more and more people being judgemental and giving "goth" advice that is laughable. What I have loved about being part of the tribe known as "goth" is that it lets you be an individual and celebrates difference... and actually, in the early days of goth most of us were wearing a lot more colour...we bought things from charity shops or the high street and customised them. It was never about owning the right goth labels as there weren't really any and we couldn't have afforded them and gig tickets anyway.
    I love the way the scene has evolved and encompassed the cybers, the steampunks, the gothabillies and many more and, I admit, I do love my corsets and bustle skirts and I'm still passionate about the music. But I think that goth is part of who you are not a set of rules that we shouldn't deviate from or we'd all be very dull shallow people and not much fun to be around and who'd want to be a part of a scene like that?

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  2. I completely agree. I do not believe "the scene" is what defines a Goth. I've gotten the question, "So, how's the local scene?" far too many times. It's always done out of some place of judgment. Upon which I'm supposed to name drop local "important" people and complain about how the scene sucks. You know, same old pretentious rhetoric.

    I do like to go to events and such. But not out of some need to have my "goth card" validated. It's because I find them entertaining! I do encourage people to give some events a try simply because I want them to have fun too. Not because I want to make them a "true goth" or some nonsense.

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  3. First let me say "YAY!!" Blogger is finally allowing me the ability to respond to posts.
    Now to business... many thanks everyone for the comments. You illustrate beautifully the very point of my post. While I really do enjoy Goth nights and events, life doesn't always allow for the nocturnal indulgences. Events can be a blast, and there is such a variety of different things to do, but I know it is definitely a challenge for many of us who don't live near these events. Too bad I don't have a travelling show. A bit like "Something Wicked This Way Comes" but with better outfits. =)

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