A Study of Gothic Subculture

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Updated 3-12-2009
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City of Residence: Erie, PA

Age: 17

Length of time in the scene: 3 yrs

Occupation: Student

Education: "Junior in high school."

Musical taste: "Non-mainstream alternative -- Silverchair, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson (I know he isn't goth), Nirvana (it has a nice beat). I like Our Lady of Peace and some Metallica too. Some Goth/industrial -- Siouxsie and the Banshees, Skinny Puppy, and a few others that I currently forget. New age -- Enya is a fave, Lorena McKennitte (she has a very moving, haunting voice.)

Distinctions in appearance: "I'm naturally extremely pale. I have long hair (to the behind) that is dyed black."

Hobbies, activities, interests: "Web site design, dark gothic poetry, shopping, hanging out with friends, clubbing (underage ones), cafes. I've been learning Mandarin Chinese and Arabic for the past five years. I study Mandarin and Arabic because I want a career in international trade or relations and want to work in those areas where either or both languages are spoken. I love challenges and I wanted to learn a tough language. Arabic is a beautiful, relaxing language that absolutely sounds like heaven if said correctly. I adore reading big thick mystery novels or Edgar Allen Poe, or Stoker or Rice, etc."

Spiritual, philosophical, religious affiliation: "I was raised Roman Catholic, but I am exploring converting to Islam or Judaism once 21. I know in my heart that there is a religion out there that is suited to me. I find Catholicism too strict, and Christianity too corrupted over the centuries, too many Christians follow it blindly. I talked to a priest and he seemed a bit uneasy as he only knew half of what I wanted to know. I'm still not sure if I even want to be in a religion. I believe in God, it's central to my being, but I can't believe that Jesus is my savior. Only our actions save ourselves."

Goals, dreams: "Long term, I want a masters in International trade. Short term, I want to get a scholarship to spend a year as a high school exchange student through Rotary to Britain. It doesn't have to be Britain it can be anywhere. I hope that Rotary will accept me, it's hard to get in as they're very prestigious. If I got accepted, I'd spend my senior year overseas. I have been overseas as a exchange student to Morocco with Rotary before, and I like living and working with non-Americans. I loved Morocco, and I adored my host family. I spent half the time in culture shock, but you get over it and learn about yourself in the process. It strips you of your 'normal' self, and you must build your true self from nothing. I have always had a thing for other nations and foreign governments. I spend my slacker summers watching MTV and CNN. I really find it interesting when they talk about what's occurring all over the world."

Do you consider yourself gothic?: "Yes, I am a natural one though, as in I am dramatic and somber, but not depressed. I love dark colors as it suits my tastes. Everything gothic suits me, I don't have to try to fit into the mold. I am naturally in the mold. I suppose someone who is deeply dramatic and can carry it off. Someone who is also into dark poetry and doesn't mind thinking realistically about the dark forces of life and can accept them. Too many people don't understand that life is full of darkness and misery naturally. Thinking otherwise is deceitful to yourself."

8/15/97 updated 9/27/97