A Study of Gothic Subculture

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Updated 3-12-2009
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Michelle gave this one to me to use.

City of Residence: Rockville, MD

Age: 17

Length of time in the scene: "Only one year. It took me 17 years to discover the persona hiding among the blood and bone. So yes, I'm just starting out, you could say."

Occupation: "Student / Executive Intern at local city hall. I work in the Public Relations office so I write a lot of press releases. I also interview various citizens and City officials for articles in the little newsletter that the office puts out. (I also write a number of these articles.) When the 'cable guys' need me, I write voice-overs for the TV channel the city has, and I help with a lot of the video and audio editing that goes into that channel.

Education: "I intend to graduate in June of 1998. So far, this prospect seems feasible. Hopefully I will be able to attend either Towson University in Baltimore, or Emerson College in Boston. I plan to major in communications."

Musical taste: "Big Electric Cat fits my fancy, along with the three Rasputina goddesses, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Switchblade Symphony, Front Line Assembly's Delerium project, the earlier works of the Cure. I could do without such groups as Christian Death and Shine, however."

Distinctions in appearance: "My hair varies from red to purple, but my blond streak always remains constant. I live in my boots. My big boots."

Hobbies, activities, interests: "Photography, various creative video endeavors, trying to stay out of everyone's way, being completely random, making pointless and pitiful attempts at bad eclectic beat poetry:

My Chevy's hair got caught in his eye
so I blinked and breathed towards the freeway
Exit 1-A, blue sign, purple girl standing on the bridge
holding my carrot doll
His cabbage sneezed."

"I'm enrolled in an advanced art program at my school where we are trained to perfect our artistic abilities for three years and then in our senior year we have to choose a conceptual theme to carry throughout our work and a type of media to focus on. At the end of the year we are evaluated by some important official from Whales and our work is presented in a show. My chosen media is video and I have to do several projects using video and my theme which deals with society and it's skewed standards of accepted behaviors and appearances. My videos usually have two aspects to them: a) they contain a 'rant' or voiced-over tirade about conformity and acceptance and b) some specific film technique or treatment (usually stop-motion or strobe effects). The result is a strange collage of visual and acoustical treats."

Spiritual, philosophical, religious affiliation: "Eclectic Wicca. I'm a founder of our Avonlea coven. I learned about Wicca through my best friend, Sharya. Her grandmother 'taught her the ways' and so Sharya taught them to me. When I learned about Wicca, and how personalized the religion is, I took to it right away. Wicca lets you focus on the natural energies that flow around everyone and everything, and it allows you to try and tap that energy and in the process improve yourself and your environment. Because it's such a personalized religion, you can't really be wrong, which is also an aspect I like."

Goals, dreams: "To eat as many carrots as I can, in as short a time as I have left on the planet. Seriously, I would like to work in public relations as a video or radio tech, maybe produce some award-winning artsy films dealing with conformity and the lack of acceptance in society."

Do you consider yourself gothic?: "I think I have gothic tendencies. At times I can be an anti-goth, bouncing around like some deranged energizer bunny. Other times I take on a completely different mask. When I'm feeling gothic, I feel beautiful. I think beauty in the eyes of goths is so completely different from that which is considered beautiful in the eyes of the general society. I feel beauty for a goth is androgynous for one thing. Natural boundaries set for women and men don't quite exist. I like feeling that way. It's easier to melt, sometimes, than to adhere to strictly defined, but not written, rules. However, to me 'gothic' isn't just a way of acting or dressing, it's more of a level of acceptance. Goths to me are those who don't want to follow the predefined guidelines for living, as set by society's candy-cane and puppy dog standards. Goths portray their inner-selves with the same fervor that most people try and cover their true selves. Thus, we tend to be more accepting."

8/28/97 last updated 10/22/97