A Study of Gothic Subculture

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Updated 3-12-2009
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City of residence: Reston, VA

Age: 32

Length of time in the scene: 18 years

Occupation: Webmistress/Net tech

Education: High School

Musical taste: "Eclectic. Everything from Classical (Saint-Sains, Mozart, Pachelbell) to Industrial (KMFDM, NIN, etc.). The only music types that I just don't care for are bluegrass/country-western, 'easy listening,' disco of any type, and gangsta rap."

Distinctions in appearance: "My piercings and tattoo are not all that readily apparent. I think that body modifications should be private, just for you and your very closest companions. My style is characterized by my natural paleness (makeup is not necessary), and my wardrobe of jewel-toned velvets and laces. All black is too unimaginative to be Goth. Corsets are one of my oldest and most telltale dressing favorites."

Hobbies, activities, interests: "Art - drawing, painting, airbrush, anything I can get my hands on. Literature - not just the trashy, poorly written modern best-seller stuff, but the wonderfully moody, verbose classics (Blackwood, Poe, Doyle, Lovecraft and the like). I also enjoy well-done sci-fi by authors like Daniel Keyes Moran (Long Run, Emerald Eyes). Art history - It's nice to know a Waterhouse from a Rossi. There's always the sociological insights on a given time period and place that only the study of their art can give you. Sci-Fi & Fantasy movies and conventions - for the escapist bits of me and to satisfy my what-ifs. Medieval recreations - the best way to camp! Writing - I just can't limit my imagery to canvas. Words are just as potent as pictures, and carry ideas more explicitly in some cases. Computers and the internet - I've always needed to know how important things work, and being fairly bright, I've always been able to figure it out well enough to show/help others. Computers aren't going to disappear anytime in my lifetime, and everything is tied into them on one level or another now, so why not? Mythology - regardless of what culture it comes from, it's always wonderful and brilliant. Not to mention it's another way to understand who they were and what they were thinking. I have also undertaken the production of a magazine devoted to reshaping people's perceptions of Goth and started up a web design contracting company."

Spiritual, philosophical, religious affiliation: "There are many truths, not just one. All gods are the same to me, so long as their followers keep their religions to themselves and don't mess with my life."

Goals, dreams: "Only to be excellent in everything I do, and to do as much as I can."

Do you consider yourself gothic?: "Yes, I'd say I'm Goth. Why? I really couldn't say. It could be anything from the disassociation with my society I felt in '79 that has yet to go away to the frantic need to express myself creatively as an individual, a philosopher, a poet and an artist." Some of her musings and explanations of Goth can be found at Defining Goth and Goth with a Sledgehammer. "I am not at all attracted to the current group of people calling themselves Goth. I find them a grotesque mockery of the culture based on a media stereotype. When I became Goth, we were still the New Romantics, and we were attracted to each other for acceptance, creativity, and mental stimulation, all of which were lacking from our so-called peers and families."