By luck rather than intention, a lot of my immediate neighbours and the people I run into regularly are Goths and ex-Goths at the moment, which brings with it a kind of comfort in the familiarity of being around your people, which is a refreshing break from getting eyeballed by grannies who are sizing up your current hair colour with a view to their next blue rinse.
Chatting with said mates and neighbours over beer in the evenings means too that we often touch upon the philosophical and logistical questions that surround being a Goth today, and the other night, we got talking about how old we all were when we first identified as Goths.
I decided this might make for a good article, so I’m going to share my own thoughts on this below, followed by those of two of my crew.
I think I first started to identify as Goth at the age of around 13-I was, I now realise, a pretty anxious, depressed teen, and I also felt very trapped in a little rural backwater that was not the place I had spent my earlier years, where everyone’s best friend was their best friend since nursery and everyone held pretty much the same views.
I sure as shit didn’t identify with any of the other yoof around me, and the nearest city had what used to be referred to as a hippy shop-and spending most of my Saturdays in there as well as all of my money soon meant I was wearing a lot of black, burning a lot of incense, and wondering whether I should ask permission or forgiveness from my Ma for dying my hair black.
As I got older and moved away, I ended up in Blackpool with a solid Goth scene around me, so by about 19 I had already been on Team Goth for a few years.
Nat is 20 years old and is a makeup artist, who grew up with parents that were pretty into heavy rock and generally alt culture. Experimenting with makeup was how she got into the scene-having decided early on that she wanted to work with makeup, she was also exposed to a reasonable amount of Goth folk as well as an open minded, accepting family that let her do her thing.
Now, Nat is the Goth most Goth girls dream of being-Snow white colouring, jet black hair, and the type of winged liner that is so sharp it could cut a bitch.
Jack lives next door to me, and is in his 40’s. Jack was a bit late to the party-until he started dating his now wife, Tracey when he was 30, he was Norman Normal. Trace on the other hand is the type of girl that I dreamed of hanging out with when I was in my own yoof, and like many suburban boys, her charm and alt style smacked Jack upside the head when he first met her, and to use his own words, “he would have done whatever it took to get into her pants.”
Anyway, it worked-they have now been married for ten years, and Jack is if anything, more Goth and into the scene and music than Trace is now, so top job training up the boy, don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done!
Do you remember how old you were when you first identified as Goth? Tell me in the comments.