Hey everyone! Sorry it’s been a while but college has gotten pretty awful with all the work. The October issue of Carpe Nocturne came out last week and my article about goths of color and an interview with youtuber Hello Batty was published. I got to meet and talk to many other goths of color about how excluded we all felt in a subculure that glorifies whiteness and being pale. Not everyone got featured in the article but the people that were not in it I decided to put them in this blog post. Here is the magazine article. The main question was, “Can you tell me your experiences with being a goth poc? Did you ever feel excluded or told that you didn’t belong?”
Extra submissions from other goths:
Jadis DeHere – “In general, being a goth POC gets your hostility from both sides. You have other POC asking you why you’re into “white people music” and you have goths saying you’re not goth enough because of your heritage. In my personal experiences, I’ve had goths make snarky remarks about my hair (comparing me to Nicki Minaj). I’m heard goth talk about the shape of certain body parts and how it looks odd in goth clothes. There are also microagressions that goth POC face constantly such as the stereotype that all goths are pale skinned. Non POC goths sometimes wear faux dreads, belly dancer’s outfits, or bindis but refuse to hear us out if we say are offended.”
James Fox – ” I’ve had varying reactions from people within the scene over the years, some ask me what I’m doing here (not in an angry way more a childlike and naive way) others assume I’m just putting on some kind of fancy dress costume and when I get home I’ll go back to baggy jeans and trainers, lot’s of people have assumed that I’m a drug dealer(I went through a massive phase of being asked for drugs at EVERY gig I went to a few years ago!) and quite often people try to talk to me with good intentions but come off as offensive/patronizing.
When I go to clubs/gigs I’m well aware I’m quite often the only POC there and I can deal with that but the type of situations I’ve just described heighten that isolation which makes me anxious this also make it a bit of a nightmare when it comes to dating as I feel people within the scene have a type and I’m miles away from that so I rarely bother approaching anyone cause I just assume they’re not interested.”
April (Noviceworks-tx.tumblr.com) – ” The issue was though—I never saw non-white people celebrated in gothic art, photoshoots, etc until a few trickled in sporadically around my late teens, not including the Gothic Lolita sub-bubble. And even then, the emphasis on being as pale as possible was really damaging. The general Goth aesthetic really reinforced the white supremacist ideals of beauty that already permeate the world at large, and it’s not really surprising considering the other values of the century classic goth is meant to emulate.
And in keeping with that, the more opulent styles of Goth—classic, vampire, romantic, etc—all center around worshiping the upper class of an era that got it’s wealth from ravaging POC countries. It would get really awkward looking at Victorian styles, or hearing people want to ‘go back’ to that era when I had in mind that I’d most likely be a slave in a sugar cane field at the time. The Gothic gods of literature, say HP Lovecraft, would have all been disgusted at the idea of me being able to read their work, and that always KILLED me.”
Patty (carryonmywaywardangel.tumblr.com) – “The strangeness when being a POC that is an ally for others, you can see the appropriation everywhere in Goth culture. Ankhs, crosses, typical religious symbols worn for their darker aesthetics. And also, the fashionably offensive and off-putting way Western goths try to incorporate Asian themes. From their flimsy fans to making their eyes purposefully thinner than usual. I understand they are appreciating Asian culture in their own way, but it’s racist.”
Many people came to me and thanked me for writing about this topic and I’m glad I could help inspire and motivate others!
Here is my article with Hello Batty that was featured as well.
I had been working on this interview with her for quite some time so it’s great I got it finished! She was a delight to talk to. Click on the photos to view them better.