color me goth: acceptance

September 12, 2011

Being part of a subculture, I know all too well that there are people out there that will not accept you based on who you associate with or how you talk or how you look; way before they get to know you. Being a goth of color just adds to how people perceive you. Most, if not all, Goths can tell you a story of a rude encounter with someone outside of the sub culture who hassled them for being goth. Some younger goths can tell you of their struggle to prove themselves as non poseurs within the community. Being an “ethnic” Goth, I not only faced discrimination from the mainstream but from those of my race as well.

Words by Jasmine

A Goth of color, when you find them, can tell you of countless times they were harassed on popular goth community sites or ignored at a goth club because of their race and the pure shock they felt that those who have the same interest as them and have supposedly open minded views are actually as closed minded as the dumbest internet troll. To read more on experiences like that click here. I personally have not had that issue, mainly because I lurk on such sites and most people of the alternative world I have found pleasant, and they did not assume I was a poseur just because I was a different shade than their own skin. My issue with acceptance lays outside the culture like most Goths.

Other African-Americans did not know how to respond to me. Some were scared of me and avoided me, which was fine cause that was no different than any other person outside of the culture would respond.Others who didn’t understand me would write me off as “acting white”. This bothered me the most because goth is not exclusively white, it is for anyone who welcomes the dark and spooky as well as the light. I’m not acting white I’m acting Goth; in fact I’m not acting, I am Goth! It is true that the majority of Goths are white but that does not make it white. I am proud of my Gothiness and that I differ from the mainstream just as I am proud of my heritage and race.

I have no wish to “act black” or conform to whatever behavior the world sees appropriate for a young black American woman to have. I don’t crave a need for acceptance from the mainstream world, just like many other Goths, I just want a little understanding on their part, I’ll even go as far as to say on both our parts.

Jasmine’s blog: http://www.colormegoth.com