Does listening to goth music in of itself make someone a goth?

I've witnessed an enormous amount of goths claim this. No matter how much I try to make myself clear and bring up points as to why I think every element of the subculture makes up what it is and doesn't lose its goth label just because it's not the thing goth is based on, all I get is "it's a MUSIC based subculture, I don't get what's so hard to understand about that".

My argument was that goth fashion is goth fashion regardless of whether or not the one who wears it is goth. You're calling it that, so what are people supposed to call it? I get it that goths don't like how the visual style has become more popular than the music, so much so that the general public instantly associates goth with a visual thing and rarely music, but that doesn't change anything as to how labeling this style of dress "goth" would be accurate.

The goths I spoke to seem to be absolutely convinced that if you really like the music, you instantly become enveloped by the lyrics, melody and atmosphere and become a true, authentic goth, which is absolutely unrealistic. People experience everything, especially music, differently. Am I crazy for saying you're not instantly a member of an entire subculture if you like to listen to the music it is based on?

When I was in high school, I was called a metalhead by young and old and I absolutely hated it. My friend group was a bunch of alternative kids and we did listen to quite a bit of metal, but I did not identify with the metalheads one bit. I'm very picky about my music and I don't have a main genre I like, yet metalheads acted as if we have some kinship that goes without saying.

As far as what I think makes someone goth, it's being able to really connect to the inspiration that births all the music, visuals, atmosphere and sentiments associated with goth. Music doesn't just appear, it's created. It's the most important part of the subculture, but someone who simply likes to listen to it doesn't necessarily connect to it or the others who do. Subcultures exist because of the people and their desire for kinship, listening to music is just called listening to music, dressing a certain way is just called dressing a certain way, and neither instantly drops a label onto you.

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submitted by /u/FormerPhotograph330
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