To the people who call us “elitist,” “gatekeepers,” etc., this is for you.

Before I first got into goth exactly a year ago, I had no idea goth was a music genre. Before, I had been convinced it was some sort of aesthetic, mindset or fashion, and that it would be something I could never pull off. I'm not a very attractive person, and I'm quite literally the opposite of a brooding goth stereotype.

When I got into the music finally, goth no longer became cool to me, but in a very good way. My expectations were subverted, and what I found was a very authentic community with a passionate love for music. I finally belonged. This was much better than something I thought was previously too artificial for my liking.

And that's what I want to say: goth isn't "cool" like you think it is. It baffles me that people view me and others like we're mythical creatures of the night or something, which couldn't be farther from the truth. We're nerds. Music nerds. We gush about post-punk music, we attend clubs and dance like goofballs with our friends, we make memes about Robert Smith and puns about Bela Lugosi's Dead. But it's so fun. This is what goth is to me.

I just want to say that you don't need the goth label to be popular. Goth styles do not exist. We don't all dress like Victorian vampires and hide in the shadows. We don't always wear black. We don't hate people and the world. Goth is about being yourself against a world that wants you to put on a mask and pretend to be someone else. And most goths, shockingly, are just like you and me; regular people just living life to the best.

So then, why do we care about the goth label so much?

It's how we find our music. It's how we find our local scenes. It's how we find each other. Goth is the music that binds us together and celebrates what the music has done to change our lives. It means something very specific to us. That's why we get frustrated when you use "goth" in contexts that don't pertain specifically to our subculture. It makes it harder to really find each other. Worse, some people may never find us because of it.

You may not like it, but you're either a goth, or not.

And it's ok to not be goth.

submitted by /u/Indigo137
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