So what's this all about then?
This site aims to give a light-hearted overview of the many different kinds of characters one may find within the Gothic subculture.
Yes, that's right - within the "scene," it's often pointed out that there are many different "types" of Goths. Goth is not, and never has been, a fully unified and consistent subculture in terms of fashion or music. There are Goths who favour period clothing and slow, atmospheric music; and at the opposite end of the spectrum, there are Goths who don bizarre futuristic fashions and dance the night away to fast-paced electronic music. And in between one may find a huge number of other styles.
Of course, every Goth is unique, with his or her own style of dress, music taste and aesthetic sensibilities. This is why I have called these illustrations Goth [stereo]Types, as this most accurately describes what I have presented here: a stereotype, or archetype, of different Goths recognised in the Gothic spectrum.
And what is Goth?
Ah, the eternal question. Hopefully, this site can help answer it!
Basically, Goth is a subculture of people who are identified in terms of their fashion, music tastes and lifestyle. Although, as this site demonstrates, there are many variations on the theme of Goth, most Goths can be identified by the following:
1. Prevalence of black.
This is probably the single most common feature to all Goths. Although there are exceptions, many Goths wear an unusually large amount of black clothing, dye their hair black, wear black eyeliner, and choose black personal items. Even those Goths such as Cyber Goths who wear extremely bright colours tend to combine them with black.
2. A fascination with "the dark." In other words, the Gothic aesthetic is generally about finding beauty or interest in things that are "dark." This could be manifested in a love of Gothic or horror literature, an appreciation of old "spooky" houses, churches and graveyards, finding inspiration from films and art depicting dark visions of the future, and, of course, a fascination with death.
3. A love of "Goth" music.
Many Goths would argue that this is the most important factor that determines whether one is a Goth or not. However, what music can be classified as "Goth" is an incredibly difficult issue. It is generally accepted that certain post-punk bands from the 80s such as Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy and Siouxsie and the Banshees are definitely Goth, but outside these the boundaries begin to wane. There are particular music genres that are often considered to be "Goth," such as Darkwave, Ethereal, Death Rock, Industrial and EBM, but even many of these are not considered Goth by purists. And in the modern era there are even more bands whose "Goth or Not" status is always under review, especially those in the Metal genre.
To make matters even more complex, these different "Goth" music genres frequently don't even sound like each other - Death Rock and EBM are like chalk and cheese. However, they do all tend to have one point in common - darkness. Almost all Gothic music can be described as "dark," be it in terms of sound or lyrics.
4. An "alternative" lifestyle
By "alternative," I mean"doing things that most people don't usually do." Goths, in general, go to different bars and clubs to socialise than non-Goths, have different hobbies from non-Goths, wear fashion that is different to non-Goths, and may often have different occupations to non-Goths.
This of course could apply to any subculture, particularly those that are linked to music scenes such as the Punk or Hippie subcultures. But, as this site demonstrates, there is an incredible amount of overlap between Goth and other subcultures, which is why such a diversity of Goths exists. Very often, where Goth ends and another subculture begins can be impossible to identify.
These four points hopefully summarise what Goth is all about. If one tends to dress in weird, predominantly black clothing, likes things that are dark, enjoys listening to dark music and simply lives in a way that is somewhat unusual, they are probably going to be called a Goth by someone at some point.
For a more detailed explanation for what a Goth is, simply start looking at all the different types of Goths on this site!
If you still want to know more about Goth, check out the works by Mick Mercer, Voltaire and Paul Hodkinson, who have far more authority than me to go around saying what is and isn't Goth.
And you are..?
My name's Megan "Trellia" Balanck, I'm British, I was born mid-eighties and I have lived a somewhat Gothy lifestyle for about ten years now.
Outside my interest in the Gothic subculture, I like art, graphic design, website design, and writing hence this site. I also love Japanese culture and am fluent in Japanese.
I started cataloging these Goth [stereo] Types as a bit of fun some four years ago, but I still enjoy it today. My work has been featured in the German magazineKunstStoff Kulturmagazin and the new bookSchillerndes Dunkel.
As for what sort of Goth I am? Well, I suppose my connections to Japan would make me a J-Goth. But I go somewhere smart I like to wear elegant period clothing such as those in the Victorian Goth orMedieval Goth vein, but when I go out to bars or clubs I prefer more creative clothes in Rivethead or Fetish Goth fashions. Musically, I like a lot of Trad Goth but I equally like Cyber Goth music. I was certainly a Metalhead and a Baby Bat a few years back, and perhaps I still am. I very much like Gothic literature and old buildings, giving me somewhat Romantic Gothleanings. On a good day I'm a Perky Gothand on bad days I'm a Mopey Goth.
I'm a pretty typical Goth, I suppose!
Contact me at trellia at gmail dot com.