For the record, this happened to me eons ago and not really applicable in my life today. Some of these situations happened when I came back to goth and some of them happened before I went normal and was fresh out of High School; these are very old stories, indeed! I stumbled upon someone I knew from my past and I was reminded of these events, hence where the inspiration to write this article came from! While this might be taken out of context, I sincerely wish others would find humour in this as I do.A lot of it is tongue and cheek and sometimes sarcasm doesn't always get translated into text very well but here it goes:
Most goths feel that they are not goth enough. We often feel pressured to meet some unattainable standard in order to be considered "goth". We all probably encountered elitism in some form or other and I think a lot of us expect it.
Then there are the non-goth people or normals who know nothing about the subculture (but they like Marilyn Manson so they think they know ALL about us...sigh) and they find ways to try and question our goth cred.
I, unfortunately, knew some of these people. While they are clearly not goth and do not consider themselves part of the subculture, they find things, as trivial as they maybe, to question your validity within the subculture. Out of nowhere, they become experts on being goth. They never dressed the part or went to a club and they have no personal interest in the subculture but they know more about it than you!
I will give you two examples:
The first one is the friend you meet for coffee. You think it is just a cup of coffee, it is not like you plan on going in full club gear. If some of you do, my hat's off to you. For myself, personally, I don't always "dress to impress" for a cup of coffee. If I am not wearing jeans and a t-shirt, I am usually wearing something like this:
Now this is where the comments come out: "you don't really look goth" or "I thought you were going to wear something else" You see where the two extremes meet? I am not goth enough to some people or I am getting the impression that they are embarrassed to be seen with me in public. I am sorry I am not going to try and find a happy medium to please you. I wear whatever the fuck I want!
In all honesty, these comments annoy me, they don't hurt me. I just roll my eyes and shrug it off. I don't dress to please other people.
This is the second example: You have that one non-goth friend (we shall call her Jane) who tells ALL her friends about you. Then one day, you meet Jane's friend after work and let's say you work in a job where you have to tone down considerably, your goth cred is immediately questioned. "By the way Jane was talking about you, I thought you would be more goth than that. You look goth and all but I thought you would be a little more extreme with your look"
I guess we are not expected to have jobs and be "on" all the time. All this because Jane told all her friends about the goth friend she has because you know, it is apparently cool to have a friend who likes weird and spooky things.You are no longer looked at as a human being but as a commodity. Next thing you know, you are being lectured on how to be goth by someone who has zero knowledge on the subculture and they insist on telling you that their views is the only way to go if you REALLY want to be considered goth. You know, because all your goth friends are poseurs!
Again, it is not so much what others think that gets me, I just think I feel more pressured to be The Queen of Goth more around the normal people than I do around my goth friends!
In the end, my circle of friends obviously diminished but the ones I still associate with, well, we don't care what the other person's wearing. Hell, I even went shopping in my pajamas with one of them! At the end of the day, if you want to meet up with me in jeans and a t-shirt, great. Want to wear a corset? Good for you! You want to dress in sweet Lolita style clothing but afraid of clashing with me? Bah! Who cares, wear the sweet Lolita! I want to admire your outfit! Want to show up with your granny panties on your head? Well gold star for you! You don't need a dress code to be my friend.