The goth subculture is all things beauty in darkness. Everyone shares their own style that brings something unique to that world. So why is it that black goth individuals lack representation among their counterparts?
The Goth subculture originated in England around the early 80s, after the punk rock movement. This movement consisted of a few of the first rock bands, such as Peter Murphy (Godfather of Goth) of Bauhaus, The Cure, and Siouxsie & the Banshees, who later influenced and inspired goth culture. The fashion in these rock bands consisted of black clothing and black makeup, with a spooky kind of style that has drawn the attention of many individuals. Today, the goth subculture continues to include loads of self-expression and creativity in the forms of music and fashion, but most importantly, the appreciation of all things of darkness.
Though we see many goth individuals who act as influencers to all things goth and to newcomers who are beginning to identify with the subculture, it seems like a lot of the black individuals are hidden in the background. Because the subculture is so broad, it’s important to give the proper representation to those who are black and who live and breathe a gothic lifestyle as well.
Glam Goth: A Black Beauty Who Doesn’t Care About Your Opinions
Besides being a makeup artist and licensed cosmetologist, Glam Goth (Marley) describes herself as a normal girl who just likes to live an alternative lifestyle. But because of her look, people judge her and make assumptions before even getting to know her. Regardless of the stares, she doesn’t let negative people get to her and influence how she sees herself.
She states that there isn’t enough representation of black people throughout the goth subculture, especially when there aren’t any others around her who are just like her. As a black person whos also a girl, she believes others think that she should fit into a certain box of how to carry herself. But she prefers to continue on in her own personal route to further embrace her goth identity.
To Glam Goth, it’s not okay to tell black individuals that they cannot be goth, simply because they’re black. She feels that you shouldn’t have to deal with people who feel you aren’t goth enough or black enough from whatever side it’s coming from. People should do what makes them happy.
Rose Nocturnalia: Wanting More Acceptance of Black Goths
Rose Nocturnalia has been a goth since the age of 12. Being a goth and black wasn’t easy for her as she faced challenges by her own family, as well as others around her. People thought she was weird and would make fun of her while passing awful assumptions of her being a devil worshipper, among others. She also received body shaming because of her thin size.
As a black girl, white people couldn’t understand why she would be interested in the goth subculture–as it seemed like something the black race wouldn’t be into. At the same time, black people felt she was trying to branch off into the white culture with her love for rock music, as opposed to rap and hip hop. She wants people to understand that individuals of the black race do not all fit into one category where they’ll all like the same thing. Everyone is different with a love for different things.
If being a black goth wasn’t hard enough, racism heavily came into play in her life. She has received racist threats and slurs from people not wanting to see black girls in goth. It wasn’t just the idea of her identifying as goth, it was the fact that her skin color wasn’t accepted in the ideas of what a real goth should look like, which was white skin.
A message to her fellow black goths is to reach out and talk if you ever feel like you’re down about how others treat you. As there will be those who continue to pass judgment, never forget it’s your decision of how you choose to represent yourself.
Yasmin Benoit: Raising Awareness of Black Goth Representation
Yasmin Benoit knew she was different as she was growing up because of her look compared to everyone else. People have described her as being “un-black” because of her identity with goth. It was hard for her to make friends because there weren’t others who were not only goth, but black as well.
In regards to negativity, she ignores people and continues being herself. As a model, she wants to ensure that there’s representation among black goth individuals to show that there’s beauty there as well. With having those two things against you, people are going to judge you regardless, so it’s important to simply stay true to yourself.
Angel Nightmare: Inspiring Future Black Goth Men
Angel Nightmare is a black goth man who is a musician with a captivating style of red dreads and intricate makeup. He too has experienced what it’s like to feel separated from the rest of the goth subculture because of his skin color.
Being that there aren’t a lot of black male goths and representation of black goth individuals, he feels it can sometimes be equally as hard. If the goth subculture is going to be represented, then they need to include everyone, regardless of what they look like. Though work still needs to be done in that area, Angel continues with his music while being creative with his many looks as a black goth.
Considering that the goth subculture means something different to everyone, it’s important that it is also all-inclusive. The goth world is something that is already misunderstood by those who do not partake in it, so, the last thing we should be doing is excluding those who do not carry the “traditional look” apart from black clothing.