World Goth Day, for the uninitiated, is a little celebration of our beautiful, spooky subculture that has happened annually on May 22 for three years. It's mission is "spreading the love of the Darkside in the name of tolerance, come join us this year and help us with spreading it even further round the world," according to the Facebook page. While I joked on my Tumblr that "every day is World Goth Day" to me, I really do think that the event is doing some good.
Most people are, if you forgive the pun, still in the dark about Goth. We're still scary to many, and to some we're even dangerous. Whether we are purposefully avoided, judged, taunted, or worse, it's a lot to deal with. While this is not true of some Goths, the subculture also tends to be extremely welcoming to people of alternative sexualities, gender, expressions, ethnic backgrounds, etc. who also garner negative attention from people who are closed minded. The pressure of dressing like a "freak" adding to being naturally "different" is a lot for some people to handle. Not everyone can grow a thick skin overnight, and even the thickest skin can be pierced when the insult is strong enough or, goodness forbid, a physical attack is launched.
Persevering through these negative impressions of us is something to be proud of. Of course, not all Goths (particularly jaded Eldergoths) will say that being Goth is difficult, but anyone who has dealt with bullying and discrimination can attest to this. Since being Goth goes beyond your personal experiences, it can be said that you can be a "closet Goth" but why should we have to? Expressing yourself without harming others is a beautiful thing, one that Goths embraces, and that many people claim to embrace until they are faced with a black-clad individual who loves
ethereal music. In his novel Brave New World Aldous Huxley wisely sums up that "If one's different, one's bound to be lonely." Thanks to our online Goth community, the loneliness might be tempered, but people's misconceptions of Goth in the real world can seriously damage someone and make them feel totally alone. It's not necessary, it's not fair.
World Goth Day is a cheerful expression that, despite all the bad forces against us in the world, we are still going to be ourselves and not apologize for it. Whatever Goth means to you, you can take the day to express that to people and show them the real face of Goth. We're not dangerous, we're not scary, we're not something to discriminate against.
One day, I hope that every day will be our World Goth Day, a day to express ourselves and be proud outwardly. Until then, however, I'm proud to be doing my part to keep the event alive and well this year.
So, my readers, what are your thoughts on World Goth Day?