Gothic teens are not what most people believe that they are. They are young people who are free thinkers and want to express themselves differently from a conservative society. The subculture has existed since the late 1970's.
What Gothic Teens Aren't
A Gothic teen isn't someone to be feared. Being a Goth can mean many things, from being a Christian (yes, this is possible) to someone who gets straight A's in high school or a trusted babysitter. While it is true that some people who embrace the Goth lifestyle have done things that are illegal or immoral, you will find people in every corner of society that do bad things. Gothic teens have generally received a bad rap because people don't understand, or haven't even tried to learn about this subculture.
When people hear about Goths, certain stereotypes come to mind, especially in light of the Columbine incident. They are perceived to be devil worshipers, would-be vampires and witches who won't leave the house without wearing black.
The Goth Lifestyle
So, what is it like to be a Goth? Individual Gothic teens are different on many levels. They may worship in the same church you attend. Goths hold down jobs and pay their taxes the same as everyone else. They are often very creative in the musical world, are poets, writers and fantastic artists. Basically, they put their pants (or fishnet stockings) on just like everyone else.
What is different is their sense of style. Even in this area, individuality is accepted within the subculture. There are some who are extreme in their style and are easily identifiable as Gothic teens, and those that may only wear one or two Goth clothing items or accessories. It is important to note that the Goth lifestyle has been going on for many decades now, and many changes have occurred in the fashion world, which have influenced Goth clothing trends.
To learn about the many different styles of clothing, dress and makeup within this subculture, visit the Gothic Charm School.
People within the Goth communities are very accepting of individuals and their life choices. For this reason, you will find gay, bi-sexual and straight people in this subculture. Since Goths tend to be freethinkers, it is not surprising that they would be more accepting of others who are persecuted for their personal relationship choices. It is also important to note that many Goths have good relationships with their parents, grandparents and siblings. They haven't crossed over to the dark side per se; they just express themselves differently. Since the Goth movement has been alive and well for about three decades, Gothic teens may be surprised to learn that some of their teachers, town leaders and parents were once heavily in the Goth scene!
Just to give you an idea of the many different types of Goths out there, check out the following list (keep in mind; some types on this list are tongue-in-cheek!):
Don't expect your local group of Goths to be killing the neighbor's black cats or doing any of the other stereotypical things that mainstream people believe they do. Goths have varied hobbies and interests just like other teens. They don't listen to just one type of music, read Anne Rice novels exclusively or join covens as an extracurricular activity. They don't spend all of their time lurking on the street corner smoking clove cigarettes. Find them instead in French and Drama clubs, swimming or track teams and playing paintball. They read books at the library, enjoy video games and hang out with friends.
There is much more to being Goth than can be written in this article. If you would like to learn more about the history, culture and Goth teens, visit the following informative websites: