anarcho_witch wrote

I know you posted this 9 months ago but I'mma comment anyways (I also apologize it for being long).

For a bit of context in an attempt to semi-explain the whacky logic in all this, I grew up pretty sheltered, was extremely gullible, and quickly developed severe anxiety that kept me from asking questions for a long time. For example, I thought I would get yelled at by my mom if I admitted that Halloween was my favorite holiday because a "friend" in my childhood told me it was "the devil's birthday" and that my favorite holiday should be xmas because "it's Jesus' birthday" (xmas was her favorite and she was sick of hearing me obsess over Halloween), and I used to think it was illegal to publish books that taught sex stuff because of how taboo of a topic it was at the time.

So the bullshit-ass rural Ohio area I grew up in (and unfortunately came back to when bedbugs infested our apartment and I couldn't afford to live in Pittsburgh anymore) wasn't the brightest. If you listened to more than just metal and wore lots of black, you were considered a goth. While I got into bands like Good Charlotte, Staind, Cold, Alkaline Trio, and Simple Plan back in middle school which I got hooked on in 6th grade circa 2001, the term "goth" was never uttered around me until I was a freshman in high school (2003), and by then, I was listening to AFI, Disturbed, and classic musicians like Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath. If it had a guitar and the color black was featured, I was probably into it. And in 2003, just before I'd officially started my first year of high school, I was at marching band camp.

At band camp (I played mellophone, if anyone's curious, and was louder than the trumpet section), I met two goth ladies. One played the piccolo, the other played the trombone. Both wore big baggy Tripp pants (I was too poor for a pair and didn't know the concept of DIY existed yet) and band shirts of bands I'd never heard of. I had to write the band names down and then ask my computer savvy friend to download the music for me because my dial-up internet couldn't get me a song within one day (fucking christ, I'm old). Of course, these bands were System of a Down, Trapt, Drowning Pool, etc. Again, if you listened to something that had rock guitars involved and wore a lot of black, you were considered a goth.

So, not only did I adore the music I was listening to that I could drown out my dad trying to force me to listen to Rush Limbaugh when he'd drive me to school, but I loved the way my two fellow bandmates looked and thought "I wanna look like THAT." I had to settle for any dark, usually grey or black, baggy cargo pants from Walmart because I had no control over where my parents took me for clothes and we were poor as fuck.

It was also during high school that my parents finally allowed me to watch horror movies that wasn't the classic Universals monsters. No hate against them, but I wanted to see Night of the Living Dead and my mom punished me for "trying to give myself nightmares." And then I finally rented The Crow from Blockbuster and not only did I love the aesthetics and the atmosphere and overall FEEL of that movie, but I was obsessed with the music and tried so goddamn hard to write down the bands in the ending credits. But the text was too fucking small for me to see, and were even blurrier when I paused the tape (ahahaha I'M OLD, FUCK) and thus, had to suffer without knowing who these bands were. I tried so hard looking for the soundtrack at Sam Goody's and THEY CAN NEVER KEEP THEM IT STOCK.

I miraculously squeaked by high school and obtained my diploma, and was accepted into the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (ah, the biggest goddamn motherfucking mistake of my sorry little life), and didn't really focus too much on the music and just kept my attire aesthetic as black as I could get it, with no idea how to put on makeup because of my insecurities (long story), and honestly, I didn't bother much when it came to looking up anything goth. I was too busy trying to adjust to city-life while suffering from very bad culture-shock and struggled hard to learn how to think for myself.

At some point while living with my husband in our apartment, my period had me incapacitated and I browsed Netflix and re-discovered Elvira. I say RE-discovered because I'd only seen her in commercials back in the early 90s when my dad would tape the Halloween specials, commercials and all, and she'd advertise both her schlock-a-thon and promoting Coors Light. I'd never actually watched her up until Netflix, and it was her "Mistress of the Dark" movie. I pretty much fell in love with this woman, and recently, my husband managed to find a copy of her movie on DVD for me and I'd watched the shit out of it on my periods along with the live-action Josie and the Pussycats movie (don't judge).

Fast-forward to 2015 or 2016. I was looking up Elvira stuff on YouTube and watched her pilot episode of the TV show that never happened (thanks, sports guy from NBC who was filling in for her friend who was sick at the time), I'd found her 1986 Halloween special where she hosted MTV music videos and stuff. A few classic goth bands intro and outro stamps were shown and I began to scavenge YouTube for the music. I not only wished to look the part and wear makeup without fear of judgment, I've also finally discovered bands and downloaded them (aka ripping the audio from YouTube videos) of Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, The Cruxshadows, Bauhaus, etc. But it didn't happen just randomly. I can't remember how, but I stumbled upon ItsBlackFriday and after watching her videos, I got inspired to blend my look of punk, goth, both, or ambiguous, and she introduced me to bands like The Cruhshadows and Sisters of Mercy. However, because her channel's rather commercial-y (which she does to sustain income by promoting brands like Killstar), I stumbled upon Angela Benedict, who's a goth from the 90s and spoke about the goth subculture and how it was in the 90s, and skullgirdle, who was darkly inclined from the 80s and just posts whatever she wants onto her channel, with some stories or explanations on how things were done in the 80s. (Got more songs downloaded that were recommended from Angela Benedict's playlist.)

Whatever you think of ItsBlackFriday, it's thanks to stumbling upon her channel that I wanted to try and do some DIY clothing which is mostly punk but I haven't gotten the stuff I need for some of the goth-related aesthetics yet; I also need to learn how to use my sewing machine for once and not fully rely on hand-sewing. I currently have three punk pants, one being Halloween-themed, and a pair of punk shorts. I hope to make more pants in the future, and I'm hoping to work on skirts. I'd love to get a black PVC skirt and put an orange jack-o-lantern or a turquoise spider made of the same material and just sew it onto the skirt, but money's tight and I need to be careful with how I prioritize my projects.

It's not just the music and the looks that I loved, though. It's also the literature, with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein being my favorite. It's the stories like that and The Crow. It's the feeling in the air on Halloween. It's the tranquility of a cemetery. It's the beauty of the bones of an animal discovered in the wild. And sometimes I find it within my Pagan practices. So for me, in my life, goth is more than just the music and the clothing style.

Shockingly, even though my parents are Trump supporters (yeah, I know), they're supportive of my DIY clothing. My husband also adores it, too. I just have to hand-wash everything because my sewing skills are the lazy kind that I was taught in home-ec in middle school, lol. The biggest downside is I don't always have the energy to put on makeup or take it off, so I have to keep it localized to what I was interested in: my lips and eyes, so no foundation. I'll be experimenting once my seasonal woes wane. I also have hair with a natural curl that does these "banana waves" that will not listen to a flat-iron, so I'll be retiring my short mohawk and will start rocking a type of Chelsea cut soon.

Thanks for tolerating my wall of text, lol.