Having read quite a few of the "definitions" on this site, I have to say there are some of you who are slightly mistaken. Actually, a select few of you are way off. May have been trendies/townies/preps that wrote them, I don't know. But I am going to add my definition to this zoo of mistakes. There were a few that did get the jist of it, but still I wanted to add my opinion to the masses. Before I begin, I just want to say that this is not a concrete definition of Goth since Goth can not truly be defined. This is how I see it. Goths in other parts of the world can disagree with me if they like, but this is the philosophy I was brought into when I turned Goth, back when I was 16. Goth has earned some pretty bad publicity over the past couple of decades. People have started stereotyping Goths because of things that they have heard in the news or on TV about supposedly "Gothic" children who ritually slaughtered children, claiming that they were Satanists. People started believing that we were vampiric, since a lot of us walked about wearing a lot of black and pale faces with copious amounts of eyeliner. Not ALL of us. But some of us. The first thing I want to clear up is that Satanism and Goth are in no way connected whatsoever, unless the Goth in question wishes to incorporate the two. Several Goths I happen to know are devout Christians, so this proves that accusation to be false. Some Goths may choose to practise magic in the form of the Pagan faith of Wicca, but usually only because the belief system of this faith makes more sense to them and makes them feel more comfortable with the world around them. Goths generally do not drink human blood unless they either get sexual kicks out of it or are deluding themselves that they really are vampiric and gain their strength from the drinking of the blood they take from others, thus feeding on the life force of their victims like a leech. Generally we are not so stupid as to risk the fact that we could get all sorts of diseases from drinking the blood of another. AIDS can be contracted very easily using this method. There are several people who are like that around Belfast and there may well be a few who are like that around where you live. But they are not really worth bothering about. If they want to give themselves delusions of grandure, that's their problem, not ours. There are several types of Goth in the world. Tastes in clothes and music vary person to person. In my opinion, a Goth is not identified completely by the clothes they wear, however I thought it best to add the common- ish fashion attributes of the three most common varieties of Goth where I live: 1. Trad- Goths: One of the most popular sub- catagories of Goth. The inhabitants of this catagory are generally the ones most sneered at by trendies/townies/preps if encountered in the street (I myself have been referred to as a "Gaff," a "Gaffic," and last but not least- the showstopper- a "Got"). This sort of Goth's taste generally revolve around the 1980s when Goth was still truly alive; whenever it was originally an offshoot of the well known Punk genre. This Goth can be found listening to bands such as The Cure, Alien Sex Fiend, Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and Joy Division and is easily identifiable by their choices of black and somewhat rich and "floaty" garments. This sort of Goth is also known to listen to some Darkwave and Synthpop also. 2. Fetish Goths: The Goth scene has always attracted people with broad sexualities. This category includes the occasional Transvestite, S&M fetishists and many others who frequent the Goth clubs. Leather and bondage gear are especially popular with Synthpop and EBM fans. Their music taste tends to be quite similar to that of the Trad, ie 1980s Goth/ pop, Synthpop, EBM. 3. Cyber Goths. The new EBM (Electronic Body Music) scene has led to the rise of a new generation of Goth. Cyber Goths are more elusive and, unfortunately, that little bit more pretentious than the Trad or Fetish variety, since there are less Cyber clubs in which to congregate. They can be spotted by the occasional addition of brightly coloured, dreaded extensions into their own hair, also known as "falls." They can also be observed wearing platform shoes like Swears or Transmuters when they go out clubbing. Cybergoths incorporate more colour into their culture and tend to wear neon colours along with black. Music Taste: EBM, Techno and some Industrial. 3. Industrial Goths (also known as Rivetheads or Cyberpunks): These Goths go by different names in different places but are most commonly known as Industrial Goths. They stem from the late eighties industrial scene and have changed little in the last decade. Many of them have headed in the Cyber direction since EBM took over the industrial scene, and they are not as common in Britain any more. Music Taste: Industrial, Industrial Metal, some Goth Rock. When Punk "died" in 1979, Goth was spawned in the bands that came after more famous bands like The Sex Pistols, The Clash and P.I.L. Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees patented the Goth "look." She was very annoyed to find people copying her sense of style. She became a Goth icon alongside Andrew Eldritch and Robert Smith. Goth is not a sense of fashion or music taste. It is a state of mind. Which is the one thing that Goths have in common. Their tastes may vary slightly, but they share roughly the same outlook and the same scorn, for want of a better word, for the human race. Goth cannot be defined as easily as I have made out, but I just wanted to give you a couple of guidelines. I hope I have helped somewhat. Below is an example of an experience I endured between a group of chavs in sports gear with a very broad Belfast accent (we generally refer to them as spides, for future reference). I have tried to compensate for accent. Please note that "like" in spide language is pronounced "liek" or "leek".
Chavscum: (sniggering and pointing)
(Jinx walks past minding her own business, on her way home from a friend's house)
Chavscum #1: Here, wee girl! How much d'ye charge to haunt a house, like? You look like fockin' Casper the friendly ghost! I fockin' hate Goths!
Jinx: Why are you trying to figure out if your rates are competitive or has your ma finally moved out?
(Jinx shuffles away up the street leaving confused spides in her wake)