*Very long and detailed post, covered all facts of the modern goth sub-culture*
After the demise of the pioneering goths such as Bauhaus listeners, the social niche called "goth" has MANY different definitions and misconceptions used throughout different age groups, social standing, location, etc. The common misconceptions in the United States (could be similar in other countries, but seeing as I haven't lived anywhere else I can't comment for sure) about "goths" is that they dress in all black, sulk constantly, and only think about death, suicide, religion, and the cliché... vampires, these people are NOT goth. They are adolescent punks that think that if they act all depressed they'll get the attention they thrive on. True goths that are the way they are because it is their true personality and think about topics like death and the struggle that a vampire living among humans would experience if they existed in modern times because they instill deep thought. Discussing topics like this are more than a way to pass the time, they're a way for many modern goths to think deeply and candidly about where they stand in the world, and if they are being true to what they believe in without changing their unique personality for the sake of others. Most gothic people are quite intelligent, if not in a "school" sense then in a "philosophical" sense and though they may have a relatively dark sense of humor or media, it does mean that all goths obsess about the end of someone's time on this earth. When an individual spends a high percentage of their life thinking without distraction, death, religion, and afterlife is a major topic. *THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT GOTHS ARE SUICIDAL OR DEPRESSED* Many people think that someone who listens to satanic metal and wears pentagrams all over as accessories are gothic, while a goth may listen to black metal and other genres like it, listening to it does not make you goth; another misconception that leads many people to group together dozens of sub-cultures into "goth". Goths are most commonly very in touch with their emotions and aren't afraid to express them in whatever way they see fit. This differs from modern emo or hardcore metal culture because that is comprised of kids that think all they feel is pain and depression followed by a "true love" based upon hormone driven infatuation, a goth will acknowledge all emotion be it happiness, grief, or the very rare but very beautiful love with open arms. Just living their lives free of fear that they may be shunned among their peers for being an intellectual individual is what a true goth will seek in their life. There are constant stories of "goth" high-schoolers taking their own lives because of a dismal outlook that, "no one understands how they feel," because they're too caught up in the moment that they don't acknowledge that the grief will pass and many, many people before them went through the exact same issues. This isn't to disrespect people that have done this, if i knew every-single one of their names I would pay tribute to them regularly because many of them did in fact just need someone to really listen to them instead of just saying, "It's just teenage angst, you'll calm down soon enough," but know I'm divulging way off topic, this is simply to say that said people are most likely not a true goth and self-labelled themselves as such because that's what they thought goth was. Goths also do not have to wear all black clothes or clothing you don't see commonly to be part of the goth culture like corsets for women or tight fitting clothes for effeminate men; though many do, it is not what makes them goth. Many goths listen to all sorts of music (maybe even a couple pop songs with lyrics that are relevant to their lives at the end of a good day) and there are plenty of goths that will wear bright colors and dress in a way that is (relatively) unique to their personality. Many people don't recognize these people as "goth" because of stereotypes that they have grown up with. A true goth will have an open mind to new ideas, music, literature and is all for discussing them regularly with a select group of friends and acquaintances that they associate with not for any sense of belonging or popularity, but because they too have open minds to new ideas and don't judge people on their outer appearance. A popular defining trait of a true goth is that they do not suddenly assosciate with the "mall goths" that patrol the neighborhood shopping center dressed completely over the top as to grab attention; these are nothing but immature followers that think that the attention they get when people stare will dressing over the top will make them happy. A true goth will not fret over any popularity or social status and will never change themselves for the sake of being well-liked among their peers; again, this is not to say that goths are total loners, a true goth will enjoy close friends just as much as anyone, they just may have stricter stipulations when choosing to spend time with them. Final misconception I have time to soliloquize, goths are not freaks in any way shape or form, most goths are normal people that just take interest in non-mainstream media and culture, goths are not all establishment-hating anarchists. A true goth will most often refrain from judging someone based on appearance and the clique they assosciate, they have all experienced what its like to be judged by appearance and are not quick to shun someone just because they fall into a different social niche. Final moral to whoever read this entire post, if you aren't already a true goth or have a goth friend, try meeting one by ignoring their appearance and forming opinions about them based solely on your compatibility as friends or just casual acquaintances. I hope this cleared up any misconceptions about the modern goth sub-culture. I'm not saying goths are perfect, or strange, "wacky", angry, or freaks. I am writing this because of all the misunderstanding being thrown around and people getting these stereotyped, dismal impressions of modern gothic culture.
-Fifteen year old girl with scars on her wrists that only wears black every day=Poser
-Young man with an "interesting" but not necessarily over the top outfit and haircut of primarily black, white, and some vibrant colors such as blue and purple, and will most like be relatively clean cut (Men may look rather effeminate, which many can take as a positive)=From first glance, most likely a true to his heart modern goth!
by BefriendPersonality_NotAppearance February 03, 2008

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A person who is themselves,so what if they wear darker clothing,and some,not all are depressed.they are people.they usually like different music/art then others,and are usually very funny and nice.
Look around,you'll find some.
by jordan January 31, 2004

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A survivor of emotional or physical abuse. They tend to enjoy the darker side of things.

Goths aren't always:
-Morbid
-Suicidal
-Dressed in black
-Wearing bondage
-Depressed
-Gay/Lesbian
-Cutters
-Self-harmers
-Shoppers at Hot Topic
-Rude
-Mentally disturbed
The goth poser always bitched and complained about his life.
by Chrys Whitewood August 26, 2005

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State of mind, with no regret of being ones own person. One who doesn't strive to be a clone of everyone else. Someone with there own mind set, not willing to change a belief because of anyone but themselves. They don't go out of there way to become someones friend but is a good one if u know one. Not always the nicest, can become pissed off very easily if annoyed but an ignorant asshole.

Foamy-"Goth is not a fashion statement just like punk."
Person 1-"Dude that kid is Goth."

Person 2-"No that kid is emo, Goths can't just go buy a couple things at Hot Topic and be a Goth."

Person 1-"Oh yeah, well that make sense."
by JERKER19 July 17, 2010

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Gothic literature: Literature primarily about horror and romance, and includes supernatural and victorian themes.

Writers: Edgar Allen Poe, Anne Rice

History: Goth can be traced back to victorian ages. But it was launched in the UK by punk bands like Siouxsie Sioux who began wearing bondage clothing and topics of victorian age and gothic literature and art and more intelligent thoughts.

Goth Music: Music including dark atmospheres.

Examples include and genres:

Post Punk: Siouxsie Sioux, The Cult
Goth Rock: Clan of Xymox, London After Midnight, The Cure, Bauhaus
Deathrock: Christian Death, 45 Grave, Frank the Baptist, Alien Sex Fiend
Dark Cabaret: Voltaire, Emilie Autumn
Gothtronic: Anders Manga, Gary Numan, Blutengel

Genre's and bands that aren't goth.

Marilyn Manson, AFI, Slipknot, Cradle of Filth, KoRn, Type O negative, HIM.

Any form of metal music

Gothic metal, and death metal, are not goth.

Most likely if its mainstream, its not goth.

Fashion:

There are many kinds of gothic fashion. But the basic things are boots, mostly dark attire, pale skin, hair that isn't brown. The "do it yourself" is a heavily emphasized part of the culture. Check gothic tribes for more detail.

General Pieces: Fishnet, Black nail varnish, colored hair, dark eyeliner, leather, metal (steel), buckles, bondage pants, hobble skirts, dress shirts, ties, top hats, red lipstick, black lipstick, dress shoes, combat boots.

Truths and False.

From the point of goth creation, its been morphed many times. Goth has been hit by many different accusations such as violance and satanic rituals.

Myth: Goths are violent
Truth: Its wrong to accuse a whole group based on one person's action, so its a maybe. But goth does not support violence.

Myth: Hot topic is goth
Truth: No, hot topic is a coporation. Goth originates from punk, and punk has emphasized on anti-corporation/government. In short terms, hot topic markets for mass appeal and attention, so no its not.

Myth: Goths are satanic.
Truth: Although many arts can depict vampires and death, even Satanist do not stand for evil or harm to others. Some goths could be satanic, but goth has no real links between satanism. Most goths are secular, but some are religious.

Myth: Goths have tattoos and piercings from head to toe.
Truth: Some have them, some don't.

Myth: Goths are sad
Truth: Not all of them, sure goth emphasizes the darker things in life, but not all of them are sad people, normal people can be sad, sadness is an emotion, emotions make you human. And goths are human.

Myth: Goth is nothing but a clique.
Truth: This is apart of the "morphing and warping". Goth was never centered around excluding others or trying to be different. Like many counter-cultures, its about being yourself and doing what you like, yet has similar interest and beliefs. Being goth isn't pidgeon holing yourself. Pidgeon holing is when you take someone's belief and claim it as your own.

In the mainstream

Even though goth isn't mainstream, there are some mainstream things that are gothic.

Mainstream Things

Movies: The Crow, Queen of the Damned, Interview with a Vampire
Books: The Vampire Chronicles
Music: The Cure

Goth Tribes

Although there are no "rules" in goth that someone must follow, there are a particular scene.

Victorian Goth AKA Romantigoth: Goths with a touch of victorian age in their life such as dress shirts, capes, cloaks.

Interest: Renaissance, Medieval age, Paganism, Occult,

Mallgoth: Probably the biggest uproot in the mainstream, but not goth even though mostly judged as goth. Without judgment on the individuals personality, a mallgoth is someone who has no knowledge of goth history, and labels bands like Marilyn Manson and Slipknot as goth, and shops at hot topic. Usually in the teen era.

Interest: Hot topic, metal, alternative rock,

Cyber Goth AKA Rivethead: A mix between cyber culture with goth elements and appearence. Usually baggy pants and neon with cyber like hair. Has more of an interest in EBM and Industrial Bands.

Interest: Dancing, cyber culture, technology

Fetish Goth: A goth with an interest in bongage and takes BDSM fashion and lifestyle.

Interest: Bondage, PVC, fetish material.

Deathrocker: A goth with an interest in deathrock, horror punk and psychobilly music. Fashion wise fishnet and torn dark clothing with combat boots.

Interest: Deathrock, Psychobilly, DIY fashion.

Elder Goth: A goth who has been around since goth creation or a goth over 40.

Vampire Goth: I'M A VAMPIRE!!! LOL

Goth-Related Terms and People

The Batcave: A club in England where goths have met since its creation

Columbine: A violent shooting that presented the first so called "goth violence" (NOTE: shooters were not goths)

Rozz Williams: The frontman of Christian Death, who founded american goth, and founded the Deathrock genre.

Siouxsie Sioux: The godmother of Goth, one of the first post-punk/goth bands that influenced bands later on.

Dinah Cancer: The frontwoman of 45 Grave, one of the first deathrock bands. "The Queen of Deathrock"

Bela Lugosi: Not a goth, but played and had a cult following in his horror movies, even after death.

Personality: There is no "rule" of personality, but most goths are open minded, witty, anti-prejudice, deep, quiet and artistic.

Don't judge a group based on one person's action, were all different, but similar sometimes.

Conclusion.

Goth is a culture that emphasizes the darker, deeper and romantic sides of life that strays away from the mainstream and pays attention to individuality.
Goth: Hi
Person: Hi
Goth: I'm doing good.
Person: Lets have fun
Goth: Ok! :]
by Negasable May 03, 2008

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The word Goth has been used to describe several things over the years many of which are completely idiotic, whereas others are completely legitimate but surprising nonetheless.

A) The original Goths were an ancient East Germanic Scandinavia tribe. The Goths eventually split into two groups after migrating towards the Baltic Sea: The Visigoths and The Ostrogoths.
Though at one point in time the term Goth was used to describe barbarians (as that is what The Visigoths were famous for) that term is no longer used. Another import fact; neither the Visigoths or the Ostrogoths had their own religion, they were Germanic paganism and Arianism. Implication: Goth is not a religion.

B) Goth was also an old architectural style which began in the 12th century. (An example of this style is St. Denis Abbey or Westminster Abbey)

C) Goth can also used to describe literature. Gothic literature was dark romantic dating back to the 1700's. Two of the possibly most notable authors from the time were Edgar Allen Poe, and Mary Shelley.

D) The most common usage of the word Goth however is the description of a fan of Goth Rock and a member of the subculture. The subculture began primarily with the release of Bela Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus though some beg to differ and say bands such as Joy Division and The Mission outdate Bauhaus. To belong to the gothic subculture appreciation of the music is essential, while there is more to the subculture than just the music, many people fail to realize that someone fashion choice or attitude does not necessarily make them Goth.
Man those Visigoths sure were barbaric.
Goth! architecture is so beautiful.
I was reading The Fall of the House of Usher the other day, man was that Goth.
Yesterday I ran into my friend, sometimes she's such a pretentious Goth.
by Consequentially November 11, 2006

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the goth ideal was all about, hey, if you're a bit different, a social outcast, sensitive and depressed, gay, straight, whatever, well we'll love you and accept you. but as with all other alternative youth movements and subcultures, goth has been hijacked by all the wrong people. it was absorbed back into the mainstream where it had its soul raped and thus an mtv stereotype emerged, complete with rules and regulations.

you can hear these non-judgemental open-minded people telling you what is goth and what is not goth, that slipknot is not goth, that marilyn manson is not goth (because manson is extreme and for the average poser goth this brings them too much negative attention so they try to distance themselves from him because in reality they're full of shit), that goth is spelled with a capital g and if you use a lowercase g you are not really goth, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

they will usually claim to be bisexual because, girls, you got off with your best mate once, and lads, well, most of you probably never got off with another lad but you just kind of have to claim to be bi since it shows how different you are. remember the rules.

the problem is you cannot really tell us apart. for a while we thought we had a way to separate ourselves from the human cattle who make up the majority, which we wanted nothing to do with. but those days are gone now.

good things are ephemeral; it's not long before the fruit attracts the flies.
the walking contradiction that we call goth .
by pinksugar April 19, 2015

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A goth person can be many things.

Most goths tend to be thoughtful and interesting. They tend to define themselves as different with no interest in the mainstream, and also enjoy the heavier side of music.

Many of the so called "goths" in here have polluted this site with their slanted views and thoughts.

They believe that people who listen to Nu Metal are posers. This is untrue.

The fact that they scream "faggoth" at people who enjoy their own types of music are more poser-like than the accused.

Goth is more of a state of mind, a state of thought. Goths will support what they want to support, and listen what they want to listen to. Their values go deeper than those of people in the mainstream, and they generally are very sociable.

True goths have their own taste and way of life. The so called "true goths" bash them because they enjoy music that they dont like.

There is really no such thing as a goth poser. All poser images are based on opinion only, and are very biased.

There are many types of goths, with many different outlooks on life. Some are depressed, some are happy, but most are very cerebral and deep people.

Goths enjoy heavy music in general, such as death or black metal. Some lighter genres are permitted, and should even be celebrated, because they have their own taste.

Goths should never shape their taste to the mainstream just because other people do, and they are the ones who are true posers. You will be able to spot them very quickly.

Some goths may support gay rights, some may not, but among the goth circles, opinions are welcomed. The point of being goth is having indiviuality.
I enjoy the soft music of A Perfect Circle, and I also enjoy the rough death metal of Cannibal Corpse.

Poser goth: Dude, you like Slipknot!?!? youre a fucking poser!!!
by Yung Walrus February 11, 2009

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