Sunlight & Shadow: Understanding the Gothic Subculture
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"That man is truly good who knows his own dark places."
- Robert Nye (Beowulf: A New Telling)


Goths.

You've seen them many times before--the darkly dressed and quiet ones huddled in the shadowed corner of a crowded room; the artists whose written or visual works raises eyebrows and cause average heads to shake in disapproval; the ones who walk down the street causing people to stare and scowl and toss names and obscenities. You've also seen the others--the young ones who suddenly begin dressing in black and becoming aggressive; the teens who make certain never to smile and to revel in angst and anger; the ones who take out their anger on others with guns and knives and bombs, and think they look "cool" doing it. You know them both, but how well do you know either? Do you understand the difference, or do you lump them together as a self-same group of wayward kids?

The Gothic subculture has crusaded for tolerance and understanding for many years, but never has the need been as urgent as now. With the increasing violence of America's teens and the increasing suffocation of expression by well-meaning but ill-informed officials, understanding is not only desired but is painfully necessary in preventing needless violence, hatred, and resentment.

The 1960's saw the rise of African Americans to equality; the 1970's liberated women from their kitchens; the twentieth century has been a bastion for the equal treatment of humankind. In this otherwise exemplary movement toward tolerance and equality, a few unfortunate souls have fallen through the cracks. These are the shadows that flit across the earth, hardly noticed, hardly missed when absent. (But they're never really absent, are they?) In the omnipresent sunlight of society, it's hard to make them out, but they're there--and they want to be heard.

My purpose with this site is to destroy the many abounding myths and misconceptions surrounding the Gothic subculture in an effort to promote tolerance, understanding, and peace. Whether you are Gothic and have come here for solace and moral support, whether you disapprove of the Gothic subculture and have come here seeking examples, whether you are honestly curious about people who are different from you and have come here for information and answers, I welcome you all. Regardless of your opinions at this starting point, all I ask of you as you explore further is that you maintain a heart free of hatefulness and a mind open to new possibilities.

 






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