As I have chronicled here before, I, like many Goths get street harassment for my being visibly Goth. Several people have asked me this – why do I still dress Goth despite the negative attention I get for it, and despite my dislike of being the center of attention. You called me ‘brave’ for doing so, but I don’t feel brave; I do what I do because I perceive the alternative as worse, so that to me is not really bravery. It is a trade-off; I deal with the negativity and the attention I unfortunately get because it is less bad than the alternative, and there are for more benefits this way.
At first, I think they look beautiful, and that mainstream clothes (and some variations of Goth clothes) are too plain for my tastes. I like details, textures, patterns – hence all the damask pattern jacquards and intricate lace, all the layers of ruffles and frills. Perhaps if I was living 200 or so years ago and had either the skills or the money to wear the wore elaborate outfits, I would have worn the mainstream or fashionable clothes of the period, but most mainstream clothes are a lot less fancy – I do sometimes find things I like in mainstream shops such as iololita.com
Secondly my clothes are sort of a worn extension of my comfort zone; I wear the clothes I do because they make me feel comfortable, make me feel like myself. They remind me of who I really am in the face of everything that has tried to quash that over the years, and also of all the things I love. I dress very much as a stylistic manifestation of my interests and passions, and having those positive reminders worn feels almost talismanic; I do wear a few literal protection charms, but there’s something reassuring about wearing my Goth clothes, to have that reminder of all the things that make me happy with me at all times.
At last, I feel weird writing this out, as it seems slightly pretentious, but I hope that by being visible, I will give some of the younger and more Goths a little more courage. I’m not the only Goth that walks around where I live, and I’m not the only one that dresses very visibly Gothic – I’m probably the most elaborately Romantic variation of Goth, but I’m not the only one to go out very distinctly Goth and very fully dressed non-mainstream, but I hope that every visible Goth, out in public and proud to be themselves, is an encouragement to other Goths, and hopefully by both being Goth and trying to always be polite and friendly to the outside world, I serve as an example of a Goth that isn’t all the negative stereotypes.