Goth Like Me:
The Adventures Of A Queer Crypto-Goth In the Shadowy Underworld Of the Kids In Black
By Gavin Danker
When I first went to the club Helter Skelter a few years back, I never intended to become the Godfather of Goth, the Artful Dodger of the Damned, the guy to know for Vampiric cool. But for many people, I guess that's what I became.
Your stereotypical Goth kid is in their early twenties, a long-haired androgyny in black lipstick and a semi-constant cloud of gloom. I'm a guy in my mid-thirties with a short buzzcut whom lipstick of any color makes look like one of the Dueling Bankheads. And yes, my Prozac is working just fine, thank you.
Frankly, I just like the decadent horror aspect of the scene. And knowing that many Goths profess to be either gay or bi, I've got a pretty good chance of getting laid.
Now. that said, I'm not a total poseur. I really do have a huge vampire library including the works of Anne "Girl, enough already" Rice and that other New Orleans writer of gay-boy horror/love stories, Poppy Z. Brite. I've appreciated Vampire-cool since mom made me a Bela Lugosi cape at age nine and the kids at school called me "Fang" because I liked to bite. (When they weren't calling me something one letter different, of course.) I like the rattle-your-chains-and-moan sound of Sisters of Mercy et al as much as the next groovy ghoulie. And with my ten year old special effects fang making business (um, yes) and a talent for dressing really well, I figure I've earned my place at the haunted house.
Now. most of us are natural-born actors. Gay men learn at an early age to become what is expected. I sure did. And in the world of the shambling undead, which I think is a hoot, I'm really good. I found that soon I was organizing midnight cemetery picnics and getting interviewed for "Gothic Underground Expose!" type news stories. I started and, for a time ran, the infamous "Bar Sinister" vampire nightclub in Hollywood (before it became a tired fetish bar). I was also making friends with a lot of really sweet, smart, talented people, with really dark senses of humor. That, even more than a common interest in Bauhaus, seems to be shared by all the Goths I know. They're like one big walking dead baby joke. How horrible! (Tee Hee)
An illustration: One night at my club one of my bartenders, the messy-angelic Red Jen pulled me aside and told me the producer of a TV news show was there. He'd asked her in an off-handed way if anything, you know, unusual ever happened there.
"Like what?" asked Jen, all innocence. I'd like to imagine her batting her
eyelashes and smiling sweetly with her pretty, sharp fangs.
" Like, um, sexual stuff. Bondage, bloodletting maybe?" Jen allowed as there might be some weirdo around , but she hadn't seen anything like that.
After she pointed him out and we giggled like a couple of schoolgirls, I kissed her and ran up to the VIP room. I could hear someone ringing the dinner bell. Fresh Sucker was on the menu. My favorite.
Moments later, my lovely assistant Deborah, naturally rather anemic looking to begin with, was lurching down the stairs in a daze, fresh blood dripping down her slender neck. Dizzily, she swooned into the arms of my other lovely assistant, Sean. She did this in front of our producer pal, of course. Hissing loudly something about being more discreet, Sean hustled her out the door.
This was my cue to stroll down after her, dabbing my mouth with a napkin. I joined the concerned-looking TV guy at the bar.
"She alright?" he said, nodding towards the door..
What, Deborah? I think she may have had a little too much." I smiled through long, sharp wolf teeth. He bolted for the door.
The incident was reported on his Gothic scene expose by someone who's identity was masked by computer. I think it was actually the producer himself. Presumably he couldn't find another bona fide witness who wasn't laughing their ass off. Thus legends are born, reputations made!
And on and on.
So, although my notion of wild sexual abandon amongst the girly boys was all too soon dispelled, I earned the genuine affection of another outcast "family".
One of the great joys of the Goth world are the ideas the "mundanes" have about them. Just by telling the truth it's assumed they're covering up some nefarious secret. The phrase "No, of course I don't serve the Dark Masters of Set" followed by a knowing smile is enough to bring Jerry Falwell to apoplectic fits and calls for a crusade.
This of course makes Goths extremely happy. As with any outsider subculture, the very idea of being outré brings with it a certain glamour as well as a feeling of camaraderie.
One of the things that surprised me about my new family" was the amount of acceptance I was given, even though I don't fit the Goth mold. I'm a gay dude who hates circuit party music. I'm a Goth who likes volleyball at the beach. What the hell am I? I know we shouldn't pigeon-hole each other, and I know there is no real Goth "type". That it's as much a social construct as the idea of a gay "type" But sometimes we feel a real need to pigeon-hole ourselves. We all need a gang to belong to.
Which, I think, brings me to my point. Some gay men dress in bad drag and wear wigs the size of Volkswagens. Goths wear silent movie star makeup and hang silver bat embryos around their necks. We all come from the Island Of Misfit Toys, we've all been hurt, and we all need to give a rousing "Fuck You!" to the world once in a while. We use camp, they use horror. Save aesthetics, what's the difference, really?
So as someone with one high-heeled cloven hoof planted in either world, let me say that at least in my experience, most Goths would rather spend time in Tim Burton's Halloween Town than with the Manson family. Actually they're pretty warm and fuzzy in a cold and spooky kind of way. Think the Munsters with music by The Cure. I'll be the one in the Marilyn drag.
Is both a prolific writer and artist. Not to mention a good friend & person. He can be seen in many films too many to mention off the top of my head at the moment, but got the nickname in the Goth scene as The Artful Dodger of the Undead. I leave it to you to figure out why. We hope that life is good to him as he is good to life, and cant wait to see what else he writes for us in the future. If you are reading this, Gavin, WE love you.
GAVIN GAVIN GAVIN
Common Misconceptions About Goths:
* For the most part they do not rob graves to perform satanic rituals with corpses. They only want you to think they do.
* Marilyn Manson is not goth.
* Trent Reznor is goth, whether he likes it or not.
* Black is always a safe fashion choice, though dressing like Christopher Lee ... will invite ridicule.
* Wearing black, however, does not make one more or less likely to go postal. Most goths are wimpy pacifists, god bless 'em.
* Goths don't all want to commit suicide. They'd rather you did.
Copyright(c)2002 By Gavin D. All rights reserved.
Thanks to Gavin for this article. MWAH!
The Gothic Cowgirl
THE LEGEND OF COWPANDA !
Okay, this may sound lame, but we had to share. Thanks to the Gothic Cowgirl for this:
One weekend I was driving out in the cornfieldswhen you live in the cornfields, sometimes all there is to do is get really drunk and go drive out in the cornfields. What should my wandering eyes should appear but a gigantic panda bear sitting in the middle of the road. I have seen Panda bears in zoos and on television, even in bookshell, my dearest friend is a Panda connoisseur. Anyway, I figured, since I was driving at about 95 mph running down cornstalks at a friends families cornfield (they dont mind) I should either swerve out of the road or slow down to avoid the collision of the gigantic Panda bear in the cornfields. I get out of the car and notice that its white and black furry body is turned away from me and totally ignoring me. I also notice that it is chewing on stalksmaybe its bamboo.
Then it occurs to me, hey, maybe Pandas this size could be hostile. So I sneak back slowly to my car and drive away. The next morning, I run to tell my friends about the bear in the cornfield, while calling the human society to see if they have a pet carrier big enough for a bear.
My friends are cackling hysterically and as I turn to look at them, all smirking with tears of laughter in their eyesI ask whats so funny? It appears that one of the families small English furry cows got loose from their leash in their condo/barn and got found later eating cornstalks just having itself a grand time just sitting out in the cornfield watching the cars go by and to look at the firefliesjust minding its own business. Eventually the cows pet owner found him and walked with him homebut there were tire tracks all over the placesome thought that it was a strange form of crop circles.
(c)2003SPFoxx &T.J.T. All rights reserved.