Well, hello. =) I hope that the person asking the question does not mind me hijacking the topic - especially on my own blog rather than Yahoo Answers: how rude am I?! (Sorry.) - but I thought that I would like to answer this question in my own way, and since I do tend to ramble on I figured I might as well write a whole damn post on the subject.
For many people, no matter how appreciative they are of dark music and art; how pretty they may find leather and lace; how many vampire romances they have piled on their bedside table - in short, how much they are interested in the Goth subculture and how strongly they feel it is something they would like to become involved with, actually choosing to do what people half-jokingly call 'going Goth' is a big and rather intimidating step.
One of my favourite bloggers, Juliet's Lace, actually recently wrote a post about 'coming out of the Goth wardrobe' - i.e., admitting to friends and family that really, you would quite like to be one of those ooky-spooky people dressed all in black. Which for me proves that, if you're a bit worried about joining The Big Spooky Family (which doesn't sound AT ALL sinister or cult-like, does it? D'oh...) you're not alone.
So why's it scary?
From the moment we start school, we learn that in order to be accepted by our peers we have to conform to certain norms which are dictated by the society in which we live. But not everyone finds it easy to fit in with 'how we should be' - it's that Goth worldview at work again.
Unless you grew up with the Addams Family, you have probably been taught for most of your life that dressing in a funereal manner, collecting plastic skulls, disliking the majority of music about boobies and guns, and having a strong interest in a subject such as folklore, mythology or the paranormal, is not 'normal'. And we have all seen or experienced the way society treats those who are not 'normal' in any way, be it a disability, a faith - hell, even a hair colour. They get laughed at; bullied; discriminated against or simply marginalised and ignored. When it comes right down to it, nobody wants to be treated that way.
People may be afraid that, if they choose to visually identify themselves as 'Goth', not only will they be setting themselves up as a potential target but they may lose friends; suffer familial disapproval; even be regarded differently by colleagues, teachers, employers and even possible love interests.
It's a lot easier to just do one's best to fit in.
If going Goth is such a scary thing to do, why do it?
Because there is no shame in liking what you like (within reason, of course!). Because if flip-flops, baseball and blonde highlights are not 'you', there is nothing at all wrong with that. Because for some people, spending their entire lives attempting to force themselves to fit a mould (square peg; round hole) is just Not Going To Work.
Because you would really, really like to - and there's nothing wrong with that, either.
Are my family going to freak out?
Possibly, depending on how open-minded they are and how much they know about Goth culture. But go easy on them - they may not understand what this change in attire and attitude is all about. Make sure to talk to them about what appeals to you about Goth and why you have chosen to dress this way - show them that you are still the same person you always were, no matter how you are currently expressing yourself.
Will I lose friends?
Unfortunately, this is also a possibility. Some so-called 'friends' will only give you the time of day if you are being the 'you' they are OK with you being. Did that make sense?
You know what? In the long run you are better without this kind of friend, whether you choose to 'go Goth' or not. It may not be your subcultural affiliation, but at some stage something will cause these insecure idiots to show their true colours. They may not be able to stand you having a serious boyfriend, for example. If your new haircut makes you look better than them, they will become jealous and act cruel.
Real friends accept you AS YOU ARE. That is what makes a friendship - accepting another person, both the good and the bad, and loving them anyway.
What are people going to think of me?
I'm not going to lie to you; some people are going to think you're weird, scary, depressed, or one-hundred-and-one other stereotypes often applied to members of the Goth sbculture. But that isn't the whole story.
People who are slightly more knowledgeable about alternative culture, or more willing to take an individual at face value, often make positive assumptions about someone dressed on their Goth attire. For example, you may be thought of as 'deep', 'artsy', 'intelligent', 'a free spirit' or 'creative'.
And not everyone makes snap judgements about others. You will find that there are still plenty of people who are more interested in talking to you and getting to know you than slapping a label on you. And you know what they say about bullies being jealous? Yep, some may just be envious that you've got the balls to dress as you please, and wish that they were as comfortable with being themselves.
Many will notice your attitude more than your outfits - e.g., if you are a naturally cheerful person, or you look and feel confident, that is what they will see, not just the colour of your clothes. When I began volunteering I was worried about what sort of reaction I would get, due to my predominantly black clothing and various piercings. Sure, I get the occasional curious question, but during my ten months working behind a till I have not received one single negative reaction.
Can I make it any easier?
Yes - talking to your friends and family about their reservations will help dispel tensions on both sides.
Take it slowly - there's no need to go from Average Joe to King of the Night in a single weekend. Ease into it - this will also help you get used to the reactions you may receive from other people.
Also, be aware that for certain situations, you will need to be aware that some people are not particularly open-minded; so when it is important for you to make a good first impression you may need to tone it down a little. No, there is nothing to be ashamed of about being a Goth, but there is no point losing out on an opportunity because you insisted on expressing yourself with a lime-green mohawk and safety-pin through your septum during a job interview.
What happens next?
Don't worry, you'll grow out of it.
No, no, I'm not trying to tell you that your interest in Goth is 'just a phase' - what seems to happen is that, as you become accustomed to being involved with Goth, you also become accustomed to the attention, both negative and positive, that comes with the territory. Sooner or later, you will almost cease to notice when people are staring at your attire slack-jawed. Eventually, it stops bothering you.
At first, if people are pointing at you or catcalling, you will understandably feel hugely uncomfortable and maybe even afraid. It may take years (it did for me!) but you will become comfortable enough in your own skin (comfortable with yourself 'as a Goth', if you will) that this kind of attention will more often than not bounce right off you, because you are happy being who you are and no one else's boo-hooing will be able to affect that.
Your (real) friends and family will learn to accept you as you are, however you are, because deep down they love you and want to see you happy, whatever form that happiness may take. Any initial disapproval or concern is shown simply because they care about you (I know I say it all the time, but it's true). You have to be patient and let them see that you are only expressing yourself in a way that makes you happy.
At the end of the day, if you are happy, confident, comfortable, and having fun - does it matter one iota what the guy walking past you on the street thinks? I don't think so.
Best of luck!