Goths can be any age, any race, any colour, any religion. I’ve heard rumours saying things like ‘Goths aren’t allowed to fall in love’, ‘Goths are only allowed to date other Goths’, etc, and none of that is true either. Goths are just normal people. They don’t drink blood or sacrifice virgins at midnight.
You can’t know someone at a glance just by looking at what they’re wearing. You can’t judge someone by what colour their hair is, what music they listen to, what tattoos they have or where they shop. Goths are not melodramatic teenage outcasts. They’re creative, intelligent, fun-loving people. How can you look at someone and then judge them without knowing what’s going on in their life, or even who they are?
"Shortly before Christmas 2004 I was attacked for being gothic by three individuals. I was badly beaten by all three. Being disabled didn't seem to stop them either. I suffered from broken teeth, dislocated shoulder, many lacerations and bruises, a lot of my hair torn out, etc. The list goes on. The police were sympathetic at first, but then they turned against me when they heard the made up story two of my attackers told them (I'm on a walking stick, how am I supposed to run up behind someone and punch them I'll never know). I did escape the attack, but was caught again and beaten once more. Needless to say, I was a mess. Ever had a DM collide with the back of your skull? Trust me, it hurts a lot."
"Once my maths book got scribbled over by someone,and they wrote stuff like 'Goth skank' and 'No-one would miss you if you died,you emo bitch' which really hurt me alot. It's totally unfair people get bullied because of how they dress,what music they like and even what colour their hair is (i dyed my hair red and people actually threw stones at me)..."
"When I was 14, I was waiting for a train with a friend of mine. I noticed that a girl was staring at me. To be quite honest, I never thought anything of it until I somehow made eye-contact and she started approaching me. First off, she started shouting in my face that I should be ashamed of myself for the way that I dress, that it was "disgusting" and I was a "gothic piece of shit", then next thing I know she'd pulled me down to the ground by my hair and was kicking me in the face repeatedly. Thankfully, my friend managed to pull her off of me and all I suffered from was a burst lip, bloody nose and a few chunks of hair pulled out. The thing that really pissed me off was that there were other people at the train station, about 6 other people and no one came to help out! I think I even noticed one guy smirking a little bit at it! Oh and the girl? She got away with it."
"My worst experience in Gothic-style is having been cornered by three boys in a backstreet. They looked pretty drunk, and while nothing much more potent than 'fucking freak' was said, they made it pretty clear they were quite happy to beat on me when they were done cussing. Thank goodness, however, another man came along and chased them off before they could do anything more than insult me. I like to think of that incident as positive, though; it proves that there are some good people in the world."
"At school, we were having a discussion about random stuff blah blah blah. Everyone had to say an opinion and I said mine. I’d finished, and then another girl shouts across the room “Well you're Goth, so your opinion doesn’t matter.”"
"I'm always getting picked on because of what i wear,and when i report it, the teachers do nothing because they think I'm the one starting the trouble...."
Do we really want a society where people are afraid to leave the house in case they get their head kicked in? Do we really want to all look and dress and act the same? Why do we, as people, have to be so intolerant of each other? So you don’t like the Goth look? That’s fine. You don’t have to wear it. But why can’t you respect those that have chosen to dress that way because they DO like it? How is it bothering you?
"People who dont even know me give me horrible looks and avoid me. I'm proud of who I am but some people judge on what others look like and it's just so wrong."
"I get insults yelled at me, literally every school day. 'Emo/freak/loser/loner', and other such inventive things like 'Go cut/kill yourself' Honestly guys, at least think of a new one. And god it gets annoying when people call me a goth, BUT they mean it as an insult. I even got spat on the other day on my way to Science. I'll give you fifty dollars if you can find anything offensive or strange about going around to my classes like everyone else. I regularly get shoved up against walls and lockers."
"A group of boys slammed me against school lockers (They have two rows so the handle of the top row hit my head, hard.) and one grabbed my arm and started drawing red lines across it saying "Cut yourself emo? Look theres a cut here and here and here" (keep in mind I have no cuts or scars on my arms at all) while the others held me against the lockers. Then after both of my arms were covered in ink they pushed me to the ground and said "merry christmas, goth trash". The teachers didnt even do anything, they just looked the other way."
The murder of Sophie Lancaster came as a shock to our society. But I have read news stories about Goths – particularly in America – being beaten, raped, having their children taken away, even shot at, for the way they look. And I think it’s sick. Following Russia's intention to pass legislation to ban emo and Goth music by the end of the year, and barring people dressed in emo or Goth-style clothing from entering schools or government buildings, how long will it be before the rest of the world follows this example?
Not Goth? Imagine if there were laws put in place to say that YOU can’t dress how you want and listen to the music that you like. Doesn’t feel good, does it? This is pointless censorship at the highest level. And if the authorities keep trying to convince us that Goths are dangerous, volatile freaks, then there are going to be more attacks, more Sophies, more lives snuffed out because people are too close-minded to accept those who are different. How long will it be before killing someone for how they dress is no longer considered shocking or wrong?