Friday, 11 November 2011

Goth and the LGBT community

Long, long ago, Tenebris in Lux requested a post on the links between Goth and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We all know by now that there are a lot of stereotypes surrounding Goth and sexuality - no, not all Goths are gay. Not every man (Goth or otherwise) wearing make-up and a skirt is gay. Because often the Goth look, particularly for men, is androgynous or feminised, it is often assumed that all Goth males are gay or bisexual. This is not true.

Source: Gothlings
Model/photographer unknown
It is also a stereotype that Goths pretend to be bisexual because they think it makes them seem more open-minded or alternative - or in the case of girls, because 'everyone knows' that girls who kiss girls are sexy. :-/ Thankfully I have not come across this stereotype in real life; only online. And whilst I'm sure there are a few teenage drama queens who want to make out with their same-sex friends to get attention, by the time most of us are old enough to go clubbing and socialise with other Goths we've grown out of such behaviour.

Stereotypes aside, of course there are Goths who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, genderqueer, etc, etc. In fact, many in the Goth scene have found themselves more able to be open about their sexuality as on the whole the community is tolerant and non-judgemental.

Am I saying that LGBT Goths never recieve any aggro or unkindness from their Gothy peers? No. Sadly there are still some in the scene who are unable to practise what they preach and who are rude and unpleasant towards others, whilst expecting others to treat them with open-mindedness and respect. No subculture or community is full of perfect people.

An article from The Skinny entitled, 'Queer and Goth', says, "Goth or alternative clubs like Ascension, Neon, and Bedlam, to name just a few, have become a safe haven not only for people exploring their sexual orientation but also exploring their gender identity. Among 'traditional goths' women tend to look very femme - long hair and corsets. But their male partners also have long hair and occasionally wear corsets themselves. Nearly everyone wears make-up regardless of sex and more than one brave man wears a skirt.

"Bisexuality is almost the norm among the crowds that frequent Scotland's goth clubs. It's encouraged and even expected that many people will have an encounter with someone of the same sex. This shows a fantastic amount of acceptance and tolerance for bisexuals who often get flack from both sides of the 'fence' for being greedy or indecisive. In goth clubs, bisexuals are so common, they're practically passé." Click here to read full article.

The article suggests that those who are LGBT may feel less safe in 'straight' clubs than in Goth clubs, whether or not they are actually Goth. I think this shows that, whilst Goths may raise their skinny eyebrows at club tourists, they are on the whole a calmer, politer, and less intimidating crowd than those found at a traditional nightclub, and of course less prejudiced against others as a general rule.

I also found a discussion on which may be of interest; members have mentioned how Goths are more open-minded and do not shun others on behalf of sexuality.

Opinions on Goths attending gay clubs seem to differ internet-wide. On some forums I found people telling those searching for local Goth clubs simply to head for the gay clubs, as that was where most of the local Goths tended to frequent. Conversely I also found a personal account from one gay Goth who was made to feel uncomfortable at a gay club due to his mode of dress.

This is not something I have much personal experience of as I have been in a hetero relationship for the past seven years - other than stereotype-busting, I don't want to stick my neck out too far on a topic I know little about, so the floor is open to you guys: opinions, experiences, etc?


Lucidia-Rai LeFang said...

I've had to deal with the whole 'you're not bisexual, you just want to seem more alternative/scare your parents' thing a lot. Mostly on the internet, but a few times in real life. It does get very annoying. I've also had people tell me that my sexuality is a 'phase', and that I'll 'grow out of it just like I will with goth'. Not exactly helpful, huh? XD

Tenebris In Lux said...

Thanks for the post, Amy! I also forgot that I requested it xD

Yeah. Sometimes it can be strange, being Goth and bisexual (almost like a walking stereotype) because I still do struggle about my identity sometimes. I'm glad to have grown up in such an accepting family, and to find the community here just as open and thoughtful. :-)

Ophelia Black said...

I really appreciate this article, my parents seem to think that I'm doing everything I can to scare/annoy them. First they noticed that I was a goth, something they didn't want to say to my face for a very long time because they considered it a terrible insult. Then they felt that my depression was an attempt to be even more goth. If I tell them I'm a lesbian without a girlfriend they would probably think I'm making it up for the alternative effect. My parents are as conservative as they come, they have told me more than once how much I disappoint them. Its nice to know that there are reasonable people who understand that these matters are entirely separate, not a desperate attempt to match stereotypes.

Camilla LeBlanc said...

I'd just like to thank you for this article. It's so nice to know that there is hope for acceptance outside of the LGBTQ community.

My parents say their liberal and oh-so-accepting, but they don't accept their Gothic lesbian daughter. You see, I dress on the femme-ier side of androgyny, but all my parents see is butch. I'm a "failure of a girl" in their eyes. They've ingrained these ideas in my brother's head too, he's called me a dykey bitch and have asked me if I worship the devil.

In my own family, I'm constantly being teased, downgraded, and felt like less than a human due to the fact that I am what I am.

Kreepette said...

You forgot asexual:)

Anonymous said...

Haha, people have asked me if I'm gay or bi. xD They just KNEW I was. I'm not, but I can appreciate a hot woman. I just don't like the thought of being in a relationship with another chick. Gaw, that would be dysfunctional.
I think it's because people just like to sexualize everything. Like, I can appreciate that something or someone is pretty to look at without wanting to have sex with them, right? I don't want to screw horses, but I think they're just gorgeous critters and I love to look at them. Psh. I can't imagine goths bothering gays or visa-verse. That's the ultimate hypocrisey. We're all equally ridiculous, folks, but in our own special way! Let's just leave eachother be. Good post, Amy, as usual.

Gothic Faerie Queen said...

You know, at first my mom didn't agree with me when I first came out.

My sister didn't really care.

I was seventeen when I first came out. Well, actually, I didn't come out. I told my aunt and my aunt told my mom. Fucking bitch <.<

Anyway, I am twenty years old now and I came out like two weeks ago, and my mom is now accepting it. I think she wanted me to mature first or whatever.

All she worries now, is what other people will think.

As for my sister, she is the same way.

Louise said...

It has to be said, being asexual makes the whole "Sexy deth chix are easy" thing just that little bit more annoying. It's a horrible stereotype anyway, but when it's also telling you that you can't possibly exist it's hard not to be really bugged by it. XD

Pale Girl said...

Yes, I too have been accused of being a scene-bi which immensely frustrating because I realised I was bisexual before I was a Goth! I didn't have any clue what I was (I developed feelings for both genders at a young age) until I heard the term 'bisexual' and it just clicked, that's what I was.

I'm engaged to a wonderful man who let's me have FWB with women. I know how frowned upon this is by many (unfortunately the lesbian community often seems to look down on bisexuals) but I don't really care. It's my business, not theirs. I'm a Goth after all; why the Hell would I care what anyone else thinks? ^_^

Anonymous said...

I'm a goth lesbian. Whoever thinks it's "just a phase" is a very stereotypical person. I'm currently single again for the new year, unfortunately. But life goes on i guess.

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