Alysin on Twitter sent me a tweet asking for help with a rather unusual situation - she's been grounded from being a Goth, permanently.
|The Birthday Massacre|
Which is why I always advise that you compromise, compromise, compromise, and talk about it with your parents. In this particular instance I would advise Alysin to raise the subject with her parents at every opportunity. In the car. Over dinner. Watching TV. Whenever you get a moment with your parents, start the conversation that goes, "About me being Goth... it is really important to me and it's not as bad as you think it is..." Yes, of course they will roll their eyes and ask you to change the subject. But each and every time the opportunity arises, persist, and whilst it probably won't magically make them change their minds, it will show them that your interest in 'this goth thing' isn't just going to go away if they ignore it.
Ask them if you can be Goth if you don't dye your hair or wear heavy make-up. Ask them if you can be Goth if you don't wear any sexualised or offensive clothing - even if this limits your wardrobe to black T-shirts, blouses and jeans. It shows them that you're serious and that you can agree to sensible compromises. Ask, ask, and keep asking.
What are their reasons for this decision? Is it a (very creative) punishment for an unrelated misdemeanour (in which case I'd guess they'd give in sooner or later, when they feel you have been appropriately punished)? Do they disapprove of Goth in general (in which case, make sure you have The Talk, and keep on trying)? Or did you do something specific and Goth-related that they really didn't like, e.g. getting a piercing when they had forbidden you to do so (in which case undo the damage as much as you can, apologise, and, yup, keep trying to talk to them about it)?
In the meantime! Whilst wearing them down with pester power, what are your remaining options? I'll admit, I'm not entirely sure how you could ground someone from being a Goth. Have they banned black clothing? The cream, brown and sepia tones of steampunk are still available to you, as are the pale shades of 'ice Goth'. Could you get away with a black T-shirt if you wore blue jeans? Try working around the basic definition of Goth clothing and see how much you can get away with. If they're on the lookout for Tripp pants and heavy eyeliner, they may not realise that the purple T-shirt (or nice white blouse) with a nice black skirt and subtle bat jewellery is equally 'Goth'.
Have they banned Goth music? If so, find out as much as you can about what they think Goth music entails. I'll wager it won't involve Classical music, anything that sounds upbeat or bouncy, or many of the ethereal/ambient artists e.g. Dead Can Dance. What if the band members don't look ooky-spooky? Again, try working around the basic and obvious signifiers of Goth and explore what has been left available to you.
Lastly, make-up! Heavy black or other dark colours are obviously out, so again, try thinking outside the box. Silver eyeliner? Vintage or retro-inspired styles, e.g. winged eyeliner and red lips? A plum-coloured gloss and a flick of mascara? Don't make it too heavy or extravagant and don't draw attention to it, and see what will pass without notice or comment.
However, it's best to bear in mind that at the end of the day whilst you are under their roof you need to abide by their rules. The above advice will hopefully help you keep a smidgen of your spookiness, but remember that they are your parents and you do need to respect them! It won't last forever; when you are eighteen you will be an adult and can do as you please! Bear that in mind when you feel frustrated, and start daydreaming about the uber-Goth outfits you can wear when you leave home.
Best of luck, hope this helps! Readers, any further advice?