Monday, August 22, 2011

Goth Challenge, Day 8

Day 8 – What's your worst and best experience with non-Goths?

What a weird topic. To me it sounds as if the creator if this challenge assumed that all Goths live in some Goth commune with little contact with the outside world; as if dealing with non-Goths was some sort of rare occurrence...

But in reality, 98% of my interactions in real life are with non-Goths. Online, I do have a solid group of goth friends and groups with whom I interact more than with non-Goths, but even then, my online life is a small percentage of my daily life.
Me, in work attire, with bat accessories
 My worst experience was by far the nonacceptance of my gothiness by my ex, which I have discussed in previous posts (Goth Challenge, Day 2 and Day 3). I have experienced some minor prejudice toward my being Goth from my supervisor at work. He once attempted to give me a slightly less than stellar mark on my review because of my wardrobe. After a heated discussion where I pointed out that I always follow the office dress code, and wear professional attire and that he can't sanction me just because I wear primarily black. He then tried to remark about my hair and accessories. And again, I made it clear that my hair color isn't extreme. There are many women here with black hair, and white streaks - granted, their streaks are from aging, and mine are by choice, but he can't possibly penalize me for that. And as for accessories, how is my wearing jewelry with spiders or bats any different than the receptionist who wears jewelry with cats and ladybugs? I also pointed out that the client has absolutely no problem with how I appear, and that my work is always praised by the client, so trying to penalize me on such a petty matter could definitely be construed as prejudicial. While he chaffed at me being right, he did concede, and we have never again discussed my personal style.

My favorite earrings, worn above
by Alchemy Gothic
Other than that, I am lucky in that I have never been in a situation where I've had to experience extreme prejudice or Goth-bashing. I understand in the UK, the prejudice experienced by Goths is a somewhat regular occurrence, and is extremely hateful. The worst case being the brutal murder of Sophie Lancaster.

Because of the ambivalence toward most sub-cultures here, I can't think of a shining moment of interacting with non-Goths that bears mentioning. I do have the occasional "normal" person compliment me on either my hair, style or confidence that allows me to wear what I want and not care how others judge; but that's not so remarkable. I guess, the lack of bad moments - the general acceptance and lack of prejudice toward Goths - would really be the best experience in non-Goth interactions.

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