Lately I have been considering the label "goth" and whether or not it applies to me. Of course the answer to that lies with me, but at this point I haven't really clarified the parameters of "gothiness" for myself. How goth is goth? Must I lust after velvet? Good, because I do. Must I wear black everyday? Good, because I don't. Must I appreciate the dark side of things? Good, because I do. Must I enjoy the sight of blood? Good, because I don't.

Labels are a funny thing. They can tell you where a thing belongs, what's in it, where it came from and what its purpose is. But when it comes to applying labels to individuals, all those properties become murkier. I identify with and "get" a lot of what is considered goth, and wouldn't mind slapping that label onto my forehead if it only applied to what I like about it. But there are some aspects of goth culture I reject, dislike, find backwards or puzzling, and I don't want to be associated with it or be expected to represent it. Of course, in the end I will do what I always do, which is pick and choose the things I want to incorporate into myself. But knowing which side of the goth label I'm on can help me identify other people who might be similar to me. And everyone wants to have someone to relate to.

On another note, there is the issue of ethnicity. Obviously, I'm not white. Of course I'm cool hanging with my pale(r)-faced sistren and brethren; I'm just curious to find more information about goths of color. I'm certain they exist. But googling "black goths" is pure makes no sense whatsoever to even search for that. Just thinking about it makes me laugh...