I don’t think it’s any secret at this point that I consider myself a Goth. I dress in all black; I wear black eyeliner and black lipstick, black nail polish. I live in an apartment decorated with pictures of skulls and horror movie characters like Freddy Krueger, Frankenstein, and Michael Myers. My musical taste consists of Goth Rock, Heavy Metal, Dark Ambient and Horror Punk. I watch almost nothing but horror films. I have a fascination with morbid Victorian arcana. I devour books on serial killers, ghosts, voodoo, and the occult. And of course, I’m obsessed with Halloween. Looking back on my life, I can see that almost inevitable that I evolve into a Goth. Some of the biggest landmarks of my youth are all tinged with darkness: first watching Frankenstein at age six, and The Phantom of the Opera at 11 (Frankenstein got me hooked on horror, and PotO inspired my first haunt). Discovering bands like Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson as a freshman in High School. Reading books on people like Jack the Ripper, Bela Lugosi, Joseph “The Elephant Man” Merrick, and Anton Szandor LaVey. First becoming interested in the paranormal around 16. In short, ladies and gentlemen, I am a weirdo, and damn proud of it. I won’t lie; it hasn’t all been peaches and cream. I have had to put up with a lot of naysayers, people who told me that there was something fundamentally wrong with me for being this way. I have been called everything from a devil-worshipper to a Nazi (personally, I can just laugh at the devil-worship accusations, but the Nazi thing is completely insulting). So why do I do this? Why do I stick with it and run the risk of being laughed at or worse? Well, there are a couple of reasons. First, I have to admit I like sticking out in crowd. I like the attention; I like not just blending into the homogenous hoards. Secondly, I get to truly live like its Halloween every day. If the way we present ourselves is a mask, then I’m just putting on mask the fits me. But the third and most important reason, I think, is self-expression. In life you have to fashion an identity for yourself, decide who and what you are as an individual. I never felt comfortable being a “normal” person. I much preferred the idea of being a Mad Scientist, an Opera Ghost, a creature of the night. So I remake myself, via clothes and makeup, into a persona that feels just right. I am, in the words of one writer, aligning myself with the fraternity of the monstrous. If there is one thing that I want you to take away from this post, Specters, it is this: be who you are, and don’t let anyone hold you back. As a human being you most evolve into what you were meant to be. It may not be an easy or painless transition, but it will be worth it. In the words of George R. R. Martin,
“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you."