Thursday, September 20, 2012

So Goth I was Born Black..just not yesterday.

Recently on tumblr this article from Coilhouse was linked and people are predictably pretty pumped.

As I talked about a lot last year I stopped reading or trying to be involved with a lot of Alt/Goth related things.

Now while I am yes a little glad that Black Goths are apparently being spotted, we are not exotic birds. We are not unicorns. We aren't even all that rare in a lot of places.

I have a lot of major problems with how Coilhouse did this.

First issue.

Could they not find a single person of color involved in the Alt/Goth scene to write this article? Of the blogs and websites they linked to, could they not have asked one of those people?

This is a problem.

Look. People of Color, especially those of us who might be older and have been doing this Freak shit for a long time might have a better perspective than OH WOW LOOK BLACK PEOPLE, which is how the article read to me.

This is a big part of why in recent years I haven't been as into Goth related events and going clubbing. I have had enough of that kind of thing to last a lifetime. As excited as someone may be to see some actual diversity in a scene, squeeing like you've seen a unicorn will only make said unicorn really uncomfortable and that is the vibe I got from the article.

I am honestly far too old to be excited when someone realizes I exist.

If a magazine like Coilhouse wants to do something positive, how about actually being more inclusive itself?

When Coilhouse started up I was actually excited. At first it seemed to deviate from the Thin Pretty White girls thing a little bit but honestly after two issues I stopped buying it.

This is another magazine/community(I say community since they have a blog and they interact there) that I look at and think to myself, what is here for me?

Nothing.

Second problem.

How are you going to call out Gothic Beauty when there are not (aside from this blog post) not a lot of POC in your own publication?

F'real though?

Pot say hello to kettle.

This article is unfortunate fluff.

This is what happens when Whiteness (as the cultural norm) says OH WOW LOOK.

It's not okay.

It's not exciting.

It is a problem.

Honestly, it is 2012. There is really no reason that any publication should be unable to instead of talking about POC, talk to POC or hear from the mouths of people of color.

It is the difference between pointing at me on the street and going, "no look there ARE Black Goths" and asking me about it. It is the difference between being an exhibit and being a part of the scene.

I find it frustrating. It's more frustrating because a lot of POC will take this crumb and celebrate. I'm not mad about that, I can't be because I was the same way for a long time. I am over pandering to White privilege and giving people cookies for seeing that I exist. That is no longer enough for me to even want to try to be part of a scene.

If as a culture the Alt world wants to do things, how about instead of pointing at the Brown people or letting everyone know we're here (hint we've been here for a long time) why not talk to us?

I think that's all I want to say about it right now. I won't go into the intersecting issue of so many normative bodies, the cult of pretty etc. If you would like to read more about my own Gothdom experiences here you can find a bunch of posts by me relating to my gothness.

And before I go let me say this. I'm not saying NO BAD COILHOUSE. I'm saying, c'mon dudes you can do better.

As a matter of fact let me say that 90% of Alt/Goth related publications can do fucking better. If you want to be awesome and inclusive don't just post some pictures and say LOOK WE GET IT. If you're going to be Alt offer some Alternatives to the Thin Pretty White People narrative and aesthetic.

Or at least try.

Okay that's all.

Homo Out.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Honestly, it is 2012. There is really no reason that any publication should be unable to instead of talking about POC, talk to POC or hear from the mouths of people of color."

AMEN. This is why I love the Afropunk documentary so much (as for the travesty that is the music festival that's another thing). At this point if we as black goths want to have our voices and viewpoints heard looks like we're gonna have to get it out there ourselves. Much like James Spooner did with Afropunk. He said he literally got a camera, went on a search for people in the punk scene (aside from the one's he already knew), and recorded their thoughts. I don't see why something in the same vein couldn't be done for Black Goths.

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