I love black. I’m wearing a black fleece and black socks, jeans and a royal purple sweater. I’m drinking black coffee from a white mug. I write with a black pen on the ivory pages of a black Moleskine diary. My phone is black and gray, with a black houndstooth cover. I’m listening to Metallica.
It’s hard to call myself goth, though I loved to look at the 1985-95 vampire-loving, Gaiman-reading, clove-smoking beautiful folk as much as anyone. But I’m too lazy with makeup, and I’ve spent too long in climates where full goth regalia is a recipe for heatstroke.
I grew up in Florida in the 80s and 90s, a petite blonde daughter in the era of neon, raised by a New Age mother. I learned I should be “warm”, like a loving little light-filled angel. Warm and giving and harmless, helpful and weak. But it was never me. I always had a secret self, buried deep–some huge, powerful, black and ivory and jewel-toned presence inside.
I was made to feel so ashamed for any “darkness” I held onto, and I’ve always been so secretly guilty about my desire to keep holding onto it and loving it. Not darkness as negativity, but void-dark: the iridescent, holographic, baroque antique darkness that speaks of crucibles, wombs, and the lights-out in the arena before the concert begins.
It’s angering that I was fed a spiritual and moral belief that only validated the light half of me, the lightness, and that denied that you can still be good and be aligned with a wholesome darkness, too. From liking rock music, to being sexual, to dressing in black, to seeing through people, to getting piercings, to having an unshakeable grasp on who I am and where I want to wander…all the things at the core of me, that make me myself. I shouldn’t have had to choose.