Large, Dark & Happy: My Journey to Realizing I Was Goth

Myself at a recent Gothic event in Kentucky.

Myself at a recent Gothic event in Kentucky.

Despite popular opinion, we don’t come out of the womb snapping at the bright light with newborn vampire teeth. There is usually a shedding of skin if you will. A point in time where you dress in black and don’t look back. Each has their own reason for their metamorphosis, their own shaping or revelation, the gleeful knowledge that we aren’t buying what society as a whole is selling… Only what Hot Topic is. (Quit hissing, it’s a joke.)

I suppose it’s all about the fit. Being comfortable about who you are, your passions, and your perspective. I was a late bloomer in this aspect. A closeted, self hating Goth. Beyond that, my faith wasn’t very welcoming of the idea at first. I was and am a large man, put me in black and skull decor and it’s only a matter of time before I eat the youth group on Sunday, right?

But as I reached a point of honesty where I couldn’t let it hide inside any longer, it just kinda happened. As white cat fur seeks out and clings to your nice black clothes, it was…inevitable.

I’ve always loved the dark. Goth was there all along in my tastes. Lurking in the shadows, smoking cloves, and waiting for me to wake up from my fever dream of normalcy. Finally, the day came where I made a conscious effort to put the morbid in morbidly obese and openly go for it. Finding a 6x goth wardrobe is not fun, not fun, but, bit by bit, it happened. Now my exterior matched my interior. The blast, the flash, and I waited for the fallout.

Really there wasn’t much. I didn’t burn more then usual in daylight. God didn’t strike me dead, although certain people smiled largely and backed away pulling their children away before I could consume them whole. I faced no real persecution, which was kind of a let down. But now I was comfortable being me inside and out. Hearing most people’s stories, apparently I lucked out. Maybe it was Divine intervention or the fact that large, dark and happy scares the hell out of people. Either way the transition was made.

The best part of being goth was that I could indulge my tastes without out worrying about what others would think. I’ll be open here: My name is Thom…and I’m a geek by nature. (Hi, Thom!!) As I DID come out of the womb with a D20 clutched in my hand, having a house full of dragons was now a good thing, provided you have enough skulls and candles to balance them out. So even more of me was free to roam in the open.

I found an undiscovered boon as well: turns out freedom feeds creativity, so my art got better. I sculpted more gargoyles, made more jewelry and generally was happier then I’d been before. Wait, is that “culturally” allowed given the nature of my change? But there it is. Self acceptance birthed freedom and birthed creativity. Being goth was the best thing ever! And sometimes I scared people. You know what? It’s great! Wouldn’t change a thing.

So there it is kids, that’s my story. And you have yours. What we have in common is each other. We chose to just be us. Broken or whole, we walk exposed, free and not hiding. Showing our black plumage proudly. I wouldn’t go back if I could.

Thom Jankowski. 

Author: Goth Thom

Goth Thom is a sculptor with tribal tendencies, a razor sharp mind, and great enjoyment of friends, weapons, and sculpture. He lives in the wilds of Northern Ohio.

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  1. i don’t know about that, according to the leastt gothic beauty pittsburgh is well above denver in best goth scenes’ but I’m not going to lie, there be a lot of goths here. I’m not really sure about libby’s enthusiasm for the anarchist/goth crossover but it doesn’t hurt to dream a dream. I definitely have at least one friend that would most likely submit something for it if you’d like !

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