While living in New Orleans, Louisiana, I found a vibrant and thriving Gothic community, with several venues hosting local DJ’s and movie nights. Even though there have been varying hosts and locations, the pulse remains the same. The underlying flow is unity and solidarity. There are always times when individuals don’t get along. My question is this: can we stay unified to bring to the world a greater appreciation for life and what lies beyond? My answer is a resounding “yes.”
There is more bravery and passion among those that call themselves “Goths” or “vampires” than I have witnessed anywhere else. I arrived in New Orleans on a train with only a duffel bag and a yearning for a different life. The community gave me not only a sense of belonging and a new beginning, but a job in my chosen profession. Through the music and shared stories, I was taught one of the most important life lessons: no one is ever alone. I learned about spirituality and duality from those who took me under their wing and had faith in the broken person I thought I was.
All those who seek connection should be allowed the same opportunities I had. Outsiders view the Gothic Community as being on its last breath. Nothing could be further from the truth. The greatest challenges will be to remain unified through hardship and pain, to feel confident and empowered to create social events outside of the internet, and to support one another despite any personal animosity. When we see a fellow soldier struggle on the battlefield of life, shouldn’t we pick him up and march on together? We are on the same side after all.
In a world so full of judgment, we have the unique opportunity to be around those who (for the most part) are quite accepting. To be able to dance and converse with individuals from all walks of life is such a gift that most never experience. We live in a time of ever increasing social challenges, and our ability to unify based on communal passion is an example to be followed. We as a collective, must continue to fight for social justice within our own community and in the larger spectrum of society. If we don’t, who will?
The Gothic community continues to amaze me with support through life’s most challenging times. I have seen hundreds of people search for missing members of our Gothic family. I have seen people come together for natural disasters, family issues, suicide prevention, death, marriages, and other beautifully challenging things that happen during our short lives. We are a collective that embraces the light and darkness of existence with open arms, and I look forward to facing life’s challenges together.
If you believe in life, it is because of obscurity. If you believe in joy, it is because of sadness. And if you believe in God, it is because of the Devil. – Father X, Exorcist, Church of Notre Dame, Paris