Twenty years ago, I was standing on the Sunset Strip with my friend Joey. We’d just been to see the Legendary Pink Dots and someone leaned out of a convertible SUV, screaming, “GOTH HIPPIES DIE.” We laughed and laughed like crones around a cauldron.
This sums up my life as a goth, which began when I was a teen putting ads in the back of Flipside magazine for mix tapes, zine trades and pen pal correspondence. I didn’t know what a goth was exactly, but I was playing Bauhaus, The Birthday Party, Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Damned on vinyl I kept in a milk crate. I wore 1950s black cardigans and skirts, vintage slips and fishnets with old rosaries. I guess not much has changed, deep down.
I met most of my forever friends through the clove smoke of a crowded dance floor in some goth club, back in the day
And everything has changed. I’ve constantly departed from High Goth costume, finding it farther and farther from my roots. I still revel in the literature, music and aesthetic of gothness. I have my bragging rights, though— one of the first gigs I ever went to was The Damned in 1986. I’ve danced in a My Dying Bride, and I met most of my forever friends through the clove smoke of a crowded dance floor in some goth club, back in the day. You are and will forever be my people.
I miss it—I mean, before this lockdown even happened, I missed it. I made this playlist for you, for us. Let’s dance slow and weird, like the poet-souls we are.