People are often weary of Goths and if you belong to this subculture you have probably had your share of funny situations during your interactions with non-goths.
There have probably been many times when non-goths have been intimidated by your strong make up or confused by your all-black atire.
I have found several very useful youtube videos that address the issue in a witty way, explaining what the goth subculture is all about.
I will also try to shed more light on the things that are most distinguishable for gothic culture and commonly observed, such as its unique music, art and literature.
The thing that the non-goths will first notice are as follows:
• the use of extreme black clothing, heavy eye-makeup, unusual hair styles, body piercing, etc.
• A fascination with medieval, Victorian and Edwardian history.
• Wearing of symbols such as an Egyptian ankh or "Eye of Ra," or "Eye of Horus;" a Wiccan pentacle, a Satanic inverted pentacle. etc.
• Goths tend to be non-violent, pacifistic, passive, and tolerant. Many in the media have mistakenly associated Goth with extreme violence and hatred of minorities, white supremacy, etc.
• Many Goths write about being depressed. Followers seem sullen and withdrawn, when in public. They are often much more "happy and carefree in the company of [other] Goths."
• Goth music often deals with thought-provoking topics, concentrating on societal evils, like racism, war, hatred of groups, etc. Their music tends to concentrate on the very "nasty, unhappy" topics that "North American culture" wants to "ignore and forget."
• A fascination with death. They try "to find a different way of thinking about life, like trying to find beauty in life, pain and death. It's all a quest for immortality."
• In contrast, many Goths are optimistic about the future and see much beauty in the world.
• Some Goths enjoy playing role playing games. However, RPGs are not an integral component of Goth culture. It is just that those intellectual and creative challenges that draw them to the Goth scene make them more likely to enjoy RPGs as well.
• Other interests: writings by authors like Dante, Byron, Tolstoy; German Expressionist silent films; writing music; painting, etc.
The words Goth and Gothic have had many, largely unrelated meanings in the past:
• the name of the Germanic Visigoth tribes that overthrew the Roman Empire. From this source arose the concept of a Goth as an uncivilized person, a barbarian.
• a style of architecture in Western Europe which was popular from the 12th to the 16th century.
• a style of horror/mystery literature that is dark, eerie and gloomy.
Goth, as a modern movement, started as one component of the punk rock scene. As the latter faded, Goth survived by creating its own subculture.
Popular music bands are the Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Sisters of Mercy, Dead Can Dance, and many others.
World Goth Day is celebrated annually on MAY-24. 11 It started as 'Goth Day" in the UK in 2009. but was expanded worldwide in 2010.