Being an outcast of outcasts is a strength

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I attended a GLBT club on my college campus for years, and no one came up to introduce themselves. I’m still bi. I went to every Goth nightclub in Denver almost daily, and made no new real lasting friends in the Goth scene. I’m still Goth.

It may seem sad that so-called welcome societies are not so in reality, to the point where people end up with a take-care-of-#1 mentally, but the point here is that by seeing others being themselves, it gave me license and freedom to be myself without the need to be liked, by normies or by Goths. Just knowing that I’m not alone (and that I’m safe) is enough for me to stop feeling lonely (and in danger of losing myself).

My condensed immersion in the scene resulted in me being able to carry the Goth spirit wherever I went. No, you’re right, I had that before I got here. 

True Goths do not need to be surrounded by other Goths all the time. And, in fact, many Goths around the world are surrounded by other Goths rarely. People who are true to themselves never need to fit in to love themselves.

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Your Identity Doubles as Community Service

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Are you ready to do community service? Many times people associate that word with punishment. But is it really? Don’t we all seek a job that would fulfill us? What best fulfills us? Giving and serving with a cause we believe in.

When you claim your Gothness, you have a moral and ethical obligation to be a representative of all Goths and to serve all Goths. The way to best serve other Goths is to be your absolute best, authentic self. When you are yourself, you give license and permission for other to be themselves. In that way you make them “licensed” Goths; you are paying it forward, making it easier for another Goth to feel safe, loved, and appreciated in this world. Since ours is an underserved community, we must take particular care to keep the community healthy (and alive!) Think of your unique talents and abilities and consider ways that you can give to the community. (I don’t like to say “give back” since you didn’t take anything). When you have come up with your list, narrow it down. What will best serve the Goth economy? What will best serve all dimensions of a Goth or similar person person in a similar culture?  I don’t like saying “subculture” because we do not subordinate ourselves nor should we.

One way that I serve the Goth economy is through Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a safe environment for socializing and  professional growth. Adding Goths to Toastmasters is a twist on the tried and true.

If you live in the Denver area, consider joining next week. For more information, see Freaks Who Speak Toastmasters Club.

Freaks Who Speak Toastmasters Club

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What: Freaks Who Speak Toastmasters Club
When: September 18th from 7-8:30PM
Where: Scum of the Earth Church @ 935 W 11th Ave, Denver, CO 80204
Who: This will be an open club. There is an 18+ age requirement to be an official member, but all ages are allowed to participate in meetings to some extent. Normie allies of the Goth community are also welcome.
Why: There are many introverts with stories to share in the Goth community, but also few job skill trainings and resume-enhancing trainings targeted specifically to the Goth community
How: District 25 will provide a demonstration meeting to see if there is interest in the Goth community. Something like this has never been done before now!

Toastmasters Flyer

Features Benefits and Value Chart

What Lavoce Does and How You Can Support It

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What Lavoce Does

Lavoce aims to improve Goths’ financial futures and banish shame. Lavoce says that you are more than a novelty and more than a niche vendor, or whatever it is you do to make a living. You are who you believe yourself to be, and you are whatever you were born to be. Being Goth is like breathing. One does not just stop breathing because someone is told to. Eventually one has to choose whether to live or die.As Thomas Paine said, “Give me freedom or give me death.” Unfortunately, some chose to die, and that is a reality that Lavoce will change.

Lavoce says that you don’t need to develop a drinking habit to be among like-minded dark romantics. I do not see why Goths need to put themselves into a potentially triggering situation just to be themselves. It’s almost as if the powers that be want to condition us like Pavlovian dogs to feel bad about our nature and to make us want to be something other than ourselves. It is almost like having to pay for food in order to perform a bodily function, or paying a toll to drive from point A to B, or purchasing air rights. Goths have the right to be with like-minded people without spending money on potentially debilitating habits.

I have recently met someone with whom I hope to collaborate in terms of providing the Goth scene with options that do not involve drinking and would be of special interest to oldbies. Stay tuned.

How You Can Support Lavoce’s Cause

You remember “Drain the Swamp”? How could you not? That is a result of how DC was insulated from what was going on with the rest of the country, and the entire world, during The Great Recession and beyond. Denver is the same way with their Goth scene. Even though I love its thriving community, which stands in sharp contrast to DC’s, one just cannot ignore the ignorance regarding the rest of America, and again, the world. Some Goths there, especially those native to Colorado make taking the Goth scene for granted an art. They believe that every state has a Goth scene. Smh (shaking my head).

Goth nights at bars and clubs are great for fostering a sense of not being alone, and there is certainly a place for that, but they are not so great with changing the mindset people have toward Goths. Some Denver Goths complain about normies accidentally walking into a Goth night at a bar out of curiosity, but just as the GLBT community needs allies (which could be why Denver has the largest pride fest), so do Goths. (And plus, some perceived normies are really just corporate Goths, just as some allies are curious or questioning.)

So, I took action and introduced my normie friend to the Goth scene and a few people in the scene to reduce ignorance and increase awareness. (I tend to dislike the word “tolerance” as it breeds a continued level of close-mindedness.) You remember “Bring Your Child to Work Day”? We should really consider “Bring a Friend to Goth Scene Day”. The way to change the world is not to shelter oneself with people and news that only reaffirms our own confirmation bias (sorry, got back into politics), but to reach out to the world around us to increase awareness. It is only through increased awareness that we can also increase safety (or perceived safety, which can sometimes be just as important for preventing suicide). Even though Denver has more numbers to effect change, everyone has the ability to do what they can to make the world a better place for Goths. Remember that people’s lives are at stake.

The Headdress and the Slut Walk

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I was reading about Muslim fashion from the Economist and how it has been springing up on the fashion walks in the fashion capitals around the world. The article said that you could not call it “sexy.” Of course not! I even wondered why it was okay to call non-Muslim fashion sexy. Why is there such a prevalent attitude that women’s fashion is only for sex? Nudity is for sex. Being clothed is the opposite of being naked.

What do the headdress and the slut walk have in common? They both affirm women’s rights to be treated as human beings, not meat, and subsequently affirm men’s rights to be treated as human beings, not as annoying parasitic leeches made stupid by desires. Of course, they have very different methods for accomplishing the same thing.

Why do I blog about this under a Goth blog? Because being Goth is an affirmation that all humans have the right to pursue fashion with passion without fear of rape, leering, or (unwanted) stares. This applies even to women who as girls saw only the glamorous side of Madonna, women deemed “trailer trash,” and other women who use sex to sell and aspired to be like them.

“I make jokes about it, but it’s the truth that I kind of patterned my look after the town tramp. I didn’t know what she was, just this woman who was blond and piled her hair up, wore high heels and tight skirts, and, boy, she was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen. Momma used to say, “Aw, she’s just trash,” and I thought, That’s what I want to be when I grow up. Trash.”― Dolly Parton

In Saudi Arabia, where women wear headdresses, women value fashion so much that they spend as much on fashion as they do on rent and stores do not import more than one item of the same style lest two women be caught wearing the same thing. Beyond the headdress being an affirmation of religion, it is also a practical feature so that women can feel free to walk the streets alone without having to call for a cab, Uber, or Lyft.

“The moment that I step outside
So many reasons
For me to run and hide
I can’t do the little things
I hold so dear
‘Cause it’s all those little things
That I fear” – No Doubt – Just A Girl Lyrics | MetroLyrics

God (or Allah or Source) did not make us women to curse us; He (or She) made us women to bless us. He (or She) did not bless us with beauty, but curse us with an eye for fashion; nor did He (or She) bless us with an eye for fashion, but curse us with beauty.

Female Goths have a hard enough time feeling safe from normies; the last thing they need to worry about is feeling unsafe from their own male peers. Idealistically, female Goths should be free to choose a life of purity, monogamy, or asexuality if they so wish, and other female Goths’ desires for polyamory, nonmonogamy, or even addictive behaviors should not impede on other female Goths. Another tenet of feminism is that women should also have the right to change their preference.

All women should have the right to wear whatever they so choose without fear of rape or annoyance be they Goths, Muslims, or even aspiring “trailer trash.”

The Dream After Halloween

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This Halloween I dressed up as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. The title of this post is a deliberate play on The Nightmare Before Christmas, which was about people from a world about Halloween invading a world about Christmas (and alludes to the fact that I was too busy enjoying Halloween to post). Perhaps it is not appropriate to add a bit of Halloween to Christmas. However, I think we should all add a bit of Christmas to Halloween.

People say that we should treat every day as if it were Christmas, giving freely (of not just candy) and with a joyful heart. Everyone seems to get in on the fun, even non-Christians.

To a Goth, every day is Halloween, and we are free to be ourselves without worrying about what other people think, even if sometimes that means our employers. However, not everyone gets in on the fun with Halloween. There is that attitude that there is a certain age at which one should quit celebrating Halloween. I agree that it might be inappropriate for a 40-year-old to ask for candy, but that certainly does not prevent his or her ability to dress up (or down).

As for the word “dream” in the title, “dream” has multiple meanings. First, there is the real dream one has at night. I sometimes remember multiple dreams per night every night. They are always figurative and metaphorical, hard to decipher without some help. So in applying that idea here, I think Halloween represents our collective ability to feel safe being ourselves among coworkers and other judgmental adults. Goths should never work in a place that does not celebrate Halloween. If we do not feel safe, then we live in a nightmare.

“Dream” can also imply something wonderful, marvelous, spectacular, like paradise on earth. I feel that if we were able to make the world a safer place for fellow Goths, that we would indeed be living a paradise on earth. I am fortunate that for the first time in my life I started a new job around Halloween. The first impression I made was that this is the real me (what you see is what you get), and the specialness of that one day in the year made it possible for my true Goth self to continue flourishing and blooming even within a white-collar environment.

I did not have to sacrifice a good paycheck for the ability to be myself. Now that is a dream come true!

Welcome to Lavoce’s Directory

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Do you ever get a nagging feeling that you should be doing something more important than what you are doing most of the time? I have had this feeling, and it’s been getting under my skin. You see, I have a pet project that I have worked on for some time. It is not perfect, but I have finally come to the realization that, with the limited time I have to work on such a time-consuming project, it may never be perfect, so I have decided to finally share it with you even though it’s still (and forever) in progress. I give to you Lavoce’s Directory: the most comprehensive and up-to-date (as in this decade, not the ’80s) Goth directory ever to be found on the Internet. The formatting is not the best and it’s not always in alphabetical order, but it is more useful for reviving the Goth community on the Internet than it is on my desktop. Even this introduction might not be the greatest introduction to such an amazing time-consuming project, but I hope that you can get some use out of it. Here you go!

Lavoce Directory

If you have suggestions on how I can improve it, please email me at lavoce.wap2@gmail.com. After I have posted the PDF online, I will be abandoning the PDF and will be moving it gradually to a software that will do a better job of formatting the directory for the Web. See the outline I have here: www.stylefreedominfomediary.com. I urge you to check in on my progress, but please be patient.