Newtown is teeming with them, you see them smoking on Town Hall steps and many make appearances at the famous Club 77.

Goths have been a part of the gay community for years and the popularity of this subculture is growing stronger than ever. The types of goths vary from babydolls, corporate goths, cybergoths, fetishists, rivetheads and even fairy goths.

Bisexual goth and author of Goth Craft, Raven Digitalis, said gender and sexuality take a back seat to personality and individuality in this culture.

Sexual preference isn’t overly focused on in the gothic subculture, so if a person is GLBTIQ and is involved in goth culture simultaneously, their sexual or gender preference isn’t given as much attention, focus, or thought as is their personality or aesthetics, he said.

Goths of all types enjoy wearing clothing that transcends the normal parameters of gender associations or definitions. Many people thus look androgynous, which I see as a very spiritual thing.

Suicide, violence and bad dress sense are some of the stigmas associated with the culture. Digitalis said anyone who appears overly alternative or different is certainly scrutinised at one point or another.

Goth is not a violent culture. I would, in fact, say that it’s the most passive of all subcultures, he said.

People have been severely beaten in the UK simply for looking goth. Just last month an English girl was beaten to death for her gothic appearance.

The price for expression -“ for being oneself -“ is often a sacrifice on some level, and this is certainly something that every out queer has dealt with.

Black represents something different for everyone. Most commonly, associations can be drawn between black and mourning or sorrow.

Goths and other dark artists tend to express their sorrow and darker emotions through music, art, fashion, and philosophy, rather than letting these things go unnoticed or avoided.

Ever since goth grew on its own as a splinter from punk in the late 70s, it’s been an emotionally open lifestyle. As such, emotional experiences and expressions are not criticised or patronised, Digitalis said.

They are very much accepted and understood as a part of human nature.

A club in Berlin called Anomalie is a Mecca for gay goths and many take the pilgrimage each year.

Lesbian goth, Polly Blaque, said the Sydney goth scene is drawing in a younger audience with a fascination for anything outside the clean-cut white mainstream.

Part of the culture is curiosity and experimentation in sexuality and other things seen to be taboo, Blaque said.

The hot spots for finding the goth scene in Sydney are Newtown RSL, Factory Theatre, Gallery Serpentine and Club Blink.

Through the whole of Australia, Sydney has the largest goth scene, but still there’s plenty of room to grow, she said.

Since the 80s nothing is shocking and so the goths are finding new ways to shock and widening minds of the public bureaucracy.

info: Dark Craft is available through www.llewellyn.com. Check out Raven’s website at www.ravendigitalis.com. Anomalie’s website can be found at www.anomalie-party.de.

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