Save the Goths

The Tab met up with a member of the Goth Soc to find out a bit about them before they, sadly, disappear off the UoB radar completely

On a mission to try a new society each week, I came in contact with the Gothic Society. Sadly, they couldn’t invite me to an event as a lack of support has left them with imminent termination. As a member of the committee told me, there is a lot to be lost if one of the University’s longest running societies closes. So I wanted to give the society one last show of support, in the hope of saving the Goths!

‘Goth’ is a we think we know, but when you come to define it you might struggle. I planned to meet Ophelia in the Bristol Pear to talk about the society. I wasn’t worried that I wouldn’t spot her – I just needed to look for a girl dressed head to toe in black. But when Ophelia came in, she didn’t look how I expected at all. There was no thick eyeliner, black lipstick, no dyed hair and not a hint of lace in sight. I realised quickly there was more to goth-ism than unusual attire.

Ophelia told The Tab about the tiresome generalisations she faces simply for liking a certain type of music and enjoying a less mainstream fashion. I agreed with her. She seemed very sweet and particularly unlikely to worship the devil. Nor is she homosexual, or a deviant – all things Goths are accused of. So if the Gothic society is not about coming together for devil worshipping orgies, what does it do?

Hardly any black in sight

The society is mainly a music society and they enjoy nights out at Eddie’s Rock Club on Gough Street (great name). They hold days out at Lazerquest. They hold craft workshops so members can create their own Gothic accessories. They’re also planing a book club focused on Gothic literature.

The Gothic Society works with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation to raise awareness about the brutal murder of 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster who was viciously attacked because of the way she dressed. As she walked through a Lancashire park with her boyfriend in 2007, a gang of teens brutally attacked the couple. Sophie was kicked repeatedly in the head, and witnesses even said the attackers were “jumping up and down” on her head. She died after spending 13 days in a coma. It seems an even greater shame the society will stop running soon, considering the work they do with the Foundation.

Sophie’s parents set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation in 2009 – with the tagline: Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred & Intolerance Everywhere. They wanted to use Sophie’s horrendous experience to raise awareness, and also campaign for the UK Hate Crime legislation to be extended to include those who choose alternative subcultures, lifestyle and dress. The Tab salutes this cause!