Tom Lenham, 39, is the man behind the blog GothsInHotWeather. He lives in London, but his subject matter is particularly relevant for those of us who live in Los Angeles, the city where goths go to burn in Hell.
Are you a goth?
As a youth, I dabbled in Goth. It was a more innocent time, a time when you could wear black clothes and makeup and not be mistaken for an Emo, or worse a Juggalo. I was very content as a Goth. I was different from the rest of the crowd. It didn't take long to realise that being content and being Goth were diametrically opposed…Ah, the irony!
When you see a goth in hot weather, do you laugh? Or do you cry for them?
I little of both. I remember struggling round Camden Market in London during the '80s with a full length coat, Fedora hat and cuban heel cowboy boots on in the mid Summer and cringe at what I must have looked like, so I feel their pain. I quite admire the juxtaposition of traditional family scenes being interrupted by unconventional imagery and alternative lifestyles, such as a Goth dressed in velvet and leather walking round a grocery store buying vegetables. I think it does two things: it makes us question our moral values and judgments based on appearance rather than behaviour. But mainly I just like laughing at people in leather trousers.
What's the hottest place you've ever seen a goth? (And “Hell” doesn't count)
I've been in certain clubs where they go crazy dancing but refuse to take of their leather coats (apparently it's a decision to be made at the beginning of the night; either take off your coat to reveal your scrawny arms, or keep it on all night to hide the sweat stains), but outside it's definitely been in Whitby (a coastal town in the north east and a Mecca for Goths thanks to Bram Stoker's Dracula). Blazing hot day on the beach, everyone in swim suits and shorts, and this Goth couple appear in FULL leather and rubber. They even went paddling but just rolled up their trousers and held their coats up around them. It was a beautiful thing.
Do you think the “sunshine goth” is more hardcore than the nighttime goth? Like, which do you think would win in a fight to the death?
A Sunshine Goth is by nature healthier and more active than the nocturnal variety. Those latter creatures hide in their bedrooms all day, mainly writing poetry or playing Call of Cthulhu, and are consequently bound to lose in a deathmatch.
Whilst they do spend a long time staring in mirrors and perfecting their dark stare, it quickly becomes evident that a hard stare is a pretty ineffectual thing unless your second name is Eastwood. I was once on a tube and there were some Goths next to me, fully kitted up. Two drunk morons (I call them chavs, you'd say rednecks) came on and started giving them a load of abuse. One Goth gave the hard stare, got punched; the other explained his looks by saying “well, we're just different; sort of like a rhinoceros with a trunk.” I have never cringed so much in my life. These two abusers were complete scum, but the Goths REALLY didn't help themselves when it came to manning up.
There are plenty of Goths who do like a dust-up of course, but they're mainly Industrialists and their aggression stems from the fact that they have to spend all night listening to music that is utter drivel.
Agree or disagree: People who live in hot places should not wear black.
Disagree completely. If people in hot places didn't ever wear black we'd have never had bad guys in Westerns, or ninjas.
Does a goth lose credibility if he/she says “It's just too damn hot to wear my black leather/vinyl/velvet/Victorian gown. I think I'll just wear a white tank top”?
If ANYONE says 'I'll wear a white tank top' they lose credibility as far as I'm concerned. However, I have reason to believe they often wear 'vanilla' clothes under the velvet – inside every Goth there's a Norm struggling to get out!