Sexual Orientation

New York's Gothic/Industrial scene is largely free of open homophobia. Most Gothic men are regularly called faggot by Darwin-challenged types. Quite a few have been beaten up for wearing makeup or otherwise looking like a queer. As a result, anti-gay attitudes will get you a chilly reception (at best) at most Gothic/Industrial affairs. More positively, sexual orientations mingle freely in the Gothic/Industrial community. Gay and straight Goths dance, socialize, party and drink together far more than the mundanes.

Some Industrial folk, in their eternal quest for things which still get a rise, have affected Nazi trappings and philosophies. A few artists classified by default as Industrial, have occasionally made homophobic and/or racist statements. For the most part, though, Industrial folks don't make a big deal out of sexual orientations. People who are seeking to be as outré as possible and to shatter every taboo are hardly likely to be shocked by something like plain old garden-variety homosexuality.

The Gothic fascination with androgyny ensures that bisexual experimentation will flourish and thrive among Goths. A bi-curious Goth of either sex will have little trouble finding willing partners to initiate him or her into the secrets of Sappho or the mysteries of Sodom. Both male and female bisexuality are accepted (and, in many circles, encouraged). Among many Industrials, bisexuality is seen as yet another way of breaking taboos and shaking off social conventions. Within both groups, there can even be at times an annoying bi-superiority the idea that bisexuality is better than monosexuality and that bisexuals are somehow more evolved than straight or gay folk.

Commentary by Kevin Filan, Saturday, May 30, 1998.

Photo: Risa / Model: Jill Barone