One main reason why non-goths think we're Satanists is the dominant color we're clad in.
Okay, I know, I know. Non-goths who say that are ignorant, judgmental, close-minded; they think they know it all, they're stupid. But darklings, let's face it. Villains dress in black, the evil ones love darkness, and in darkness there is chaos, hatred, anger, bloodshed, and sorrow. However dear non-goth readers, I would like to tell you that THAT is not all what darkness is about, and the kind of darkness you always associate us with has NEVER been within us, nor has it been who we are. Well, I don't know about the other wannabe goths out there, but as for me, puh-lease, COUNT ME OUT. As far as I'm aware, the real purpose of the subculture isn't anything evil.
Let's review the basics.
The goth subculture is a contemporary subculture found in many countries. It began in England during the early 1980s in the gothic rock scene, an offshoot of the post-punk genre. The goth subculture has survived much longer than others of the same era, and has continued to diversify. Its imagery and cultural proclivities indicate influences from the 19th century Gothic literature along with horror films and to a lesser extent the BDSM culture. The goth subculture has associated tastes in music, aesthetics, and fashion. The music of the goth subculture encompasses a number of different styles including gothic rock, deathrock, post-punk, darkwave, Ethereal, and neoclassical. Styles of dress within the subculture range from deathrock, punk and Victorian style attire, or combinations of the above, most often with dark attire, makeup and hair. (Wikipedia)
This subculture was rooted mainly from music, and now has forms in fashion and aesthetic. That's all I think it covers. No initiation, affiliation, religion, practices or whatnot.
Goths are just normal people like everybody else. We are called so, because of our different and unique interests that -- though how diverse -- fall under the same category. We like post-punk, deathrock, etc. because you like dance pop and RnB. We have our own fashion because you have yours. We like black because you like blue (or red, or purple, or pink, or green..)
Why the scorn, why the judgments when we didn't even do anything wrong to society? Why question our interests when we didn't mind questioning yours?
The way we go crazy over tea, or mohawks, or ripped tights, or fishnets, or eyeliner, or boots, or lace, or bats, or graves, or black roses, or castles can never be understood by anyone who doesn't like the same things, the same as how we fail to understand why you go crazy over "swag", or checkered polos, or pop, or round caps, or micromini denim shorts.
You see, there is more than what meets the eye. Goths aren't evil, nor do we have evil thoughts, just because we seem to appear "evil" to the non-goths' eyes. There are Goths that are friendly, charitable, funny, vegetarian, religious, or shy. And the way we see darkness is not the way you see it.
I see darkness as meaningful and deep. NOT evil.
For without darkness, light could not exist.
For what is a day, without a blessed night?
Or what is peace, without a blessed fight?
-- Emilie Autumn
Indeed, there is beauty in everything. Beauty exists even in those with disabilities or wicked mindsets; it exists even in the void; from the wonders of how spiderwebs are made, to the cold, starless night sky.