Gothtopia

Gothic Council Gets The Summertime Blues

Well, folks, the last of a most inadequate winter is behind us and now nothing looms ahead for months except endless overexposure of the yellow hurty thing in the sky. It's probably no surprise to you that the average goth has no use for sunlight, even less for hot summer, and living down here in Houston it can be the scourge of all makeup and fashion.

We thought we'd reach out to the Gothic Council, which has been in recess since recommending lullabies and staging an intervention with Tim Burton, to see if collectively we had any advice on escaping Mr. Sun this summer.

Joining us this week is the co-founder of the Age of Decay festival Alethea Carr, blogger at Night's Plutonian Shore Darah Fanning, artist Ugly Shyla, webmistress at Morticia's Morgue Becky Plexco, author of the Encyclopedia Gothica Liisa Ladouceur, and DJs Regen Robinson and Martin Oldgoth.

Alethea Carr: Normal people think it's so amusing that I carry a big, black parasol with me... until they're red and sweating and I'm still cool and comfortable. Then they try to sweet-talk me into sharing! But, living in Florida, I do try to stay indoors when it's particularly hot and bright outside, and I also keep a massive supply of the highest SPF sunscreen I can find.

You can't always avoid the sun no matter how much you try. It's always been funny to me that Florida has such a large goth population. We must love the challenge and irony of living in The Sunshine State. Or the torturous agony!

Sarah Fanning: I like the summer because it gets the kids out of the house! During the week, I like to take them for walks in the evening -- but that's after the sun is on its way past the horizon.

On weekends, I love taking them on various adventures, and many are outside. I use the highest SPF I can find, and like Alethea, I carry a parasol or umbrella to keep shaded.

Ugly Shyla: I'm almost albino, so I'm pretty much stuck inside. Like Willard only with boobs and a painting squirrel instead of a rat.

Becky Plexco: I've been avoiding the sun actively since I was 12. My mother taught me that. We used to make fun of her because when we'd go to Galveston beach she'd wear long sleeves, a hat, big glam sunglasses and sit under an umbrella the whole time. But her skin is till gorgeous.

She also used the equivalent of '70s sunblock, Max Factor Panstick foundation (it was like greasepaint). I started working nights in my 20s as soon as I realized one could do that. And all my day jobs have been indoors. I actually got a vitamin D deficiency during my last stint on the graveyard shift.

I get physically ill if I get overheated, so avoidance, big hats (check out Whole Earth Provision Company or Coolibar), 100-plus [SPF] sunscreen, cover ups, and yes, umbrellas rock and have the fun advantage of confusing people.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner