Like any TruGoth(tm) I deny being a goth, and yet my wardrobe is almost entirely black, I wear things with skulls on them and listen to the Sisters of Mercy more than is, perhaps, normal. In more ways than I like to admit, I am Gary King. As such, there’s a cause close to my heart and that of many other British Goths, the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. The kind of harassment and violence she suffered is a situation we’ve virtually all witnessed, usually coupled with homophobia, kink-shaming and drunkenness.
In the case of Sophie Lancaster, this abuse got to the point where she was kicked to death trying to protect her boyfriend from being killed by the same thugs that ended up killing her.
Why were they attacked?
Because they dressed differently, they were ‘other’.
In my work, hit or miss, I’ve tried to address these sorts of issues before.
It’s a sad fact that much of the reporting on Sophie’s death contributed to the general disdain of the general public for another out-group, ‘chavs’, the British underclass. A demonisation Ian Warner and myself satirised in Chav the Knifing. Given my most recent personal project’s reception, rather opposite to that which was intended (making fun of both social media overreactions and bigots simultaneously) I’ve decided to donate half of this month’s profits from Postmortem to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, and any and all money that comes from PDF sales of Privilege Check as well, by way of apology for missing the mark and failing to convey the intended message.
The Foundation doesn’t only deal with issues that alternative culture people face, they campaign generally for the recognition and understanding of subcultures including along lines of race (for example they’re partnered with the Anne Frank UK Trust). Subcultures and their demonisation are not solely the problem of white punks, goths and kinksters, but of any and all youth and subcultures of every colour – often from within their own communities.
If you want to help the Foundation, you can donate directly HERE.
If you feel like salving my conscience and picking up something fun at the same time, my works can be found HERE.
Below is an exclusive Privilege Check bonus card, appropriate to this day, that you can download, print and include in your deck. You can follow other #WorldGothDay events and charity activities (especially those in SecondLife) by following that hashtag on Twitter.