In celebration of World Goth Day, Metroplague has a week-long set list of content planned that covers several aspects of the Convergence 23 celebration of Gothic culture that graced the streets and venues of Dallas this past weekend. The event was organized by members of Alt.gothic, and although music and drinks were aplenty in the numerous hosting clubs, the real essence of Convergence was the sense of community that spread over the black and vibrant outfits of the gathering members like a vampiric cloak of reassurance that felt like home.
Dan Von Hoyel, the lead vocalist for the band Harmjoy, ventured out to Dallas from the winding streets of San Francisco, CA. Von Hoyel spoke with Metroplague and said that he has been attending Convergence since 2005, when the celebration was held in San Diego, CA.
Von Hoyel said that Convergence is an amazing experience, especially for those in the culture who live as “outcasts” in a smaller area with a fragmented Goth and Industrial scene.
“One of the most beautiful things about this scene is that there is a sense of belonging….it is like a comradery of outcasts,” Von Hoyel said.
“When you go to Convergence, you just see so many people from so many other places around the country, and even around the world, that congregate here, and meet and mingle. You realize that you are part of something larger that still has life.”
To many in the scene, the culture is really a community full of really cool people, who happen to have similar interests and just want to get together to celebrate their creative differences as often as possible.
As Von Hoyel mentioned, for those in cities that don’t have a large group of people that share the same aesthetic in looks and music, even in the age of the internet and social media at the tip of a finger, that feeling of isolation can still creep in like a death rattle in the night.
Bella Kurai, a local Arlington leader in the culture, helped bring Convergence to Dallas. Kurai says that at its essence, Convergence is about the community. It is a gathering that represents a sense of the gothic community, but more importantly, a sense of friendship.
“Everybody is just coming together in one big group to enjoy our differences. Whether you are a new goth or Lolita style, everything is in one group and that is what we are all about,” Kurai said.
When looking at an event during Convergence, one would notice two things: individuality, and non-stop smiles. Many people at the event agreed that underneath the aggressive and dark outer skin of the culture, Goths are ironically much happier than most people and save the ‘gloom’ as a way to emphasize their aesthetic rather than make them who they are. This understanding of community and friendship among the Goth community is what has held it up as one of the cultural movements that has remained vibrant over several decades.
“It is not like other cultures that have a peak, then they die off and then it ceases to evolve. Goth/Industrial continues to evolve, it continues to grow…from Babybats, to Eldergoths, and everyone in between,” Von Hoyel said.
At 53, and in the scene for the last 20 years or so, Von Hoyel stated that he wishes that he had gotten into the community sooner.
“I didn’t realize my niche. I didn’t realize that this is “my people.” When you finally find a “people” that you belong to, then it really makes you explore what you are and you can share it much more. I think the interesting come from the bottom as well as the top, so I welcome people coming in from every angle,” he said.
“It’s sort of like 50 Shades of Grey; the book and the movie really got BDSM wrong, but it made enough people realize, “Hey! I’m kind of like that!” and it really brought new blood and new people to the scene. Anything that can keep bringing new people into a sub-culture, while some people may think that dilutes it, I actually think it is keeping it alive.”
With a growing culture and evidence of its growth through the throngs in attendance at Convergence events, it is clear that the Goth community in Dallas is here to stay and is eager to welcome new friends into its fold from all walks of life.
Join Metroplague, Wednesday where we discuss some of the awesome vendors in attendance during Convergence weekend. We also end the week with a bang with a very entertaining audio interview with DJ Carrie Monster!!!
Don’t forget to leave some love and follow us into the shadows as we press on further into the dark.