Goth teenagers feel persecuted

MEDICINE HAT — It’s not easy being a goth in Medicine Hat.

Since 23-year-old Jeremy Steinke and his 12-year-old girlfriend, both members of the goth scene, were charged with killing her parents and eight-year-old brother, members of the dark subculture have come under unwelcome scrutiny.

A group of young teens outside a Medicine Hat high school, wearing black and red clothing and covered in dark, thick makeup, said since the murders, life is more difficult.

“I find it harder to get around because they all find us to be bad people,” said Kayla, 14.

“Cab drivers react weirdly to us.

“People yell ‘freaks’ when they drive by us.”

The teens, who say they have been warned not to give their last names, said since the murders, there has been a suffocating amount of media interest in goths — a subculture that developed in the ’80s as an offshoot of the punk music scene.

Goths typically dress in black clothing and listen to dark music.

They often have a self-deprecating, satirical sense of humour.

But the Medicine Hat teens say the culture can’t easily be defined because being a goth means something different to every follower and not everyone should be tarred with the same brush.

“We just like to dress differently but we’re like anyone else,” said Julie, 15.

“We’re completely harmless, we’re just trying to have fun.”

Residents in Medicine Hat said the mall used to be a popular hangout for goth teens but lately they seem to have steered clear of the area.

The goth teens outside Crescent Heights high school say they’re not keeping a low profile and they don’t plan to bow to public pressure.

“We should be able to express ourselves any way we want,” said Meghan, 14.

“We’re not going to change and we will protect ourselves.”

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Calgary Sun, Canada
May 28, 2006
Sarah Kennedy

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday May 29, 2006.
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