Of Nicknames. And Of Fan Art!

Forgive the delay between posts, Snarklings. Firstly, the Lady of the Manners wanted to make sure that the post about Goths of Color had a goodly stay on the front page. Secondly, the Lady of the Manners is recovering from the flu, and has not felt up to writing anything more in depth than the occasional ennui-laden LiveJournal entry. But! The aches, chills, and fever have finally gone away, and the Lady of the Manners feels clear-headed enough to do more than glance fuzzily at her inbox!

One very flattering question that appears in the Gothic Charm School mailbox frequently is if there are going to be more Gothic Charm School videos on YouTube. Yes, Snarklings, eventually. The Lady of the Manners has been discussing some ideas with her brilliant and talented friends who helped create the first three videos, and there are Plans Afoot! But the Lady of the Manners is unable to give you even a vague projection of when a new video may appear, as there is much wrangling with the schedules of everyone involved to be dealt with, first. But yes, more videos are going to happen!

Fan art! Oh, the Lady of the Manners has been tickled to death to be given fan art!

The stripy jacket! The tiny fangs! The bats! Yes, the Lady of the Manners has cheerfully embraced the notion that she’s somewhat of a zany cartoon character, and thus absolutely adores receiving fan art, especially manga-esque fan art. (When the Lady of the Manners attended the Innocente Seraphim Gothic Lolita convention, one of the items she purchased was a chibi-style portrait.)

But enough of the Lady of the Manners squeaking and clapping her hands over cartoons, Snarklings. Onward to reader mail!

question: Hello dear Lady!

I have a question concerning names.

I have a longstanding nickname I generally introduce myself by in social situations. Including the local alternative scene. I’ve had this nickname for a good 10 years now, from the time well before I even became a babybat, and I have never considered it a “scene name”

Now, my facebook and e-mail show my actual real-as-in-on-my-ID name and the fact that my nickname is not my “real” name has become apparent to people, I have heard talk that people call me a “Poser” and other rather unflattering things behind my back. Apparently, it is unheard of for a goth to have an actual honest-to-goodness nickname as opposed to something chosen to sound more mysterious and intriguing. (After all, to quote Voltaire “The number one rule in this game -Never call one by his real name”)

How do you propose I should proceed other than to ignore the gossips? I’d rather not have people feel in any way offended that the name they have called me by for a good long while is not my given name. It is simply the name I prefer to be known to my friends.

Eagerly awaiting your response,

Mistress Vampira, Enchantress of Ravens – again, according to Voltaire!

Oh dear. The Lady of the Manners wouldn’t go so far as to say that it is unheard of for a Goth to have a nickname as opposed to a “scene” name, but most of the Goths that she knows who go by something other than their given name are using their nickname as something to make them sound more … well, not mysterious and intriguing, but as a way to differentiate themselves from others in the Goth scene, or to establish a boundary between their social and work lives. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Goodness, there’s even nothing wrong with people picking a nom de plume with the express reason of making themselves sound more mysterious and intriguing. In fact, in some ways it’s a tradition of Goth culture. The Lady of the Manners suspects it sprang from the original Punk scene, when everyone was re-inventing themselves, names and all. (Siouxsie Sioux, anyone?) and the custom took an even stronger hold when Goth skulked onto the Internet; hardly anyone posted under their “real” name on such groups as alt.gothic and alt.gothic.fashion, and other online social networks encouraged the same sort of thing. So people shouldn’t be surprised when someone’s nickname isn’t their Real Name.

As for the people saying unflattering things behind your back because you have a nickname … the Lady of the Manners doesn’t want to indulge in sweeping generalizations, but feels she must point out that the actions of those people reflect more of their own insecurities than anything else. Because really, the Lady of the Manners can’t think of any reason to be offended by someone introducing themselves by their preferred name. So yes, ignore the gossips. In time, they’ll find something else to be all a-whisper about. If you’re worried about your friends thinking poorly of you … well, the Lady of the Manners favors the direct route. Ask them. Don’t make a Huge, Drama-Filled Production out of it, but just mention to a few friends that you’ve heard gossip of people being offended by you going by a nickname now that they can find your legal name on Facebook and such, and then ask if any of them are bothered by it. The Lady of the Manners is almost certain that your friends will not be in the slightest bit offended by your using a nickname, and will probably tell you you’re worrying about things too much.

With that, Snarklings, the Lady of the Manners is going to shuffle off to brew another pot of tea, and idly contemplate spiking it with ginger liqueur. The Lady of the Manners even knows what the next topic at Gothic Charm School will be – a young lady asking for advice on how to deal with the problem of her mother’s disapproval of the more elegant and vintage Goth style the young lady has now adopted over her previous rather “mall-Goth” incarnation. But just because the next Gothic Charm School lesson has been selected does not mean that the lady of the Manners isn’t looking forward to hearing from you. So please do write!

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