The majestic Goth, once a common sight on the streets of Great Britain, could be set for a dramatic return after the last remaining pair of wild Goths successfully reproduced at a secret location in the north of England.
The event, the first of its kind since 2002, has raised hopes for the continued survival of the threatened species outside captivity.
And excited conservationists say that the breeding couple – known only as ‘Mick and Kath’ – are ‘doing well’ under 24-hour watch at their nesting site on a housing estate in West Yorkshire.
The Common British Goth, homo cocteau twinensis, suffered a devastating collapse in its population in the early 1990’s, when the abolition of Polytechnics deprived the species’ mating population of its traditional spawning grounds.
The tragic decline was accelerated when the fashion for eating disorders and self-harming among teenage girls saw many turn away from dark clothes, naive free verse and tedious music as a form of self-expression.
And following the breakup of The Jesus and Mary Chain in 1999, male British Goths, the natural prey of Soulboys and Casuals, were hunted to the point of extinction.
Hope for nation’s Goths
But now the team of visionary ecologists who planned the British Goth Breeding Programme back in 2002 are hoping for a resurgence in the population.
“We are always getting sightings,” says veteran Goth-watcher Paul Sinclair.
“Just last week I had a call about a juvenile male in a black leather trenchcoat outside Boots in Oxford, and an unconfirmed report of a female wearing lace fingerless gloves waiting at a bus stop near Scarborough.”
“But the trouble we have is getting the individuals in the same place long enough for them to mate.”
Early efforts to preserve the species included the creation of the National Goth Sanctuary in Camden Town, where the presence of vintage vinyl stores, second-hand clothes stalls and dark, stinking pubs seemed a tailor-made habitat.
But conservationists soon discovered that the peculiar dynamic of Goth relationships was a major obstacle to breeding.
“Male goths are sexually very passive,” reveals Sinclair. “Partly it’s to do with an adolescent disgust at the human form. Partly it’s because female goths are extremely ugly.”
“Luckily, Mick and Kath drink quite heavily, rather than taking lots of speed, and it allowed them to shed their inhibitions long enough to produce their own young.”
But Goth conservationists will maintain their discreet watch on the brood for several months, until they are certain that Mick and Kath have bonded with their offspring. They are also hoping to deter poachers.
“There has always been a black market in Goths. A fledgling in good health can fetch anything from eighty to a hundred thousand pounds in Yemen or Dubai,” says Martine Lees of the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
“Collectors will pay anything for a perfect specimen. Why do you think they are so rare?”
“And where do you think Richey Manic has been all this time?”