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subcultures are everywhere.

I hate clubbing and dancing close to strangers. The music is too loud and the drinks are too expensive. But when it comes to gay clubbing, I would go any night of the week.

Call me a fag hag, I don’t care. If you’ve ever been to a gay club, you will have been exposed to the intimate subculture of the gay society, where joy and overwhelming freedom exist; Drag queens in their prime, men with the biggest smiles of their lives, and everyone losing themselves to the music. Colourful, carefree and full of life, their secret world lets them be themselves. In a society where they often can’t express themselves or be understood, the clubs are their place, their world.

It is the perfect example of a subculture doing what it’s supposed to do: creating a world different from the norm to bring people together who share similar passions.

Subcultures are everywhere. From the very obvious guy who is sporting platform boots, a Metallica t-shirt and a bullring, to the not so obvious ones of… bird-watching. There’s even some strange, scary ones, like the scrotal suspension guys. Yep, you guessed it, they hang from their penises in their spare time.

Whether it be the fashion-driven subcultures, such as The Harajuku in Japan, or the more belief-orientated subcultures, such as Vegans or Scientologists, there are literally millions of subcultures worldwide.

We all fit into some sort of subculture, probably more than one, and that helps to define us as people. Not only does it bring the individual a sense of belonging, but these distinct groups help to build a diverse world.

The groups we fit into give us a sense of belonging, knowing and unification. Usually, people find a stronger need for alliance earlier in life, when they are still finding themselves and are lacking in confidence. That’s why we often see the youth flocking around extremist subcultures, in a way to rebel and be ‘different’. And, it’s a way to fit in.

I remember when I was in high school, I experimented. I didn’t want to fit into the popular, pretty girl crowd but I wanted to fit in somewhere. Everyone does. Back then, I wore crazy outfits and adopted strange attributes, just to be that girl who people spoke about. I just didn’t want to be that girl who people forgot. And now I know that I was just trying to find the group that I belong to.

Now, I have found my arrogantly artistic poetry subculture who think that they can change the world with words. But, I am a part of it. They share my passions and interests and it’s nice to be a part of a subculture.

There are no secret passwords or codes for becoming a part of a subculture, but there are choices and once you make that choice, you will be somewhat defined by your chosen subculture. Call it stereotyping, call it judgmental, but people can’t help attaching labels to subcultures because you are defining yourself when joining them, with all the preconceptions and biases that go along with it.

I once thought people in subcultures, whether it be punks, emos, hipsters, greasers or gangstas, were just hypocritical conformists, trying to be something different when in fact they were conforming more than the rest of us. I saw them as clones with a set of strict moral and behavioural codes. However, despite conforming to their own subculture, they do hold a set of beliefs and it’s brave to wear your beliefs on your sleeves. These people are not ashamed of their beliefs, they are not compromising or hiding anything: they are proud and willing to show it.

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