The purpose of the pictures and profiles is to show the thoughts and interests of those in the gothic community. I want to show a realistic side of Goth in response to the negative attention from the media. The profiles are not personal ads or a gothic meet and greet. They are a way for the reader to see that Goths are a diverse group of people with certain commonalties. This section helps make the abstract entity of "Gothic" tangible and real for those who may only have a vague idea. The profiles show that Goths have educations, apartments, jobs, accomplishments, dreams, goals and so forth. The pictures emphasize the diversity of looks and styles within the gothic scene. The differences between "Goths" and "normals" in perspective and aesthetics are minor compared to the similarities in all of humanity.
Not all of the people profiled are people I personally would consider gothic, and most don't consider themselves gothic. They are all people involved in the scene to some extent; and all are people who could be classified as gothic by your average, everyday person. Those profiled are not the definitive answer about gothic, but they have helped me formulate an idea and have given me new ideas through their many different views.
The people in the Salt Lake profiles were selected by me to participate. I know them personally in some way. Some are friends; some are acquaintances; and some I only met from this project. After interviewing each of them, I feel confident that their answers are mostly honest; and they contribute to accomplishing the goals of the site. However, I don't know anything about the honesty of those people in the online profiles. I chose who to profile from their responses, but I don't know if what they say is true. The online profiles offer a broader view of the Gothic community from around the world, but read them with a touch more skepticism than the Salt Lake profiles.
Is this a random sample of people? No. Is it a biased selection? Probably. I interviewed people I felt would tell me what they acutally think rather than what they think they should say. In my choice of who to profile, as well as in life, I tend to prefer people who are intelligent, insightful and creative. I recognize there are many destructive, rebellious hedonists in the gothic community as well. They are perhaps under-represented in this survey because I think they are over-represented in the media.
I also assume no responsibility for the flagrantly outdated material in some of the profiles. It was all accurate when I interviewed the person. I might periodically update a person's age or add some things that I personally know have changed. Not many of the participants have kept in touch with me regarding updates. Keep in mind that the age may be up-to-date, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the occupation, education, or goals are the same as when the person originally filled out the form.