African American Goth History X Pt. 2: VioletVixanne

Meeting likeminded people isn't hard for me to do. So, when I come across a Goth POC, I get very excited and I'm sure I scare some off with my manic introductions. So, when I came across @violetvixanne on Instagram you can imagine how easy it was for me to start commenting on her profile. VioletVixanne is one Ghoul who you all must meet. She is absolutely genuine and beautiful and strong and so self accepting. She's intoxicating! I am so honored to have her share her story with me and since then, I feel like we've become closer. Even though she lives all the way in Chicago! I spoke to Violet via Microsoft Teams. It was a super chilly evening and the wind was howling outside of my window. It was like Miss Violet brought all of herself and some Chicago weather to our chat.

MH: So tell me, your story! Lets begin with what makes VioletVixanne? What's your nationality and your back round?
VV: I don't know the full details of my genealogy. Sometimes I want to do 23 and me to find out exactly but, my mom is a white passing black woman. My Grandfather is black and I do believe my Grandmother was Irish. But, my mom was actually adopted so, we don't really know for sure our actual nationality. We're just kind of mutts. My Dad and his family are from down south, Mississippi actually, so you know how crazy that got.
MH: Do you remember at what moment you noticed you were different than the rest?
VV: I actually talked about this on my YouTube. My Mom was seventeen when she had me. She was a punk from the 80's and a homeless teenager, so weird was kind of always there in the household. She had custom made combat boots. She was like fucking drawing on her back packs and jean jackets. There was a lot of Soft Cell and Depeche Mode and Prince when I was growing up! It was definitely interesting because living on the Southside of Chicago and her being vehemently a black woman with her blonde hair, brown eyes and really, like if you didn't know it or know her and saw her on the street, you'd think she was a white woman. She was also aggressively black when I was younger. So, there was still a lot of hip hop and R&B when I was growing up. I think, no, I know the moment I realized I was weird when I was six years old and my Dad rented Tank Girl. That's when I knew I wanted to be that when I grow up!
MH: Did your family embrace your weird?
VV: I didn't start exhibiting weird until I was about ten years old. I convinced my Grandmother to take me to go see "The Bride of Chucky". I was terrified of Chucky but, my kid brain told me, if I just watch this movie I will totally get over it. So, I had to see it. I convinced my Grandmother to take me to see the movie by telling her it was a film about talking dolls. I took with me an Archie Comic in case the movie was too scary for me. I remember my Grandmother hissing at me to put the comic down and watch the movie I brought her to. So, with that and finally getting to see The Craft; I had never seen the black lipstick and black nail polish. After that, I was like, "This is what I wanna do now!" My mom would encourage it by doing things like buying the little scrolls at the grocery store that had little spells on them. She encouraged me to be what I whatever I wanted to be. She did still tell me I looked like I rolled out of bed or a dumpster. But, she was proud of her dumpster baby!
MH: What about your relationship with your Father?
VV: Well, I have a Dad and I have a Father. My relationship with my Father is virtually non-existent. I didn't actually meet him proper until I was fourteen and I decided I that I didn't like him very much because he was a liar and annoying. I recently tried to re-connect with him because he had a stroke and was in physical therapy. I was contacted because I was the next of kin and they wanted me to decide if I should pull the plug. It was weird because, I DIDN'T KNOW HIM! He recovered but, it was really awkward! But, I am a Daddy's Girl. My Dad passed away about eight or nine years ago. He was the best man I that I had ever met in my entire life until his demons caught up with him. He had a really bad drug addiction towards the end there. But, before that he doted on me. There was this one time I shaved my eyebrows all off. I was thirteen and tryna look good for the yearbook photo. I was hairy! Ya know, mixed kids we're hairy!
MH: In all the wrong places too!
VV: Right, I'm tryin to get the Tracee Ellis Ross look and all I got was a wolf mustache! I was trying to clean up my uni-brow because the kids used to tease me about it. We didn't have grooming tools because my Mom wasn't big on aesthetics that much. We didn't even have a scale because she was terrified it would cause me to develop an eating disorder. So, The pressure to be "pretty" was never around. So, I used a regular razor and nicked my eyebrow. Obviously, the the logical thing to do was shave it off. Then I shaved the other. I ran out of the bathroom, hid under my blankets crying and my parent's were like, what is wrong with her? My Mom told me I looked like a glass doll. I'm like, "That's the wrong answer, Mom" My Dad went to Sally's beauty supply and got me those eyebrow stencils, eyebrow pencils and lip fixatives and everyday for six weeks he drew on my eyebrows.
MH: I admire your childhood so much already! Let's talk about school for you. Let's start with elementary and go through High School.
VV: In elementary I had one friend. It was a very tumultuous relationship because we were always beating each other up! None of the other kids really liked me. Again, I was raised on the Southside of Chicago. Back then a big part of black culture; as it is now; is AAVE. That's not what it was called back then. It was Ebonics when I was a kid. But, I wasn't allowed to speak slang and things like that. I was kind of always teased for that. I had to speak "proper" English because my parents felt that I should have a command over the English language before I start manipulating it or playing with it. Once I understood what I was doing, I was good to go. But, I had to know the words. I had to define them. I was allowed to use any word I could define though. But, language was a really big thing in the household. Which, made me not so cool with the cool kids. So, grade school was kind of rough. As I got older and started doing the black lipstick and stealing bits of my Mom's wardrobe because I was a giant! I was born two feet tall! By the time I was eight I was already 5 foot 5 and a size 9 so I could steal my Mom's clothes. So, this made me look weird compared to how the other kids dressed. There were rumors that went around about me being a witch. When we moved to the suburbs, the class got lice. Of course, they blamed me for it because I was the witch! In Jr. High, things weren't that bad. I feel into some friends, some nerdy Jewish girls! I look back at that so fondly! We had a made up language. It was kind of a combination of dwarfish, elvish, hieroglyphics, some Yiddish and other made up things. We would pass notes to each other. If someone got kicked out of the circle we would have to re formulate the Alphas and stuff like that!
MH: That's so witchy! Did you realize that then?
VV: Well, I'm still like a bad witch because I don't be reading books and stuff like that. I just kinda......just do. I was actually talking with a friend the other day about the different Goddess to invoke and deities. I don't identify with any of those! You know who I identify with? I worship Ashley Spinelli from Recess!
MH: Did it bother you being accused as a witch?
VV: At first it did but, then I started to lean into it. When people would pass by me I would roll my eyes and mutter at them and stuff like that. I figured, they are going to talk shit anyways. I may as well have fun with it.
MH: Going back to the normal kids making fun. Did you ever get any shit from your black peers?
VV: I used to get the most shit from black kids. We used to move around a lot. We were kind of nomadic. We would move from Chicago to a suburb and back to Chicago through a series of events that I actually determined were the deciding factor. It was definitely a culture shock. I went to one of the best schools in the country. I went from being able to question teachers and having my tribe of people to a school that said it had 99% white students but, that was outdated information. When I got to this new school I maybe saw one white person. My Mom looked into all this because she didn't want me to be too badly shocked. It was weird because white people fetishize black people the black kids fetishized my weirdness. But, they never actually wanted to be affiliated with me. I remember this one kid who was spittin' game at me. We were walking down the street together and he saw his friends. So, he crossed the street to get away from me. Once we rounded the corner he came back thinking I'd be ok with that. So, there was a lot of of black kids saying, "Oh you're trying to be white." You're trying to look white." "You're trying to act white." When mental health issues came up, my Mom would even say I was trying to be white. She would say, "Only white people get crazy." or "You're hanging around too many white kids, so you think you're crazy!"Like, no! We all get crazy!
MH: Once your Mom realized it wasn't a "white people thing" did you ever get any help for your mental health?
VV: Actually, I have been in therapy off and on since I was about eight. I was put in therapy because...I...uh, ok it's a story because I'm not super bat shit crazy! I tried to burn down a school when I was eight. I told my peers it was because I felt homework was oppressive. It was really because one of the security guards, who was a father of one of my friend's, used to rape and beat her. In my eight year old brain, he was going to get locked in the school and he would burn to death with the school. I didn't think about how to the fire would start or how he would even get stuck in the school. In my head the fire would start in the bathroom, sprinklers would go off and he would get stuck in the boiler room. I figured he'd die and my friend would be safe. And there would be no homework! Everyone wins! My Mom probably let the therapy then slide because, well. I had my books taken away for about two years because I got the idea of the wastebasket fire from an R.L. Stine book. As I got older, things just cropped up and I was always talking with social workers. One time, I think I was in seventh grade, I was in Home Ec and we were sewing. My needle broke and I snapped with it. I curled up on the floor and just cried for twenty minutes. No one could get me to stop. Thats when I first noticed things were going on. I just learned to cope with them. I have always been really high energy, high octane, very balls to the wall. I used to write poetry a lot. But, the first time I got any intense treatment was when I was hospitalized when I was sixteen. I just had my first real break up with my first real love. It was very devastating. Being the very dramatic drama queen I was; I called him up and tried to force him to hear me kill myself. I had obtained a shit ton of Tylenol sleep samples. So, again I called him. Told him he broke my heart. I forgot he had a cell phone so he said he was going to go pee and he will be right back. He managed to call my Mom on the cell phone within 30 seconds. She came home, they took me to the hospital. I spent a week in a place where I was like, oh I don't belong here! There were kids there where all I could think was the shit I pulled was nothing compared to what the kids there had going on. They tried putting me on medication. I've never been a fan of medications, personally. Mostly because I don't feel like the Doctor's take the time to really see what the issue is. As an adult, now well I have a really great partner. I talk to him all the time about how I feel like I'm getting crazier as I get older. I don't remember feeling this bad when I was younger. He implemented a safe word. So, when I get really, really lost in my head I get antagonistic. I feel like I'm being attacked because I can't process what's being said to me. Once, I'm there its hard to come back. So, instead of fighting or arguing, he created the idea of the safe word so that way he knows when I'm lost in my head and that I need him. It's not just me being an asshole, I need help and he knows that.
MH: Your Instagram bio says you model. What are your other favorite creative outlets?
VV: I am a media whore! I love movies, TV shows. The weirder the stranger, the better! As far as music, I still bump a lot of old stuff. I have been trying to force myself to listen to newer music. I just have a weird phobia of listening to full albums. I could listen to one song for ten years and be happy! My music taste is all over the place. I still listen to Jack Off Jill. They are still one of my favorite bands. EVER!

*** Please ask Violet Vixanne about her tiff with Jack Off Jill's drummer. It's hilarious! While we laughed about this story V.V. mentioned how she looked around and noticed she was the only brown person in the crowd and JOJ's Facebook group.

MH: How often does that happen to you? Being the only brown person in the crowd?
VV: The first love that I mentioned, well one time we went to a really fancy steakhouse for his birthday. I was a bit of a rag-a-muffin so I had my leather jacket on. I looked around and told him I was the only brown person in there. He said, I was also the only person in there with a leather jacket. So, that became the code whenever I was the only brown person in the room. It happens ALL THE TIME!
MH: Did you ever try to suppress who you are at any point in your life?
VV: I have always embraced myself as much as I possibly could. We were pretty poor when I was growing up so, I was way more avant-garde with my looks when I was younger. I had to get really creative. So, I would try and emulate things. One of my favorite looks was when I used red food coloring for my eyes. I really liked the Madonna who cried blood look. That shit was fucking cool! I have always violently expressed myself. As I got older I had some partners who in hindsight, probably did like me for who I was. I had this boyfriend once, but before I get into him, my kink is white trash. I don't know what it is. But, this guy was the epitome of white trash. He was super hood, had terrible tattoos oversize clothes and I was just in love! He would kind of temper my wardrobe. Slowly but surely my torn up stuff would disappear and tight fitted jeans would show up and halter tops would show up. So, I had a few partners who were like that but, it never really worked because I don't care how good I clean up (which I can get real fancy) but, it doesn't matter because I am still weird as fuck. You can't turn that off!

Marta has an incredible Instagram profile but her Linktree and YouTube is pure fire.

You can find Violet on Instagram as @violetvixanne

Linktree linkt.ee/violet_vixanne

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