I feel there’s still some confusion about what is emo. You see, I was emo back when it was an insult. Back in my day, it took real dedication and tears.
Emo isn’t cute, little emo kids with their cute, little emo girlfriends, or boyfriends, or whatever misappropriating my sorrow. No. Emo is attending a concert in some random skinhead’s basement to see a band called The Blood Clots open for Failed Circumcision, but spending the entire night crying in a corner, because the hot bassist whose gender you never quite determined kissed you in a mutual friend’s kitchen once and never spoke to you again. That’s emo. Emo is driving around town with a bunch of crust punks in a re-purposed hearse, getting sick of hardcore, because you’re the quirky kid who plays cello in the high school orchestra, so you pop in your favorite CD with discernible lyrics and song structure, and your best friend punches you in the arm, calls you a fag, and tells you to stop being so goddamn emo. That’s emo.
And you don’t just throw on some black cosmetics and declare yourself emo. Oh no! You have to grow up a queer, Black kid in the Midwest, and get your ass beat three days out of every week ’til age 12. That’s some real emo shit.
It’s like any other street gang, really. You have to get jumped in for it to count.