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Debunking the Myth: Can You Be Straightedge Since Birth?

Originally Published: Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Written by: Kat Smith

This topic first began gnawing at my mind when I was scrolling through some interviews of straightedge kids on a website. I read a few, one of which said that the person had been edge for 25 years! First encouraged by this information, I scanned the page only to learn that the person was, in fact 25 years old.

The Reality of Straightedge Choices: More Than Just Birthright

Odd, I didn’t know what straightedge was until I was 12 years old , and I didn’t start calling myself straightedge until I was about 13. Have you guessed my beef? Straightedge since birth. My opinion? Don’t believe in it.

Straightedge Since Birth? A Critical Examination of Lifelong Commitments

Now before I get into such a controversial topic, let me just say I’m not here to bash anyone’s beliefs or to say I’m right and you’re wrong. I only want to state the way I feel.

Understanding Straightedge: A Choice or a Birthright?

First reason:
Conscious choice. I and many others agree straightedge is a choice made by you, for yourself. Correct me if I’m wrong, but a newborn child doesn’t even know when it needs to go potty (for lack of better words).

Straightedge Ideals: Exploring the Controversy of Birthright vs. Choice

Tell me then, how an infant child can decide that they want to live a clean lifestyle away from drugs, sex, and alcohol. Let alone adopt the label of straightedge.

The Debate on Straightedge Origins: Born with It or a Conscious Decision?

I think a person is straightedge only when he/she knows and understands straightedge and has the mind and will to commit to it. If you were able to do that “fresh out of the oven”, then you are a special person and probably belong in some oversized cranium mature young persons place.

Is Being Straightedge an Innate Trait or a Personal Choice?

Therefore, becoming straightedge is a conscious choice a person makes for themselves. A choice no one can make at birth.

The Truth About Straightedge: Born This Way or a Deliberate Decision?

Furthermore, if everyone was straightedge at birth, we’d have a lot of sellouts in this world. That is an unruly number of people who have broken edge. It’s unrealistic if you ask me.

Straightedge Since Birth: Unraveling the Feasibility and Authenticity

Off the subject a little; there is no rule in straightedge that says you have had to have had a completely clean life before you become edge. Now that that is planted in your mind let’s go back to the straightedge since birth scenario.

Redefining Straightedge: The Argument Against Birthright Claims

Let’s pretend that it is true for a minute… x-baby is born. In middle school, x-baby wants to “be cool” and tries smoking. Baby isn’t straightedge anymore. What if, x-teenager goes to high school and discovers straightedge. X-teenager really believes in straightedge and feels that is what he/she wants to do with their life. Hold on a second, x-teenager is already a sellout because they tried a little something-something back in the day. And as we all know, once you break edge, you can’t go back. = [(sad face). So what did we learn from this story?

That straightedge since birth is unrealistic because the higher rule of can’t-be-edge-twice dominates. I understand that some people are thinking, “Well, I’ve never done anything ever in my life”. I’m proud of you, but that doesn’t make you straightedge since birth. It’s outstanding you were able to avoid the poisons and temptations and pressures of “those kids” who might have offered you stuff. However, I still hold my word when I say straightedge is a choice made for yourself, by yourself, only when you feel it is right and for the right reasons.

xxx since birth
Written by leeperk1984 on 2005-10-29 14:30:20i have been. however i wasn’t aware of xxx when i was a child, i just knew that i didn’t want to be like “those” people. i made a promise to myself at a very young to stay clean and i have. i understand that it doesn’t make sence but for someone who hasn’t done anything it holds true they have been xxx since birth.
Written by heartrestarter on 2005-01-21 02:01:17that’s exactly what i was thinking about last night. i have a new friend and he’s 19 & sxe and last night i asked how long he had beed edge & he said since birth, so basicly 19 years. i didnt really say anything to him about it though because i wasnt in the mood to think & argue it with him. anyways, i guess i like your article! =]
all bullshit
Written by angiefromtheblock on 2005-01-15 02:16:38First of all, I agree with you, theoretically: edge from birth is bullshit. 
Secondly, I’m HIGHLY skeptical of even a 12-year-old truly being edge (or even a 16-yr-old, for that matter). I don’t know where whole And as we all know, once you break edge, you can’t go back. = [(sad face). 
rumor got started, but listen to me: that’s bullshit too. 
Real straightedge, at its roots, has nothing to do with “vows” and “strength” and “true til death” and any of the other bullshit slogans that trendy-ass-tough-guy second/third/fourth wave hateXedgers have shoved down your throat. It’s a philosophy, plain and simple. Once you realize that, there’s no “strength” or “vow” neccessary; “breaking” edge for me now would be as ridiculous as “breaking” feminist or “breaking” liberal. 
As far as I’M concerned, though, I’m ALL FOR XexXedgersX (ex-edgers, get it? ha!) coming back. . .(the water over here is FINE, kids) cause if they broke, they probably didn’t understand what the hell it was to begin with (thus making me believe they were never really straightedge to begin with).  
This is all I have to say about the matter. I’m effin THIRTY years old: far too old to be arguing about “what is edge” on the internet… A good reference point for you would be the livejournal community “sxe_adults” (see the information page).

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