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The True Essence of “Friends Equal Family”: Seeking Unity in the Straight Edge Community

Originally Published: Friday, February 25, 2005
Written by: Kelly Brother

The Dilution of Genuine Bonds
It’s alarming how over time, the heartfelt sentiment behind the phrase “friends equal family” seems to be diminishing in our circles. Increasingly, divides within our community are more pronounced. From distinctions like straight edge versus non-straight edge to conflicts between different crews, the unity that once defined us appears to be fragmenting.

Where Did Our Unity Go?
More than ever, I find myself asking: Where is the unity we so proudly spoke of? When did we start putting our peers down instead of lifting each other up? It’s high time we remember that there’s more to our scene and our world than mere ridicule and judgment. Our actions should mirror our beliefs, and that requires looking at situations more holistically before jumping to conclusions.

The Innate Desire for Support
Naturally, we all gravitate towards reassurance. Phrases like “dude, you got my back right?” aren’t just words but symbolize the deep bonds we yearn for. However, the real essence isn’t just in asking for support; it’s in understanding the broader spectrum of solidarity. While friends might have our back due to shared experiences, isn’t it equally plausible that shared beliefs could foster the same strength of bond?

Misunderstandings Surrounding Straight Edge
It’s disheartening to see how the straight edge movement, which we hold close to our hearts, gets misrepresented as gang-related in the media. Could this have sprung from misguided individuals within our ranks spreading inaccurate messages? Or perhaps it’s the apathy of others, who didn’t deem it necessary to correct these fallacies. For many of us, our commitment to this belief is unwavering. It’s not just a label, but a way of life.

Paving the Way Forward
As torchbearers of this community, we have a golden opportunity to steer the ship in the right direction. We cannot, and must not, let go of the essence of our beliefs. Let’s set a precedent so strong that future generations will benefit from our unity. It’s not about the challenges we face, but how we stand up to them, together.

The Power of Unity
In the face of adversity, remember: Together, we can be the catalyst for change. Let’s eliminate the barriers, the prejudices, and the judgments. Embrace what truly defines us – our straight edge ethos. It’s more than just a label; it’s our shared identity.

Mother, wife, small business owner. www.justbuttons.org

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