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Straight Edge Interview Project: Alice, 36, Nashville, TN, she/her

Tell us about you? What do you do for a living? Do you have any pets, hobbies, pet projects?

I do very dull customer service work. My hobbies include Shibari, social media, looking for books at discount stores, OnlyFans (feel free to omit that because family friendly. Haha)

Favorite straight edge (or non-straight edge) bands? If you have links, please provide them!

The Dead Milkmen is my favorite band.

What is your definition of straight edge?

My basic definition is someone who abstains from drugs and alcohol. My extended definition is someone who abstains from any addiction that causes them harm in some way.

Where do you see the straight edge scene today?

With Covid….I don’t see much of anything! Haha

There’s an ongoing debate on whether one can be straight edge without being a part of the music scene, what’s your thoughts on this?

I think that’s some self-righteous elitist bullshit and an big excuse for people to be assholes.

What are some funny/common misconceptions people have about you being straight edge?

That I’m going to judge them for drinking or doing drugs. I don’t care what anyone does with their life. I’m neither judge nor jury and have to do what’s right for me.

What are some challenges you have faced when interacting with other people who are also edge? If you haven’t had any challenges, tell us some challenges you’ve faced when interacting with people who are not edge?

I haven’t faced any challenges with other edge people. Which is awesome. A lot of us come from addictive lifestyles. Why not lift one another up? The worst challenge I’ve faced with non edge people is that I can’t have “one drink.” Which isn’t really a challenge!

Is your diet influenced or informed by your choice to be straight edge i.e. organic, antibiotic infused meat, genetically modified foods, vegan, vegetarian?

I started off being vegetarian in 2008 and then moved to veganism in 2014. I think it was just coincidence that XVX goes hand in hand.

What’s your straight edge story? Was there a key moment that made you realize straight edge is the way you want to live your life? How old were you? How did you find out about straight edge, was there someone in the community that introduced you, or were you introduced to it through people/bands, etc? What drew you to it?

After a decade of slowly ruining my entire life I decided to get sober in 2013 and met my now ex-spouse who just so happened to be straight edge. I stuck with my sobriety and after a year felt okay claiming this was my new lifestyle. I was really afraid to fail and honestly didn’t want backlash from a community for claiming edge and then “failing” at it. I’ve been sober ever since.

Define what straight edge means to you? Has this changed over the years?

It’s always meant the same thing to me. I promised myself I would never go back to drugs or alcohol and I haven’t.

What, if anything, keeps you committed to the straight edge lifestyle?

My integrity.

What is something you didn’t think you would struggle with by claiming edge?

The notion that I’m an asshole, or that I’m angry? Like I’m good, I just live a certain lifestyle. A lot of bad seeds can instill a kind of blanket opinion on others.

What you do for stress relief instead of drinking/drugs, tips for peer pressure?

At this point I do nothing. Like I can’t even imagine that being part of my life anymore so I just deal with stress like any other person without an addiction.

How was it being straight edge in this pandemic?

It was fine! Haha

Have you ever considered breaking edge? What were the circumstances, and what changed your mind?

No, I’ve come too far to throw it away.

If you are in a relationship is your partner straight edge, or have you had a previous relationship with someone who was not straight edge? What, if any, challenges have you faced relating to your lifestyle/choices?

Single forever!!!

Has your family and social life been negatively or positively impacted? Have you faced or are you facing any specific challenges because of your lifestyle choices? If your family/friends are unsupportive, how do you deal?

Everything’s cool over here!

If you are single, have you found it difficult to date?

It’s difficult to date no matter what! I have gone to bars though and I’m fine. I’m very nonjudgmental.

Some straight edge women/girls I have talked to have told me that they feel isolated and that they find it difficult to relate to people outside of the straight edge scene. Is this something you can relate to?

I can relate to anyone. I’m a people person.

How do you explain your lifestyle to others outside of the scene? Do you find it difficult? What’s your elevator pitch?

I’m 36. Most people my age get it.

Over the past decade or so individuals in recovery have stumbled upon the straight edge lifestyle and it has really spoken to them. Do you feel that the straight edge community has been welcoming to those in recovery? Do you have mixed feelings? Strong Feelings?

I think that’s all situational. Some people yes, others I’m sure no. I know I could never shun anyone that’s just trying to do better for themselves.

Straight edge and the associated music scene have long been male-dominated. What do you see as a woman/girls role in the scene? How has this role changed since you have been involved and what changes would you like to see?

I don’t really try to look at things this way. We are all just people.

Do you feel the straight edge community has done enough to advance gender/race/social issues?

No one has. Especially in the USA we’ve got a lot of work to do.

Is the scene as inclusive as it likes to think it is? Do you think there’s work to be done? If so, what would you like to see change?

If we think our work is done then we’ve already failed. There’s always more work to do.

Please add anything else you think we should know or you would like to share!

I feel like I’m coming off super cynical. Haha! I’m not! I just think a lot of the straight edge community is super cliquey and if someone breaks edge it’s a cardinal sin. A lot of people make things more about them then what others are going through. I just think as humans we need to have more compassion and empathy.

! TRIGGER WARNING! The images in the gallery below include sexually suggestive poses. Only click the word Spoiler if you consent to viewing such content.



Mother, wife, small business owner.

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