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Straight Edge Interview Project: Biene she/her, Nürnberg Germany

Instagram: Biene_bone

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

I am a proud dog mom and am obsessed with animals and think that everything is cute. For a living a work as a Personal care assistant for a woman in a wheelchair. I love my job and get a lot out of it just recently I traveled to Croatia with my boss and her family was brilliant. I really enjoy sports and regularly swim I am also part of our local feminist kickboxing club (frontkick). I would also say tattoos are my hobby I love getting them and have also taken up tattooing others too. Otherwise, I love walking my doggo spending time with my partner and watching and rewatching Harry Potter films. When I feel like it I love kinging and bending the gender norms and turn into a macho cowboy. I really love making people laugh and making a point about toxic masculinity. (Johnny longschlobg is my king name 🙂 )

Favorite straight edge (or non-straight edge) bands?

Love punk most things from bad brains to the choking victim and all of the classics like the clash and oi polloi in between. Fav edge bad is probably Minor threat. Just love the power.

What is your definition of straight edge?

No drink no drugs. No tobacco.

Where do you see the straight edge scene today?

I really only know a small handful of people that are straight edge and most probably wouldn’t call themselves straight edge. However, most people I speak to about living drink and drug free see it positively. Also have A few people who have changed their ways and have quit drinking because it was unhealthy (physically, socially and psychologically) which I always think is cool. Also I have loads more Friends and relatives becoming vegan which i think is a great move.

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?

Sure. The more the merrier. Living drink and drug free is good for anyone in any scene. In my opinion, all are welcome.

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

They assume I’m no fun. Wrong.

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?

Most people respect my choices. However sometimes I feel people often assume I am missing out. And tend to pity me or feel sorry for me. When I reality I am having just as much fun as them. Also sometimes people don’t invite me to parties because they want to take drugs and get shitfaced without me calling them out on it.

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

Straight edge vegan all the way. Can only recommend it.

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?

Trigger warning. Addition and suicidal behaviour. : in my family there is a history of addiction and mental illness and a. Close family member of mine was an addict to alcohol and hard drugs for nearly 10 years. I also used to take lots of different drugs recreationally and also drink regularly and often in excesses. I would always feel terrible after and struggle mentally. It did not help my depression and even after drug-induced panic attacks and a suicide attempt I still smoked and drank. Only once my family member decided to get professional help and get clean I was inspired to do the same. All I can say is we are both 4 years sober. !!!! So much happier and our bond is fantastic again. My mental health has drastically improved and life is good.

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

Freedom. It gives me strength and self-confidence to know I don’t need that shit.

Do you consider yourself an activist? What is/are your cause(s), and how have you been working to advance them?

Queer feminism, veganism, anti-fascism, …

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

My mental stability. And the well-being I profit from sconce living straight edge.

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

Hate. People mocking or excluding me.

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

Kickboxing, sports, time with friends and dog walks.

How was it being straight edge in this pandemic?

Fab. Feeling good and healthy.

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

In the beginning, I craved weed. It relaxed me and I missed it. Sometimes I had to take meds in the beginning to calm my anxiety and panic attacks however in time I realised that I didn’t need it and it was doing me much more harm than any relief.

Have you ever stopped being edge for a period of time, if so why? Did you regret doing so? What brought you back? If you have come back, how do you view your commitment (i.e. for life, for now)?

No. Managed to stay straight for now.

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?

My partner is also vegan straight edge. It’s fantastic we support each other and you always have a sober person to talk to at parties.

If your partner is edge do you have similar views/outlooks about straight edge? What are some examples of ideas/beliefs that you agree and/or disagree on?

I don’t think my partner would describe himself as edge he doesn’t think it is important to present as part of a scene.

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?

Only positive feedback. And everyone in the family are very supporting. I am so lucky to have a good network. Family parties are alcohol and drug free and hopefully soon meat free. (Will take some convincing)

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

In a relationship since 2015. Very happy and in love

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?

Most of the people who are sober who I know are guys. But all of my girl* friends are totally supporting and think I have inspired a few too.

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

I always ask why people think they need 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?

Totally support anyone who attempts the edge lifestyle. I also have extremely large amounts of respect to anyone in recovery. Addiction is such a powerful illness and I am amazed by anyone who tries to recover. Therefore I believe they should be welcomed into the community with open arms and a slice a vegan cake.

Have you ever had a negative experience in the scene related to your gender?

Mansplaining everywhere. Thankfully nothing else.

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?

Girls** to the front. And this should also include trans and non binary folks too. Support your sisters* not just your cisters.

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

No. Definitely space for more diversity.

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

Thanks for doing this project. Think it’s great. Love seeing and reading other folks stories. Stay safe. Stay sober and stay strange.

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

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