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Straight Edge Interview Project: Chloe, 20, Indiana, she/herStraight Edge Interview Project:

Tell us about yourself! Hobbies, jobs, passion projects, interests?

I am going into my junior year of college, studying to be a video editor! In my spare time, I love painting, collecting vinyl, and going to shows.

What are you listening to these days?   (does not have to be hardcore)   What are some of your favorite bands and/or podcasts?

Lately, I’ve been listening to the band Anxious a lot. Their music is incredible and having straight-edge members just makes them even better. (Listen to Little Green House!!!)

What’s your straight edge story?

I’ve never touched alcohol or drugs, but I didn’t claim edge until 2 years ago when I was 18. I learned about straight edge from watching a YouTube video by Patty Walters (of the band AS IT IS) when I was in middle school. I related so much to his experience and although I didn’t claim edge until years later, the video always stuck with me. I was always hesitant to become straight edge – thinking one day I would start drinking and doing all the things people my age were doing. But as I got older, I realized my feelings towards drinking/smoking/drugs had never changed and decided to finally fully commit to being straight edge

How do you define straight edge?  What makes straight edge different from being sober?  Is your definition fluid or concrete?   Do you think you will ever NOT be straight edge? What keeps you committed?

Straight edge is living and promoting a completely drug and alcohol-free life. Being straight edge is something I’m really proud of and I definitely see myself being straight edge for the rest of my life. I also love that I have the opportunity to be a positive influence for others. I wish I had met someone who was straight edge growing up to show me that being straight edge is cool and a totally normal way of living.

Over the past decade or so individuals in recovery have stumbled upon straight edge, and it has really spoken to them.  Do you feel that the straight edge community has been, and should be welcoming to those in recovery?

I absolutely think the straight edge community has been (and should continue to be) accepting of those in recovery. The straight edge community should be a safe space. Anyone wanting to become part of the community should be welcomed with open arms!

Do you feel that the straight edge movement/scene is inclusive?  What are things that can be done to make it more inclusive?  What sort of changes would you like to see?

There are so many great, positive people in this scene, but there are also others who I unfortunately think give the entire movement a bad rap. I am involved in several straight edge groups and see far too many judgmental comments about people who are not straight edge. I think some individuals need to learn how to understand other ways of life before ridiculing them. I do not believe these negative people are the majority in this scene, but having this judgment within the community makes us all look bad. We shouldn’t critique others, and we are not above others for our personal decisions!

Has being straight edge had an impact on your relationships (family, friends, significant others). If so how would you characterize that impact?

Most people in my life are super supportive of my decision to be straight edge. Every now and then I get questions about my lifestyle (especially being a young college student), but nothing that is too difficult to explain. The biggest obstacle I’ve endured is assuring others that just because I am straight edge doesn’t mean that I judge others. I believe everyone is entitled to live their life however they want. Even though I abstain from certain things and love being straight edge, I completely understand why it is appealing for other people and they should be able to do whatever they want!

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

The straightedge lifestyle is a commitment far bigger than the music attached to it. I think it is important to understand how straight edge began, but I don’t think being a part of the music scene is a necessity. Being straight edge is about acceptance and living a happy, sober lifestyle above all else!

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

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