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Straight Edge Interview Project: lexxxi she/her

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

I enjoy traveling, Disney obsessed, read books and comics, when it’s safe again go to shows to see live music, playing music. I love makeup have a YouTube just live for the beauty world. I enjoy spending time with my husband and our families. We have a puppy and cat who are our children.

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

Have Heart & First Blood. Non-straight edge. Transgression, Bitter End, Misery Signals, Absence Of Mine.

What is your definition of straight edge?

The simple no drinking, drugs, or smoking

Where do you see the straight edge scene today?

Well back in mid early 2000’s when I claimed edge it was kind of trendy many people have broken edge now. Which people change no judgment. I do see it growing people claiming to learn more about it. Through new bands and fest and social media as a whole.

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?

If you know what straight edge is and will be that for yourself claim. I do think it is tied to the music scene. Each to their own do it for you.

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

That I never have fun. I am judging them. I cannot be friends with someone who isn’t.

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 guess mostly getting teased as an adult for not drinking. People since I am not a cis male that I claimed to be cool.

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?

Well, I claimed mid-8th-grade year. I am currently 28 years old. I have always had health issues. Major health issues. I got super sick that year. With a blood clot all that. I tried some pill drugs and drank very young in 7th grade. The summer going into 9th grade. After watching my friends change do drugs and drink to fit in. I started going to shows. Was exposed to straight edge via MySpace. I was put on blood thinners also watched my sister become an alcoholic my oldest sister. I was like this sounds like a great lifestyle. Drinking isn’t my thing. I wanna live my best life.

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

It’s a way of life something to be proud of. A subculture that can be really good for most people.

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

Of course, I haven’t been able to do much. Since I kind of keep to myself and cannot drive due to my health. But I’m all for all equal rights. Also includes disability too. I wanna stand for what is right in the world. I do a lot of sharing stuff via social media.

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

I’ve come so far. My mental and physical health. Being a good example for my nieces and nephew.

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

Being judged for not drinking.

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

I go on walks, work out. Go to shows, watch tv, write I write a lot. Surround myself with good people. Any tips if someone is pressuring you to do anything CUT THEM OFF.

How was it being straight edge in this pandemic?

Nothing really changed except the struggle everyone suffers right now.

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

Only when I was at my lowest low. Wanted to feel nothing.

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?

Yes, my husband is. He wasn’t at first then something happened to a family member. Which was caused due to living, not a healthy lifestyle. He didn’t wanna live like that or risk it. When he wasn’t he was super respectful.

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 think we are both on the same page. Sometimes he misses cigarettes. But that’s it.

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?

I just get teased by family members or jokes. Nothing bad.

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?

Yes, I feel it’s hard. You want people with who you have a lot in common with. But you want to have friends from all walks of life. Some of my friends who don’t like that stuff tiptoe around me if that goes out to the bar or something. But most isn’t terrible. But it’s hard especially when they go out for weddings, bridal parties all that.

If you are straight edge and a parent, how has being straight edge informed how you parent and/or relate to other parents?

Not a parent. I have older nieces. I just let them know if they try stuff no judgment. But it’s okay to not cave in. Don’t follow others.

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

I just say I don’t drink or anything because it’s not my thing. Then people are shocked.

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 would say mixed feelings. But we should be the ones helping them since we aren’t linked to things that cause addictions. Not shame that if they slip up.

How do you feel your straight edge commitment plays into the bigger social justice movement for gender equity?

Let’s be real it’s hard not being a cis male in the music scene. When I was in bands. I made a lot of songs about being together no judgment. That we need to stick together.

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

Ohhh I lost count. Mostly I don’t mean to sound cringy. I mosh and men just get really mad about it sometimes. I’ve been targeted and had bad things happen. Also being a vocalist I have had venue owners be like uhh this is hand load in only not band girlfriends. I snapped said yeah I am just a band’s vocalist that’s playing. Or I am super sexualized.

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 am so stoked when it’s not a male gender well cis male I will say. Since they don’t struggle really. I always try to make friends. Especially when they are in bands or doing something big making us all feel included. I see a lot more people in bands, moshing going to shows. Where I lived up until I was about 20. There were no girls moshing. I never saw any bands that were not male vocalists. Also, I’ve seen a lot more egos that break my heart.

What if any challenges have you faced that are specifically related to being a female in a male-dominated scene?

Being sexualized especially when I was in bands. Or the violence when moshing.

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?

Oh my gosh, there is so much more work. Not just equality. More of the I’m too cool for you especially with the younger people or people in big bands. We all are here for the same reason. People aren’t always trying to be cool they just want friends to start bands whatnot. You don’t have to be friends with everyone. Unless they are not a good person. Be respectful so they can enjoy music too.

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

Please spread kindness. The world is scary. Check-in with people. If you saw a post that is alarming talk to them. Or let them know they aren’t alone.

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

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