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Straight Edge Interview Project: Sara, 23, Cancún México, She/Her

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

Sara, 23, Cancún México, straight edge

Hi! (Idk why I said hi…) My name is Sara I’m 23 and I’m a recent college graduated Audio Engineer, I’m a wanna be music producer and habitual songwriter, I love to work with vocals more than anything and I hope to one day be able to get hired at a studio, I love punk and pop punk but at this point I’ll do (almost) whatever pays lol. I have a furry baby, her name is Roxy, and she’s a chihuahua (no she doesn’t yeep or shake) she’s my baby and I love her more than anything. My hobbies include a lot of weird, seemingly unconnected, varied things such as ballet, makeup, baking, writing, drawing, true crime shows and drag queens.

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

What is your definition of straight edge?

Someone that abstains from mind/mood altering substances that have been normalized such as alcohol, recreational drugs and cigarettes.

Where do you see the straight edge scene today?

Pretty small but still prevalent, not as mainstream as it once was (I suppose, I was born in the late 90s) still holding a pretty important spot in the punk world. Sometimes misunderstood, but at the end of the day that’s expected

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?

Sara, 23, Cancún México straight edge

I think that you can be straight edge without necessarily being a part of the music industry or even liking the type of music associated with the scene/movement. In my opinion, Staight Edge has evolved to being much more than music. So yes go and listen to Tchaikovsky while you play tennis and still call yourself Straight Edge, who am I to judge someone else?

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

That I’m a nun (my personal favourite) , That I don’t know how to have fun or that I don’t have fun at all, That one day I’ll change my mind, I’ve been unmatched on Tinder by a guy who “couldn’t accept” that I didn’t at least drink wine, That I will get mad if they do those things around me, I can go on.

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’ve sadly NEVER meet anyone else who is edge. But when interacting with other people the biggest challenge is letting them know that I don’t care about what they do; But also dealing with people who don’t respect it and try to “trick me”, force me, peer pressure me or try to manipulate me and sometimes even beg me to drink. People who smoke in your direction, I had a friend smoke weed and cigarettes while speeding on a highway with me in the backseat and wouldn’t roll the windows down. I used to work at a rehearsal space with a “no drugs” policy but people would drink and smoke weed there all the time and the place was always incredibly stinky.

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 try to do the best I can with hopes to only become better in the future, that shit is expensive

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?

*sight* STRAP IN! FOR THE SAD SAD LONG ASS STORY… picture this, I was 14 years old when I got my first “boyfriend” he was 16 years old, and just a mess of a person who decided it would be a brilliant idea to unload his shit on me, anyways, He was verbally and emotionally abusive towards me, but even worse when he was drunk and/or high, which often happened, to the point where he was considered an alcoholic by the time he was 17 (legal drinking age in Mexico is 18) and I sticked with that relationship until I was 16, which was when I found out about Straight Edge thanks to Patty Walters (lead singer of As It Is) when he uploaded a video talking about his story and that’s when I knew that was me :’)

BUT! It doesn’t end there, then at 17 I met my second ever boyfriend… a 26-year-old man… who also unloaded his shit on me and who on a regular basis was verbally and emotionally abusive, and would blame me for his mental health issues, while drowning Siroquill with Jack Daniel’s and LSD. Worse 9 months of my life. And that’s the moment Straight Edge really cemented itself, me coming to terms that alcohol and drugs and the whole substance abuse world had already hurt me enough for me to even consider letting them hurt me any further, I already knew the pain that It could cause. But of course I was still a teenager and All this was still followed by a string of other (3) substance abusing/ toxic verbal/ emotionally abusive relationships that didn’t end until I hit my 20s (like early last year) Until I realized things could be different. Sorry for this whole ass essay.

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

It means the things that once hurt me can’t hurt me anymore. It’s still the same to me but also because doing those things seems expensive and my bank account doesn’t like that.

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

Sara, 23, Cancún México Straight edge

Yes!!, LGBTQ+ rights, Pro Choice, Feminism, (There’s a massive amount of violence towards women in Mexico with 10 of us being murdered a day on average with gender being the main reason), BLM, Disability, Animal Rights, Mental Health I always have the awkward conversations with people and I’m always trying to advocate and I’ve never been afraid to question and confront the people who disagree with these causes. I have no filter.

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

The fact that all the things Straight Edge avoids are things that have already hurt me more than enough. And also the music is incredible and filled with the most raw passion I’ve ever heard in any music ever.

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

What does Straight Edge mean?” “So you don’t have sex at all?” so yeah.. People

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

deal with stress by crying tbh (I’m a Cancer, and I do fall under the stereotype of being a cry baby) But in regard to peer pressure, I just have never cared for other people’s perception of me, and I highly encourage everyone else to do so, like RuPaul said, “Unless they’re paying your bills, pay them bitches no mind”

How was it being straight edge in this pandemic?

Normal, I don’t leave the house much anyways, although there’s too many wine jokes that I guess I’ll never truly understand.

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

Nope, I’ve been edge my whole life technically, so I’ve never felt like I was missing out on anything, and I’m not scared of my own mind (a reason I’ve heard people who drink, smoke or do drugs say makes them want to do this things)

Have you ever stopped being edge for a period of time, and 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)?

nope… sorry not that interesting

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?

Sara, 23, Cancún México straight edge

I am!! (finally found a wonderful man) he’s not straight edge, but he’s still amazing, I’ve never dated anyone in the scene, The biggest challenge is that when he drinks or the odd time he smokes weed, I find it hard to talk to him but it’s mostly because I’m triggered and it reminds me of my past relationships when the people that I dated turned abusive, and even when he’s nothing like that I still find it challenging separating those things from the emotional scars that I was left with.

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?

he ain’t straight edge… but It’s fine

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?

My friends sometimes try to “brake me” but I don’t take it personally and my family is fine with it because they only ever drink sparkling cider (is that a thing?) on Christmas and new years.

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

Not currently single, BUT I don’t think dating is easy for anyone, plus, I was on Tinder for YEARS, so I’ve seen the worst of the worst and a bunch of guys asking “So you don’t have sex?” and ALWAYS asking “Do you want to go out for drinks?” even when I had the fact that I was SE in my bio…

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?

Not really because I don’t know anyone else in the scene sadly.

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 and not looking to be one, ever.

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

at this point I honestly just say “google 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?

From what I’ve heard of not everyone is very welcoming, but I think we should welcome everyone because not everyone has access to information about this movement. or has the courage to confront the substance taking culture that people have normalized.

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

I had never really thought about it and tbh I don’t think it should matter outside the fact that IF SHE’S INTOXICATED IT’S A NO! And that women who drink or use do tend to be more vulnerable to freaks at bars who put stuff in drinks.

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

Never met anyone else in the scene but have heard that sometimes men in the scene tend to be a bit more critical of fellow straight edge women and we face a bit more stigma perhaps.

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?

Well funny that you mention this… I actually did my college thesis on Female representation in the engineering/ music production side of the music industry. And It’s very slowly getting better in the general music scene but in the narrow world of straight edge music I think there’s still a long way to go and I think other men in the straight edge music scene should encourage and show support for up and coming and stablished females in the music scene. The RIAA shouldn’t be putting up quotas to be filled, this are things that should be a part of our culture specially as a movement that basically went against the norm of punk to be even more punk equality should be a given.

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

Sexist teachers and being put in not so creative driven roles such as a receptionist when working at a studio even when I had the capacity to succeed in them because “women are more responsible” .

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

I don’t think anything would be enough until EVERYONE has the same rights, and we’ve achieved equality in every aspect of life.

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?

I think there’s always room for improvement when it comes to inclusivity, I don’t really see a lot of POC representation and like we’ve touched in this interview not a lot of women representation.

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

BLM! WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!!! LOVE IS LOVE!!!

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

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