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Straight Edge Interview Project: Victoria , 29, Virginia, she/her

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_SgzA1prgp/

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

I have been a dancer, yes pole, for about 10 years. I also co-own/host a podcast called xHalfBakedx and I own an oddity business called Victorian Bones. Oh do I have pets! I have three dogs, three chickens, three ducks, two cats, and an axolotl. My hobbies include gym time, going on adventures to explore the outside world, and making art.

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

Nnunn, the black queen, body snatcher, painted devils, chiodos,

 What is your definition of straight edge?

Pure lifestyle. Drug and alcohol-free

Where do you see the straight edge scene today?

I feel like the straight edge scene is slowly fading away. And people often choose the wrong way to cope with certain things. But I also feel there is still a strong amount of us who need to stick together and support one another.

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?

Straight edge is a lifestyle of being pure, not the type of music you listen to.

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

Being totally covered in tattoos and working in a nightclub people assume that I’m heavily into drugs. And when I tell them that I am straight edge they assume that I’m no fun anymore. Or I can’t be around people who drink. So I always have to explain that being straight edge is my choice and I would never push that on someone else as long as they don’t push what they do on 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 don’t get invited to do a lot of stuff since I don’t drink. I have lost friends and also family.

 

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?

I calmed edge at a younger age, maybe 16/17. I had a friend that got a DUI and I felt like it was my fault. So I figured I would stop drinking. But being in highschool and trying to fit it, it didn’t last long. I got heavy into Adderall and I use to drink. And one day I just asked myself why? Between that, a guy I dated who was a big alcoholic when I was 18, and I felt like certain people in my family were going down that path as well. I needed to do it for myself. To stay clear-minded, to stay on the right path. I have now I’ve been straight edge for 10 years.

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

Always have been a clear mind and pure life.

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

I will never push people to be edge. But I always hope that when I explain why I am edge it helps people just a little to lean that way. I will always be a support system for anyone trying to live that life.

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

Because I feel like it’s the right choice for me, it’s who I am and the life I want to live.

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

I didn’t think it would make me lose so many people or make people upset with me because I don’t drink.

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

I enjoy going to the gym or hikes. It always clears my mind. Tips? Remember this is your life to live. Don’t let anyone control your choices, you know your life better than anyone else. You know what is right for yourself.

How was it being straight edge in this pandemic?

It was great. Being in a pandemic doesn’t mean your should break it.

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

I have never.

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)?

Just when I was younger. I just wanted to fit in.

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 recent is straight edge. And it’s great to have that in common. I don’t mind dating someone who isn’t, I just would want them to be responsible and know a limit.

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?

Just keeping a clean life. There is nothing that is disagreed on.

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 have had some really close family members not agree on my life choice. They try to get me to meet at bars and do the, ” just taste it, one sip won’t hurt” thing.

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 feel like my line of work it helped me to break the ice and start conversations with just about anyone. I will just be myself. You can take it or leave it.

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

My son knows I don’t drink. He also knows the danger and harm that drugs and alcohol can do to your body. I try to inform him on it and I explain why I don’t. I hope he grows up knowing he has a choice and not to follow what everyone else does.

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

I’m just open and honest. Some people have no idea what the term means, so I just explain to them. Some get very excited and I hear ” I wish I could do that” I’m here to tell you that you can.

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 the people I know yes, because there is such good support.

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 never really had a problem with straight edge people, but being in the music scene I remember hearing no clit in the pit alot.

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

There was only a handful I had a problem with. The Virginia Beach hardcore scene was very violent, maybe I got lucky haha

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

Remember we have the power to say no and walk away from anything toxic in our lives.

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

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