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Straight Edge Interview Project: Katja Schmitt 43, she/her Germany

In our latest feature, we spotlight Katja Schmitt, a 43-year-old single mother from Germany. Juggling the demands of motherhood and a full-time career, Katja dedicates her spare time to raising awareness about toxic relationships and PTSD. Recently embracing straight edge, she is part of a growing trend of individuals claiming edge in their mid-life, bringing a fresh perspective to the scene.

You can keep with with Katja on her Instagram @xkatjuschkax

Could you share a brief introduction about yourself?
I am Katja Schmitt, 43 years old from Germany. I am a single mum of two wonderful daughters. I work in the field in the ostomy department. Vegan since 3 years. Straight edge since 1,5 years.

Tell us about your interests and passions.
My free time is very limited due to my job and the children. But I try to go to hardcore shows as often as I can. I love socialising with other people. Both in real life and via social media. I try to educate people about narcissism and toxic relationships. As I am affected by this myself and have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Music is my passion. And that’s what I talk about most often. I love the hardcore community. The exchange, the input and the solidarity. In spring and summer, I seek peace and relaxation in my garden, where I can forget the stress and ground my thoughts. And my biggest projects are my children. I hope I give them everything they need to become emphatic and tough women.

What’s currently on your playlist?
Überwiegend Hardcore mit einigen Straight edge Bands.

How do you personally define straight edge?
Straight edge is a question of mindset. It means being loyal and honest. It means being kind to yourself and those around you. Straight edge is more than just being sober. Our connection is music and a stable mindset.

How important is music to your relationship with straight edge?
Of course, you can also be straight edge without being active in the music scene. But you can feel the real cohesion and energy with the music of the straight edge bands. And the unique spirit can only be felt at a straight edge show.a

What’s your straight edge story?
I’ve been straight edge for 1.5 years and I haven’t smoked for 3 years. But I have to say, I’ve never had an extreme addiction to drugs and alcohol. And now I’ve only ever had one thing on my mind: it’s wrong to poison your body. Why do I drink beer at concerts when I don’t actually need it? And it’s a good feeling when you’re in control of yourself and your actions and not clouded by alcohol!

How straight edge influenced your relationships?
Family and friends have accepted this very well. I hope that being straight edge will be an advantage for a future relationship. Having a completely different mindset automatically weeds out toxic people before they enter my life.

Do you feel that your gender  or age has influenced your experience within the straight edge and hardcore scenes? 
My gender or age never actually played a role, and nobody ever asked about it. The only negative thing I experienced was the statement from my ex-boyfriend. He said to me: “I would go hardcore and be fake! ” I have to say that I only got into the hardcore scene very late because of him. But I think he just didn’t understand the mindset in hardcore! It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, what colour your skin is or how long you’ve been in the scene. It’s the cohesion and the connection through the music that counts!

Have you observed any evolution in the straight edge scene regarding acceptance and diversity?
In Germany, I am observing that more and more women are daring to openly confess to the scene

Mother, wife, small business owner.

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