Straight Edge

sxe x wrenchesFor more than three decades, straight edge has ebbed and flowed through the hardcore scene.  The articles in this section span twenty years’ worth of ideas, feelings, and thoughts about straight edge from a female perspective. Some of these articles were written by girls who are now women (myself included). Our thoughts were raw and unfiltered as teens.  We were (and some of still are) frustrated with the status quo. We are tired of having our voices drowned out. As we have grown and evolved, so have our ideas about what it means to be edge.  These are our stories, our thoughts, our journeys.

Mental Health Stigma and Straight Edge

I need help. There I said it. I need help. Those three words come with weight all their own. A whole barrage of stigma can follow: weak, pathetic, vulnerable, unstable, sick, incapable, and a whole slew of other words that cause pause and judgment.

Girl, Straight Edge, and Italian Born.

Next year will be my 10th straight edge birthday; I was born and currently living in Italy.

A lot of people, especially from the US, asked me about the Italian situation with the COVID-19; and after the emergency, someone is obviously curious about the straight edge scene situation, concert, and festival current status in Italy. Well, there is not so much to say, we just don’t have a real straight edge scene for so many years … but let’s start from the ebginning of my personal experience.

The story of a Kid from Kansas

One might ask how straight edge found its way to a 16-year-old in Kansas. The answer is simple, a badass sister! I was never fond of alcohol, I thought cigarettes were gross and didn’t like the light-headed feel.

Dallas J. Moore an Introduction

I heard the term straight edge when I was in college. In high school, I had invested a lot of time and energy listening to and learning about punk music. I loved everything about their anti-establishment values, their ‘forget about the status quo,’ and the ‘live by your own rules’ way of thinking.

Sex & The Straight Edge

Firstly, I’d like to point out how damn difficult it is to talk about this subject without mentioning Mr MacKaye or THAT song but I’m going to give it a bash anyway.

Drunk Words/ Sober Thoughts

One of the biggest adjustments I had to make when I chose to become sober was to my personality. I was forced to actually have one


“Christopher Horsethief is a research professor and organizational theorist who focuses on the group dynamics of collectively traumatized communities. Spending much of his career (and life) in Indigenous and First Nations communities

Being Straight Edge in the DJ & Night Life

Turning Straightedge – A Personal Choice

This year, I turn 38, making it 20 years since I chose to be drug & alcohol-free. So that means I was only 18 when I made this choice – at this young age I wasn’t exactly a seasoned drinker, but 2 years into trying it all out, I decided it wasn’t the lifestyle for me.

She’s a Punk- The Straight Edge Episode

Have you checked out She’s a Punk? She’s a Punk, hosted by Siobhan Woodrow and her mission is to tell the stories of radical women who are guided by a punk rock ethos. Take a listen to The Straight Edge Episode Sibohan speaks with some really interesting ladies, and although, we don’t all agree, it’s really interesting to hear their personal relationships to straight edge and their experiences.

How I Found Activism Through Claiming Edge

My sobriety has been like getting to know a friend of a friend. You know the one, you go out with a close friend, and they bring someone who’s name you’ve seen on Facebook. You know their face and some details of their life, but they are in no way someone you’re familiar with.

A Prescription for Judgment

Priorities of abstinence may differ for each of us. There are those that believe vegetarian/vegan diets should be a staple of an edge lifestyle, while others feel promiscuous sex need not be a part of the discussion. To each their own, one might say. I try to limit my judgments when it comes to the choices of others in the community, even if I feel strongly in another direction

What is sXe?

In the late seventies and early eighties, fueled by the club/party/rock and roll scenes, drug use (abuse) evolved from the dirty hippy stereotype to Hollywood chic.   Drug use was seen as glamorous. The seventies saw artists like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison all pass away due to overdoses. The New York Punk scene was ravaged by heroin.  

The country was still reeling from the Watergate Scandal.  President Regan was ushering in a new brand of conservatism.  Unreset was brewing in the DC Punk/Hardcore Scene.   

Forty-six seconds, a kid with radical ideas about drugs and alcohol, and a punk rock band was all it took to convince young people from around the world to espouse a life free of drugs and alcohol.    

Minor Threat, fronted by Ian Mackaye dropped the track Straight Edge on their 1981  7” Minor Threat.  

I’m a person just like you

But I’ve got better things to do

Than sit around and fuck my head

Hang out with the living dead.

From that moment straight edge took on a life of its own, inspiring countless hardcore bands, artists, and individuals the world over.    

At a high level, the guidelines are pretty simple. Don’t’ drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs.  There are debates thought out the community about the definition of what a drug is. Some people abstain from over the counter pain relievers, caffeine, and prescription drugs. Adherents that take straight edge to this extreme are dubbed hardliners.   Most agree that straight edge is not a commitment to be taken lightly, in fact, many adherents are lifers.