Straight Edge, everyone hears it as something different. For adults it may strike fear in their hearts. For young teenagers, maybe hate, or respect. For younger kids it may seem as a fad. All these views and no education leads people to drastic consequences.
Let us start with the history of it. Back in the punk era of music a band called Minor Threat had a song called straight edge. It talked about not doing drugs and drinking just to be cool and accepted by everyone.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½Some people took this as a call to action and made it a way of life. By claiming straight edge you abstained from alcohol, drug abuse, and promiscous sex. These three things are all towards preservation of life. In the present time, straight edge has grown to be somewhat of a gang in some areas, but has developed around the world as a way of life.
There are a few different types of straight edgers but they all revolve around the three key points mentioned before. Many of them are vegetarian or vegan and believe in animal rights. They go through all religions but many are atheist, which is funny because they have a lot better principals and values than many religions. Some won’t take any type of drug, including caffeine and medicine. Some take it a step further and hurt anyone who doesn’t follow their principals. Some radicals take it the extreme and won’t use anything containing any type of alcohol or drug or anything that affects your behavior and also don’t believe in anything sexual until you are married. Types of things they wont use that contain alcohol, soaps, sanitizers, many foods and dressings, and things treated with alcohol.
The “straight edge capitals” of the world are located in Boston and Salt Lake City. This is also where most of the confrontation goes on and that is why it is only considered a gang to the police forces of Utah, New York, Nevada, and Colorado. Straight Edge is not a gang though, there are some groups of people who call themselves straight edge gangs. But the gangs have names it is just all the members are straight edge. These gangs will get into fights and even sometimes have territory, though its not as exact as most thug gangs. Straight Edge gang members unlike others arm themselves with not guns, but brass knuckles, switchblades, and baseball bats. They do this to give everyone a chance and consider guns cheating and cheapshots.
The symbol of straight edge is the letter X. This comes from minors being allowed in bars back in the 80’s. To show that they couldnt be served alcohol bouncers would put x’s on minors hands. People who were straight edge and didn’t want alcohol though they were of legal age started doing this themselves. This is how the X was brought into modern straight edge. XXX is their full symbol for no drinking, no drugs, no promiscous sex.
Straight Edge is characterized by their genre of music. They listen to hardcore music, a face pace music deriving from punk. It will have breakdowns thrown into songs where people can dance, they usually have a type of beat to two-step to. These dances may look very violent and chaotic but they aren’t at all. They are organized and everyone hasÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½a certain level of respect in the ring of people. Everyone knows their place, and rarely do people get hurt.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½A lot of them also listen to rap because in a way it is somehow connected with hardcore music as in the beat and dancing during breakdowns.
You can’t really classify a straight edge person by their looks, but there are two commons types. There isÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½the tight pants and shirts usually weilding a bandana in their back pocket or on their head. Then there is the thug, or gangster looking straight edgers, they are usually older and go back to the roots. They wear baggy camo shorts and are nicely built muscular people. They wear jerseys a lot and won’t usually have highly fashionable hair, it might just be shaved or bald.
So in conclusion, straight edgers are not gang members, they aren’t planet savers, they are hethans, they are just people like verone else that believe the same thing, some just choose to show it differently. This sub-culture gone through so many stereotypes and classifications, it is just not fair. They haven’t had the chance to explain themselves. Take a chance to get to know some of them, I know it isn’t much but I hope this helps to eliminate some of the prejudice people have about everyone not just people who are straight edge.