Often when people find out I like hardcore music, especially straightedge, especially punks and metal heads, I will hear statements like;
“I always thought that all those straightedge kids were all the same, kinda jock like and very bro, often christian, and are only edge until they are old enough to drink in bars”
I personally know one vegan edge person who is a crust punk, identifies as genderqueer, queer, polyamorous, and lives in a collective house they own, and they love guns. They also put out one of the best zines I have ever read!
I also know a vegan edge trainhopper goth who proudly identifies as A-sexual and panromantic. She is covered in stick and poke tattoos.
I know a vegan edge body builder who writes horror novels with ecological themes and is long time a dedicated animal rights activist.
I know a vegan edge folk singer, who writes songs about his friends (animals liberated from factory farms), his emotions, some good anti-sexist tunes, and is also a dedicated Animal Rights activist.
I know a vegan edge trans guy in a bi-national marriage, met him at a queer gathering, he introduced me to the band Bane.
I know a latino vegan edge guy who is out as bi and writes anti-civ articles, who is currently serving a long sentence in a CMU (special prison for so called ‘terrorists’) for multiple counts of arson, he also once burnt down a Chrystal meth lab.
I had 4 kids who were vegan edge stay at my place, they were on tour as a band that played Old Time music. they spent most the night talking about brewing homebrew rootbeer.
I know a 16 yr old straightedge punk kid with a dread mohawk who is involved in the collective I work with, who recently just got off the streets. He is one of the funniest and most inspiring people I have ever met.
I know a vegan edge guy who listens to folk and rock but doesn’t like hardcore. he is also a member of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement and travels extensively doing volunteer work.
I met a black lesbian identified straightedge girl at a queer gathering a few years back and we hosted an improv workshop together on sobriety, she was also an ex heroine addict.
I know a couple vegan edge kids from alberta who play in a queer feminist power violence band, and have a good friend from calgary who is a former trainhopper type with face tattoos who is also vegan edge.
I also know a straightedge primitivist who is not event close to vegan, he skins roadkill, gives veggy oil conversion workshops, and dumpster dives.
I recently met a rad vegan edge guy who is really politicized around Palestinian struggle, and loves hip hop as much as hardcore. he came from an family active in NA.
I have a good friend who is more militantly anti-drug and alcohol than most straightedgers I have ever know, although he doesn’t call himself edge. He is an ex gang member turned Indigenous hip hop artist that produces positive but militant music, mainly for the youth of his people.
I once had a lover who told me she collected people, and that I was one of the more unique people in her collection. Well these are just some of the folks I know, and none fit the mold… For the record, most the folks I know and hang out with do have a drink on occasion, and I use to be a drunk punk myself, so it isn’t like I am only telling you about the unique ones. These are most of the edge identified people I have ever known (although i am sure I am forgetting a few). Other than having made a commitment to sobriety, really the only thing all these folks have in common is that they are all incredible, awesome people and I am thankful to have them in my life. And the reality is all these folks are so much more complex and deep than any label can portray them. So maybe next time someone tries to tell you that staightedge is all the same, you should think twice. It is kinda like a record collection, there might be some generic bands out there, but there is also a world of different and unique bands if you just take the time to listen.
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