So, question for you guys: have you ever heard the term “straight edge”? It sounds like one of those hipster terms like bae, throwing shade, or on fleek. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, I don’t know, but I do know it means that a person abstains from something, and for me I abstain from any alcohol and drugs.
I fit into that hipster category — what the young people here call straight edge. So, why do I abstain from any alcohol or drug use?
Glad you asked!
Growing up, I lived in a conservative Christian household, so I usually heard that drinking alcohol and using drugs is a sin, and it was very bad to do either. I mean, I was a good boy growing up…kind of! But I never did any of those things growing up!
Even now, in my late 20s, coming up to 30, I’ve never ever had a sip of alcohol — not even wine! Also, I’ve never done any drugs.
While growing up, I’d see my uncles, aunts, cousins, and extended family partying it up. I also saw the damage it did to their families and how their parents or grandparents worried about them. In their faces, you could see their pain.
Whenever I saw my family in pain, I told myself that I would never do what they do. And I like to keep my word, every now and then.
During the whole ordeal with my crazy sex life, I never drank any alcohol or used any form of drugs. People tried to offer me alcohol or wine to put me at ease if I was nervous, or they offered me certain types of drugs.
I always said no; it’s not my thing.
Some people would look at me strangely, as if thinking I were from another planet. Most of the guys were pretty cool with it, yet I always felt like the odd man out.
I wasn’t discouraged or anything; I just felt different from the rest.
By abstaining from alcohol, I hardly went to the gay bars or even straight bars because I never saw the use of going there. Yeah, some people went to have a fun time and dance, but it really wasn’t my place.
Nowadays, if people heard one of their friends is straight edge, it seems like a burden, like you’re keeping yourself from having any fun. Like partying it up is a great thing to do, going clubbing every weekend, being drunk with friends, sometimes getting into fights with other people, and being part of the crowd.
Sometimes people try to get that “high” feeling when they’re doing everything to enjoy themselves partying, risking themselves to be open to whatever drugs they want to try. Yes, not everyone is into that scene or goes that far in their life, but from my perspective and the people I’ve met, they would go that far!
This is what I saw whenever I saw someone take a shot of alcohol, especially an excessive amount of alcohol, or whenever someone shot up with drugs — whether it was one of my extended family members growing up, or someone I either did sleep with or tried to sleep with. What I saw in their eyes was the worst part of them coming out whenever they did this.
The anger, the hurt, the pain they tried to hide, the selfishness that came out; it would be visible for everyone to see, and they wouldn’t be able to control it anymore. This is the reason why I’ve vowed never to use any of those substances.
I liked being a straight edge growing up because it’s very rare to find someone like me who doesn’t drink any alcohol or do any drugs. I feel like I’m a unique person by not doing this.
It’s almost like a calling for me, a calling from God to at least challenge myself in abstaining from this area because I’ve totally failed with purity in my sexual life.
I do feel very honored in keeping myself pure of drugs and alcohol. Thank God He showed me the bad stuff early on in my life.
Do you also abstain from drugs and/or alcohol? Have you ever associated with or outright been labeled a straight edge within your sub-culture or community?
* Photo courtesy mastababa (cropped), Creative Commons.