images-2During a time when sex, drugs, and rock and roll were all the rage, bands were making the decision to become straight edge. It all started in the early ‘80s, when a band coined the term “Straight Edge” from one of their songs.

Urban dictionary defines straight edge as a, “Movement started in 1981 by D.C. hardcore band, Minor Threat. Drawn from the two songs “Out of Step” and “Straightedge”, in which in the former, they emphasize the values of “Don’t drink! Don’t smoke! Don’t fuck!” which means no drugs, alcohol, or promiscuous sex.”

Some believed that this was just another trend. Something that only a follower would take part in.

Even though straight edge was most popular in the early 1980s, it is still referred to today. In the 2008 hit song, “Don’t Trust Me” by 3OH!3, the lyrics refer to a common symbol known in the straight edge community. The lyrics are, “X’s on the back of your hands, washed them in the bathroom to drink like the bands…” Deciding to be straight edge is an oath to a lifestyle that cannot be washed away with soap and water.

October 17, 1999 was the first National Edge Day, which introduced Straight Edge to a whole new generation. A celebration most popular in Boston, Massachusetts reached the west coast in Santa Ana, California for the 2012 Edge Day. Decades later the choice to be straight edge continues to make its presence.

There are still many out there that believe in the straightedge lifestyle, regardless of the  ‘X’s on the back of their hands.

By Melissa Carriero DHS Graduate, Class of 2010