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Published on July 1st, 2013 | by UntoXicated


What’s the meaning of Straight Edge and the “X”?

Straight Edge. It isn’t a gang. It’s a choice.

This community is made of individuals who are proud not to drink, smoke or do drugs. Many of these people associate their ideals with the principles found in “Straight Edge” sub-culture, a movement that emerged in the 80?s punk era.

Here’s a little bit about Straight Edge (or sXE as it’s known within the community)…

“In the late 70’s and early 80’s a group of punk bands and kids began something that grew into a movement. It was a reaction to the self-destruction, the self-hatred, the pain and suffering caused by the punk mentality. A common practice at all-ages punk shows was to mark minors with an “X” on the back of their hands so they couldn’t buy alcohol. They took the X symbol that was originally used to identify them as being too young to drink, and made it their own. Those above legal drinking age and who didn’t drink for ideological reasons, also started to mark themselves with an X as a show of solidarity. Their basic beliefs were that drugs and alcohol are not needed and should be rejected. That one should live against the grain of popular society and live by rules and standards made by themselves and not the ones dictated by society.”

The term “Straight Edge” comes from the title of a song by punk band “Minor Threat”. This song also became the unofficial anthem for that subculture.

There’s plenty more information on Straight Edge within the pages of this website. Have a read of Pawel’s story and his viewpoint on what Straight Edge means to him, here: Pawel Zawislak – Straight Edge Illustrator. Or, check out the video that was sent in to our Facebook Page: Take The Pledge.

If you’d like to know why I made UntoXicated and what Straight Edge means to me, please have a read of my About Page. If you have any questions, please comment on one of the posts.

Lots of respect, to you.


Matt Urmenyhazi

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One Response to What’s the meaning of Straight Edge and the “X”?

  1. Here’s the song, released in 1980 that became the “anthem” for the Straight Edge movement. Straight Edge by Minor Threat.

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