Interview: Sofia Acosta, writer

Straight edge culture is appealing to younger and younger women

Back in April I was given the pleasure of participating in an interview with a student who goes by the name Sofia Acosta. Sofia was writing an essay about Straight Edge culture, Punk Music is Going Straight Edge, for one of her classes. We had a small interview over Tumblr’s new instant messaging system, covering the history of the straight edge community, as well as prominent figures like Bif Naked, and (of course) Ian MacKaye. A few weeks later, I got the chance to read the final essay. Being that Sofia is only in high school, and writing for an assignment, I was pleasantly surprised at how well-written and informative her essay was.

Recently I got a chance to follow up with Sofia and ask her a few questions of my own about why she chose to write an essay about Straight Edge culture, given the multitude of other topics available.

What made you want to write a paper about Straight Edge culture?

Our assignment in school was to write about a movement. We had a list of movements to pick from, one of them being the punk rock movement and I immediately thought of Minor Threat and how they made their own movement.

I asked my student teacher (she would be the one grading) if Straight Edge was okay to write about and she said it was interesting. I wanted to tell someone, anyone, what straight edge really meant, because I’ve forever had people tell me I’m too young to make that decision.

Are you Straight Edge yourself?

Yes I am almost 2 years now.

How old are you?

15. Turning 16 in a few months.

What made you want to be straight edge?

I always thought that I wouldn’t drink, just with my personality I knew anything that I could get addicted to would be bad. I always had listened to straight edge music, without knowing of course. Patty Walters, a YouTuber, is who ended up actually introducing the term straight edge to me.

Do you think that this essay was a great way of opening a lot of other people to the straight edge scene?

No actually, so far it has only been seen by me my teacher and some classmates. Also you of course. I think it opened me up to communicating online to many members of [the straight edge community] which ended up being really eye-opening for me. But no I didn’t use it as a way to spread the word.

How do the people around you feel about your decision to be Straight Edge?

Most respect it, I do get a lot of people telling me I’m too young to make that decision. My friends all know me and know I can “have fun” without drinking or drugs, and also know that I don’t mind their decisions on drinking and drugs.

My mother did once tell me that I should drink sometime and that if I didn’t then I wouldn’t “have fun”. My mother and I tend not to agree on many of these things so it came as no surprise, and didn’t really bother me.

What grade did you get on the essay?

We get graded on a four point scale with multiple benchmarks; my three benchmark score were 3 for writing, 4 for research, and 3.5 for language. Basically I got an A with points off for some grammar mistakes and formatting mistakes.

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