It’s okay to be gay in the SCA

Well straight, gay, bi or queer
Just know that you’re welcome here
It’s OK to be gay in the SCA
So put a blue feather in your hat
And crawl up in your lover’s lap
It’s OK to be gay in the SCA

With thanks to the Bards of KeyPoynt, whose lovely performance at Temple Caffeinea was much appreciated for a young-in-experience genderfluid Solstice.

The SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism, a name chosen by famous author Marion Zimmer Bradley) resembles and bills itself as a recreation of 17th century Europe, similar to Renaissance fairs — but the difference is in the C, for Creative. To quote the official website,

You will frequently hear SCA participants describe the SCA as recreating the Middle Ages “as they ought to have been.” In some ways this is true – we choose to use indoor plumbing, heated halls, and sewing machines. In the dead of winter we have more to eat than King’s venison, salt pork and dried tubers. However, a better description is that we selectively recreate the culture, choosing elements of the culture that interest and attract us.

Practices differ from region to region, but in the Kingdom of An Tir, it isn’t unusual to see pirates, Egyptians, Romani and sometimes even the rare steampunk, to say nothing for the propane-powered torches, heaters and stoves. Temple Caffeinea, mentioned above, is a coffee shop which sells food on the side. I went into my first event expecting Ren Faire, dressed in a kilt (the most archaic garb I could muster) and left contemplating possibilities. It helped when I learned that the Temple was run by a drag queen (albeit one out of ‘uniform’), hinting that the SCA wasn’t nearly as formal as I had first assumed. I was better prepared for my second and third events, held back to back.

This is Solstice, my SCA alter ego, and never have I felt so comfortable in my own skin.

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6 thoughts on “It’s okay to be gay in the SCA

  1. YOUR SETUP IS WEIRD I COULDN’T FIND THE REPLY BUTTON.
    also interesting in that this is a picture of you. we are into sca things a bit yay!

    however. I was wondering if you had any details (or a paypal) up on where you are living, to see if I am anywhere close and can assist with the living arrangement thing. You said over on le slacktivist you may have until the end of the year? are you ANYWHERE in le Southern states?

    • It’s one of WordPress’s default templates, pretty much the only one that didn’t have an obnoxiously colorful background. I lack the skills to set up a more individualized page.

      Believe it or not, I was originally going to post the picture without cropping and the only reason I did not was because the person who took the picture appears in the mirror behind me. The restrictions necessitating my anonymity are somewhat loosening — I’ve been distancing myself from my company by associating all my previous work with pseudonyms, so I might eventually have my life back someday. Then you might see photos with my face. :p

      I live in the Pacific Northwest with my former significant other, now close friend, who helps me function through PTSD and chronic depression. Basically, our landlord–my friend’s father–doesn’t care whether we’re paying the rent or not and wants me to leave if we’re not still engaged. My income isn’t enough to rent an apartment by myself and I haven’t had any success getting on disability or any other supplemental program, so my only alternative is family — who have recently gone off the deep end altogether and are now part of a militia, the kind that would make Mark Kessler proud.

      Since that’s not really a feasible alternative, I’m not really sure what’s going to happen. I can’t function on my own, I can’t go home and I can’t stay here.

      • Dammit that sucks. I do not live anywhere near you and I’m not sure how much money that I have would contribute to you here.
        If you do ever head to Louisiana/Texas, throw me an email?

        I do wish you all the luck and some sort of better situation than that.

  2. She who picketh nits feeleth compelled to observe that we recreate “pre-17th-century culture.”

    Also, your garb seems to me to suggest a Celtic persona. If you decide to register a name, check out Heather Rose Jones’s analysis of the Red Book of Ormond. There are several Irish names in it that are currently unisex or were unisex in period.

    • I’m less concerned with being period-accurate than I am with ease of speech. When people in suits of armor start insisting on details being exactly right to period, I cheerfully inquire how well they speak Old Saxon. πŸ˜€

      The role-playing tends not to be very deep here (in An Tir). It’s more an excuse to go out, dress up and have a good time. Anyone who wants to take it deeper than that is welcome to (and there seem to be quite a few who do, especially since Court seems to be quite a thing even in 90 degree weather), but there are a great many people in the camp who go by the antiquated names of “Brad” and “Nancy” and so forth. The goal for most seems to be more of a retreat from modern society, not so much a retreat from the modern world, hence rather few objections to the porta-potties and hotdogs and marshmallows around the campfire. πŸ˜„

      • Oh, anybody who objects to Portapotties is taking authenticity entirely too far! Still, if you were minded to and I could sew (ha ha I can barely manage buttons), I would take it as a personal challenge to develop an authentic houppelande that you could wear as a male or female simply by changing the accessories. Actually, with the right hat (a bourrelet, I think), all you would need to do was change the belt from high to low. Or wear it in the middle and introduce yourself as Simone of Dublin and let people wonder. If you wanted to be super authentic (which I know you don’t but this is a thought experiment), you would need to have a naturally high forehead because plucked foreheads for women was The Fashion, probably because in a houppelande you can’t display the usual secondary sex characteristics.

        But I am a giant costume nerd, mostly because my own budget runs only to a few medieval-ish things from Holy Clothing that I can also wear on mundane occasions. I splurged on a proper torque to make my head look medieval-ish, but real medieval shoes and spectacles are just wishful thinking.

        More importantly, I’m sorry you’re stuck and I hope that maybe the new health insurance market will ease your financial burdens a little. I wish there was something I could do to help.

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