In and around everything that’s happening right now, I feel it’s important to bring up a quick blog post regarding a recent event in the SCA Kingdom of Ealdormere.
This past weekend, at their Coronation and as the first act of their reign, Evander MacLachlan and Marion Golightly, Rex et Regina Ealdormeris, directed Ealdormere’s Lawspeaker, Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton, to read out the statement of equity and inclusivity that they had asked her to compose.
“These are the virtues of the Kingdom of Ealdormere to which we aspire and strive in thought, word, and deed:
Honour: In all our acts, we strive to be true to the ideals that are the foundation of our Society and to keep our word.
Inclusiveness: We welcome those of all backgrounds, regardless of ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious beliefs, or abilities, and will endeavour to make all spaces open and safe for all.
Kindness: We strive to be generous and considerate, breaking down barriers, drawing strength from our community, rejecting bigotry, combating hate.
Above all, Equity and Justice, respecting the rights of others, giving each person their due in keeping with the laws and customs of Society and Kingdom.
There shall be no place within our halls for those who by their words or actions reject these laws and customs, regardless of rank or status. We who here witness this document hold ourselves to this pledge.
This document shall not be sealed and is not complete. This strength of unity shall ever increase in perpetuity.”
King Evander and Queen Marion removed their crowns to sign the document, stating that they believed they needed to sign it as people and members of the Kingdom, not just as the Crown. They and urged all the people of Ealdormere to follow their example and do likewise – no titles, no ranks, just signatures. The document will be carried to various events throughout Their Majesty’s reign so that all who support this pledge can sign it.
I, of course, signed it as soon as I was able. I’m still about a third of the way down the page.
I’m proud that my Kingdom has adopted this statement. I’m proud that our new King and Queen made it the very first act of their very first reign. I’m very proud of my friend, Magistra Nicolaa, who wrote it and I’m proud that she contacted me (among others) for feedback and suggestions while she wrote it. I’m proud that the vast majority of the people of Ealdormere have taken it to heart.
After a summer of upheaval, I think a lot of progressive people in the Society are starting to feel fatigue around the changes that have been made and still need to be made (and I’ve no doubt the the constant shit-blizzard of real-world craziness flooding the media is not helping that sense of fatigue.) But – and I think we all need to remind ourselves of this occasionally – we are winning. We are making the changes that need to be made, and we’re reinventing the SCA as an inclusive and welcoming space. However small the gains feel sometimes, however tiring it is to keep working for them, we are winning, I truly believe it.
Adopting a statement of inclusivity like this is an important step for our Kingdom, and one which I hope serves as an example to other Kingdoms in our Society. Yes, it’s only a single step, but it’s an important one and the SCA as a whole has been making more and more of these steps recently. The key now is to continue our momentum; the next step must be to ensure that the SCA is not only a welcoming space, but a safe one for all players, especially women and minorities.
The work’s not over, friends, but we’re making progress.
Lord Fulk Beauxarmes
Kingdom of Ealdormere