Clan Blue Feather

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Information
Founded: 1989
Status: Active
Heraldry
Clan Blue Feather device.JPG
Argent, a feather azure
Awards

Introduction

Clan Blue Feather was formed in 1989 in the East Kingdom to encourage research into lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, and to provide a social network for LGBTQ members of the SCA and their friends and allies. It has since grown to be an established and well-respected group throughout the SCA.

History

In the June 1989 issue of the Pikestaff Seosamh O'Choda published an ad inviting lesbian and gay members of the SCA to meet on the battlefield at that summer's Pennsic War. It was a well-attended event, and attendees talked about how they wanted to move forward. After much discussion both during and after Pennsic, the symbol of the blue feather was adopted at the following Pennsic in 1990, and the device - "argent, a feather azure" - was registered with the College of Heralds for the Clan's use by Moses von dem Falken of the East (as "House Blue Feather"). (Note that there was a false notion that lady troubadours in Renaissance Venice used to wear a blue feather to indicate they preferred women, but this remains an undocumented rumor.)

In July 1989 Seosamh also started publishing a newsletter entitled "... But It's Period!", which was eventually taken over by Giles Hill of Sweetwater in the 1990's. A second publication, "The Bluefeather," was also published concurrently. Both newsletters are no longer published.

In 1991 Tristan Alexander began the Blue Feather Ball at Pennsic, and in 1992 Joshua MacDonald the Imperfekt took over running it and added a Fashion Cotillion; the event has become a popular and well-attended event at Pennsic and continues annually. In 1992 Joshua also started an encampment for the Clan at Pennsic, which also continues to this day, offering an open invitation to all members of the LGBTQI community and their friends and allies who wish to camp with them.

Organization

Throughout the years members of the Clan repeatedly decided on a somewhat autonomous collective as an organizational structure; therefore, there is no Clan Chieftan or Tribal Council. Rather, members of the Clan are encouraged to develop and implement their own ideas, projects, and events on behalf of the Clan, as long as they are done with honor, chivalry, and courtesy.

The Clan is intended to both promote scholarly research into period LGBT history, and to provide a social outlet for LGBTQI members of the SCA.

Device and customs

The device as registered is intended for use by anyone who wants to identify as part of the Clan, the only caveat being that it be used chivalrously and courteously. In addition to the badge itself, simply wearing a blue feather as part of your garb is also commonly done to identify yourself as part of the Clan. Traditionally dark blue feathers are worn by those people who identify as LGBTQI, and light blue feathers are worn by their friends and allies.

Charter and Guild

Given the SCA does not have a Society-wide structure in place to recognize households, several members took it upon themselves to see about having Clan Blue Feather recognized in their own kingdoms (in some cases in order to be listed in their kingdom newsletters).

In the Kingdom of Caid, Giles was able to have TRM Timothy and Trista charter the Clan in 1992. In the East, Alexandros Pantellios submitted the Clan as a Guild in 2000, but it was not approved by the crowns at the time. The Guild was also intended to provide an organizational structure as a subset of the Clan which could eventually be used to give out Clan-level awards for service, fighting, and art, but it did not manage to get off the ground.

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