Too long; didn’t read: Members of Irish shires, with friends, took part in 2019 Dublin Pride: here's why.
At the end of June 2019, members from all the Irish shires, and a couple of guests, marched in the annual Dublin Pride parade. In total 17 people marched in medieval clothes, including two people in armour, and four people carrying shields decorated with rainbow colours, forming a ‘rainbow shield wall’.
The response on the street from other Pride participants and spectators was wonderful. In a crowd characterised by cheeky, racy, and outrageous outfits, we stood out, wearing some of the least revealing clothing imaginable.
This, to me, is part of our place, as recreationists in who live in the 21st century - a time which acknowledges LGBTQ+ persons, though legal rights vary depending where you live.
We are people who love history, and we want to build and play in an inclusive and welcoming club. We’re interested in the history of LGBTQ+ persons in medieval times, just like we’re interested in other parts of medieval history - and queer history is emerging with new research.
Shires around Drachenwald put up stalls and display tables at science fiction conventions, gaming conventions, fibre arts festivals, local pubs, and village and town fairs. Attending Pride has the same goals as all those familiar demo opportunities: recruiting, telling people about our Society, and sharing the fun of our view of the medieval period.
Just as important: we don’t want our club, the Society we play in, associated with historical revisionists who would minimise everything except ‘straight’, white Christian history, as if LGBTQ+ people, along with people of colour and non-Christians, somehow never existed in the historical past.
Two introductory links, about the place of queer people in our period of study:
medievalists.net: Same-Sex Relations in the Middle Ages: list of articles compiled in 2011 from the online magazine
People with a History: An Online Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans* History: this longstanding site edited by Paul Halsall includes exerpts of books which are otherwise hard to find, and translations of historic texts into English.