Originally published on June 13th, 2020.
When Galen of Bristol posted his manifesto, it triggered a massive reaction. Galen had been held up as a paragon of virtue and peerage for decades, and all along, he had been excluding people, hurting them, denigrating them, and when he exposed himself and his views, a lot of pent-up anger was unleashed. I had only heard of Galen in glowing terms, and when this happened, I was disappointed.
A lot of people insisted that his letter was “just closely held opinion” and argued it wasn’t relevant to SCA conduct. Problem is, that’s bullshit – racists can’t drop their racism when they walk through the gate of an event, and that was proved when evidence came out that Galen had argued against elevating candidates to knighthood because they “supported the gay agenda.” I was also really disappointed in the displayed privilege of so many SCAdians who insisted that while what Galen had written was terrible, they “knew” he was a good dude underneath.
No, he wasn’t.
Because Galen scrubbed his entire facebook profile after he was banished by the King and Queen of Ansteorra, screenshots of his entire letter is included at the bottom of this post, so Content Warning: there’s language that may be offensive and triggering for trans people, queer people, and BIPOC.
When I first wrote this letter, I wasn’t sure that it actually violated the SCA Code of Conduct, but over the course of a day or so, I changed my mine, and ended up writing the letter that’s elsewhere in this blog.
HUMAN RIGHTS ARE NOT POLITICS.
**EDIT:** I’ve had some more time to think, and some conversations, and I will be writing a letter to the Royalty of Ansteorra, the Ansteorran Kingdom Seneschal, and the Board of Directors. A man who makes people so uncomfortable that they don’t want to make him a seneschal in a time when we are begging for volunteers needs a closer look.
I am dismayed at the number of people [on the post in the pictures] who keep saying “I don’t agree with you, Galen, but you’ve always been good to me, so I will defend you and your place in the SCA.”
That’s the same thing as saying “fuck you Jack, I got mine.” It’s a demonstrated lack of compassion. For those who are peers, it’s a abrogation of your obligations as a peer and your oath of fealty.
These are not political issues. They are moral ones.
The SCA is not obligated to accept or tolerate opinions promoting the supremacy of one kind of individual over another.
No one is trying to force Galen to wear a BLM favor, or enthusiastically endorse the marriage of one man to another. But for him to vocally and vociferously advocate that the SCA is not a place for those things is shameful, even if it’s not a violation of the SCA Code of Conduct.
The SCA may or may not Sanction Galen; I am not on the BoD, and it’s not my decision, and I don’t think these statements rise to the level of deserving official Sanction. But it IS my decision, and my obligation as a fellow Peer of the Society, to immediate, and publicly gainsay his statement. Galen of Bristol does NOT speak for me, and I do not believe that his beliefs belong in the SCA that I love and most of my friends are part of.
Black Live Matter.
Transwomen are women.
Transmen are men.
Marraige between two people of the same gender identity is no less valid than marraige between two people of different gender identities.
Antifa is not an organization, it is a state of being opposite to being pro-fascist.
The SCA must stand for diversity and inclusivity and equity.
There is racism in the SCA.
There is sexism in the SCA.
There is transphobia in the SCA.
There is homophobia in the SCA.
These are things to oppose, not embrace.
Galen has abrogated his obligations and so have many other people on this thread. Not to their crown, not to the SCA, but to humanity. It is a failure of compassion. And as a member of the Order of the Pelican, I must stand up and be counted in opposition to it.
I am extremely disappointed.
Magister Andreas Blacwode