Hot! Calling All Welcoming Reenacting Units!

For the benefit of the hobby, I am making a list of units that fall under what I consider to be “open-minded and welcoming” units.  Once I have my list, I will keep a frequently-updated version on a page here on this site.  I hope that it will come in handy for those reenactors who don’t easily or readily fit the description of a typical reenactor.

I recognize that “welcoming” is a word that means different things to different people.  My definition is a unit that is open-minded, welcoming, and willing to work with potential recruits on finding a role for them that works within the context of the unit, regardless of their personal situation.  There are some groups that are often made to feel unwelcome in many reenacting units, that I feel would benefit from knowing right off the bat which units are more likely to accept them into the proverbial ranks.  If your unit accepts any and/or all of these, please leave a comment with your unit’s name and info, including any website you may have, as well as which groups your unit does/does not welcome.

Here are the groups, along with explanations of each.  If you personally can think of any other group that is often marginalized in the hobby that you feel should be added to the list, please let me know in a comment.

Unattached Women

Unattached women are women who wish to join a unit who are not related to or involved with any of the existing members of the unit.  These are women who are either single or who have partners who are not reenactors, but who want to participate in the hobby.

Women in Uniform

Women in uniform are also known by a few other names: galtroops, girlfarbs, distaff soldiers, etc and are women who prefer to play a role that involves portraying a man.  Some wish to portray women who historically passed themselves off as men, others simply wish to straight up portray a man or male role.  If your unit allows this but only with caveats, please state them.

LGBT Reenactors

This one is fairly self-explanatory.  LGBT reenactors are reenactors who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

Families

This one is also fairly self-explanatory.  These are families or couples with children who wish to participate in events as families.  If your unit already has families involved in your events or is particularly family-friendly, please state such.

I look forward to hearing from all of you!  Please spread this around and make sure that every open-minded and welcoming unit gets a chance to have their name added to the list.

17 Comments

  1. As Directed By Becky

    For Civil War, my unit is pretty open to anyone who wants to come out with us. The only group you mention that I can’t vouch for is LGBT Re-enactors, but I don’t know that it would be an issue. Chesapeake Signal Detachment Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chesapeake-Signal-Detachment/124741537612681

    And in general, the organization we’re attached to is very much the same way.
    1st Legion PACS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/1st-Legion-Provisional-Army-of-the-Confederate-States/202849729740915?fref=ts
    PACS Website: http://www.1stlegionpacs.com/

  2. My Napoleonic French Infantry group, le 85eme Regiment d’Infanterie de Ligne, is very open and welcoming. We have unattached women, women in uniform, families and we regularly have people from other groups join us. We have a depot with uniform pieces which are free to use for new members who don’t own their own complete outfit yet. I (sadly) can’t vouch for LGBT re-enactors (mainly because I don’t know of any openly gay/trans people in our unit), but I’m pretty sure our unit would have absolutely no problems with welcoming LGBT re-enactors.

    We attend events all over Europe and have members hailing from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and probably some other countries I forgot right now, so we’re a pretty inclusive bunch.

    Our website has been under construction for years, but we do have a pretty active facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/120475724638430/

  3. Our group, Das Geld Fahnlein, is located in New England. We reenact 16th century German mercenaries (Landsknecht). We are happy to work with anyone with a sincere interest in history. Our group is currently about evenly split, half men, half women.

    Unattached women – Are welcome. (I’m one and I’m the “second officer” for the group.)

    Women in uniform – Are welcome. Although we don’t have any currently, if a woman wanted to cross-dress (and could do it convincingly) we’d be fine with it. Our first season I’d floated the idea of making myself male clothing and on days when we were short handed for military demos I could pop into my tent and do a quick change while I “woke up” my drunk husband to come out and do the demo.

    LGBT reenactors – Are welcome. We might already have some, but it’s none of your business (or ours) who anyone in the unit sleeps with unless they choose to share it.

    Families – Are welcome. We’ve got one married couple with a toddler, and one father who reenacts with his 11 year old son. We’d love more kids, as it makes the camp more realistic (Landsknects took their entire families on campaign with them). We also have a dog. It’s a tossup who is more popular, the baby or the dog.

    Our web site and contact information can be found here ->
    http://www.landsknechtguild.com/

  4. The group I am a member of has families, and unattached women, and we’re open to folks with physical limitations and time limitations. We have loaner gear and are always looking for new members of all shapes! Das Geld Fahnlein: http://www.landsknechtguild.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/landsknechtguild

  5. Our group, Ancient Celtic Clans, has/had members from ALL of the afore mentioned groups since it inception in 1998. We are predominantly a civilian group, so welcoming women, families, and portraying daily life is what we’re all about. That said, women who wish to take warrior role is perfectly acceptable too. LGBT acceptance is not a problem either since one of our founding members is Bi.

    Our main website is located at: http://www.celticclans.org and our Facebook page is here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/181961115192971/

  6. In La Belle Compagnie, we welcome families, unattached women, and have openly LGBT members who are valued and appreciated. Being late Hundred Years War, we don’t have uniforms per se, but we do have a female member who trains in martial activities. The question of women in full armour (men-at-arms, armed cap-a-pied) has not yet come up.

  7. 8th Veterans Reserve Corps, near Chicago, IL, is an American Civil War unit that has a some unattached women already, and is perfectly happy to accept LGBT individuals or families into our fold. Our policy on women in uniform is that if they can meet our normal authenticity guidelines from a reasonably distance, then it’s fine. I should note that our unit, being primarily non-combative, does sometimes attach itself to another to take the field. The 1st Michigan Engineers seem similarly accepting, but I can’t speak for them.

    https://sites.google.com/site/8thveteranreservecorps/join

  8. Scara Karoli (Charlemagne’s Army): a unit which portrays the late 8th through early 9th century period of the Frankish king, Charlemagne.

    We welcome unattached women, women in uniform, and LGBT reenactors. We have never had a family with children ask to join before, but we could consider it on a case by case basis.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scara-Karoli-Charlemagnes-Army/188963277827931
    eyerunmayden@hotmail.com
    http://www.frankia.org (currently down while looking for a new server)

  9. Warner’s Regiment welcomes “unattached” women and men, as well as families and LGBT members. We currently have 2 women in the ranks, several “unattached” members (of both sexes) and two families which often bring their children. Additionally, several members do not drink alcohol.

    The Regiment primarily focuses its efforts on a military portrayal, however, a military portrayal is not required to be a member. We do expect that all members of the Regiment have a historically legitimate reason to be in or attached to the Continental Army – such as a displaced family, an artificer, or merchant plying his/her trade, an invalid soldier, or surgeon in addition to a soldier. Women in the ranks are expected to accurately portray a male role and be able to meet the physical demands in the Line. The Regiment expects members to remain in “character” during public hours.

    Warner’s Regiment was one of the 5 Extra-Continental Regiments of the Northern Dept. of the Continental Army (1775-1781) and operated from Canada to Albany, NY. The recreated Regiment draws members from NY, VT, and MA and attends events in VT, NY, NH, MA and Canada.

    For additional information visit our website – http://www.warnersregiment.org or email the 1st Sjt: 1stSjt[at]warnersregiment.org

  10. Bit of a late entry, but the Regiment Irlandois de Dillon (1740s, French/Irish) in the UK can tick all those boxes…

    There are currently 2 women who come on there own, 2 women (not the same two) who portray men, three who are openly Bi (one of them being myself) and we’ve just had two seperate parent/son pairs join up!

  11. Austlend is a member of the Vikings Vinland and portrays 9th-10th century life in Britain. We are based out of Eastern North Carolina with members all over the state and up into Virginia. While our group is predominantly male we are welcome to all people regardless of ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.

  12. 29th Foot Light Infantry is a unit that accepts women who wish to portray male impressions which includes the military too. We welcome everyone. I portrayed a soldier for four years, then decided I’d rather presue a civilian impression, and also to focus on 18th c. medicine. My group has been very supportive of whatever crazy impression I attempt and always gives me their honest opinion when I ask.

  13. Check us out…5th NY Regiment in Hudson Valley NY..great bunch of people always looking for new members to help us pain the Hudson Valley brown (our regimental colors)…www.5thny.org

  14. One group that I didn’t see mentioned is men that don’t want to portray military, or military camp-followers. I’ve never reenacted before, but I’ve always been interested. I’ve contacted a few units, but the military emphasis of most isn’t really my thing. Most of the units that I contacted were open to a civilian impression, usually with the words “Sure! We welcome camp-followers!” I’m more interested in an artisan/town-dweller than a camp-follower though.

    I finally decided that lack of a unit shouldn’t stop me. Last year I began working on an 18th century book-binder impression, just for the sake of learning about the time period, the craft, and as an excuse to make some spiffy clothes.

    I will say that out of the units I’ve seen here in the Northeast, Warner’s Regiment, mentioned above by Todd Kuntz, is the one military unit that I’ve seriously considering joining. One, they are in my area, two, the red-faced green coats are appealing, and three, they always look great on the field at Hubbardton.

  15. I am a member of the 1st NY McCracken’s Co. we are a dedicated group of Historical Re-enactors who have been brought together by friendship and an interest to portray the lives of New Yorkers as they were during the War for American Independence. We have a very diverse group of people from teenagers, families with children, and adults of many different backgrounds. We are very open to anyone and we work very hard to help new recruits portray whatever they want.

    http://www.1stnewyorkmccrackensco.org/

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