There was never a time when the word “everybody” actually meant everybody. Usually it means “us but not those guys over there”. In this case here is a guild that tries to take a distinctly broader approach to the word “everybody” than most guilds by declaring their welcome to all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, and Heterosexual gamers.
One of the most common arguments I hear raised whenever a guild advertises that it welcomes people of all sexual orientations is this: “Why do they have to bring sex into it? This is about gaming, isn’t it?” Obviously that is the watered down, well-spelled version of the argument but I’m sure you guys have seen it before. In my experience guilds have good intentions of being all-inclusive and undiscriminating but many of the guilds I have been in have also been incredibly non-confrontational when it comes to enforcing those goals. Exactly because a gaming guild should be about gaming and not about what you wear, what your plumbing is and who you date, is why guilds like The Stonewall Council are needed and should be supported.
Their guild leader, Doogie shows us around behind the scenes of what is both a Republic and Imperial guild on The Harbinger server and you will also find that between us, he and I offer quite a few good discussion topics such as raid sizes, SWG’s trade skill system and a fervent wish for Bothans.
Guild type: RP, PVE, PVP.
Server: The Harbinger.
Both. Stonewall Council – Republic Stonewall Inquisition – Empire.
Founded date: Jan 10, 2012.
Guild leader(s) forum name: doogiegood.
No. of Members: around 200.
What prompted the formation of your guild?
I have been in leadership in many guilds throughout many MMO’s. But never was the guild leader. So I decided to take on a new challenge and lead. So Stonewall Council was formed. After getting some friends together that I felt made good leaders, we started recruiting. I think one of our strengths is that we have a great leadership team and members with diverse skills.
How did you pick the name?
We wanted a name that LGBTQH could identify and recognize, but also showed that we are accepting. So used the name of Stonewall from “The Stonewall riots inspired LGBT people throughout the country to organize in support of gay rights, and within two years after the riots, gay rights groups had been started in nearly every major city in the United States.” (Civilrights.org)
We wanted to also use something that had a Star Wars feel to it. So Stonewall Council was suggested and Stonewall Inquisition for our Empire guild.
Incidentally the annual Gay Pride Parades are now being held throughout the World at the end of June, to commemorate the Stonewall riot.
How many members are you strong? How many are active?
We have around 200 members on our forums, but we also have members in other games. In SWTOR we have around 150 members, with around 10 on in prime US playing hours. Since we are an international guild, we have members on almost all the time.
What is unique about your guild? What, in your opinion, makes it stand out from the crowd?
We accept everyone. We pride ourselves on the diversity of kind hearted and good people. We have many lesbians (which is an oddity in itself) and transgendered individuals (two I believe) as well a straight folks and heterosexual couples. I think what keeps me active with Stonewall is the diversity of people and the open, accepting nature of those people.
What hours of the day is the guild most active?
Mostly around 7pm-midnight central time. but it varies.
Silly question but if you were to choose a theme song for your guild, what would it be?
We have an original theme song composed by Woobies, our resident deaf lesbian. Okay, we don’t but the true unique that about that statement, she does have a masters in music composition.
The closest theme song for us would have to be, “We are family.” until Woobies actually does write us a song.
I think having to fend off that very interview question should give you a weighty argument with which to convince her to give the project a go!
Tell us about your guild’s artwork and web design.
Our guild logo was created by guild member Daddylicious, who was also a BIG help in getting our website up and running in the beginning. Another member CJUK has also now helped with some improvements to the website.
Thank the stars for having guild members with helpful skills. Where would any of us be without their help?
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to a new guild starting up?
Patience. It doesn’t all happen at once or fast. We started with about 8 members and grew an average of 2-3 a week. Then we got over our hump and grew. Also a strong leadership helps, not just friends, but members that have strong skills and open minds.
What, in your opinion, are the most common reasons for a guild to break up and do you have plans to avoid that?
I think leadership is a big issue. Lack of officers that don’t play regularly, guild leaders that only promote their friends, and a guild leader that can’t take criticism. We actually formed a Council that also keeps the guild leader in check. So all members, officers and the guild leader are accountable and have input in the guild.
What was the toughest hurdle for you and your guild to get over in the time you’ve spent together?
One thing that is tough for us is getting Hard Modes and Operations going so that everyone can join in, get gear and progress to the next level.
That is a problem many guilds face. We are limited by the constraints of the game – a raid or Operation by its very definition is a team-play accomplishment with a defined and finite amount of players. I have never experienced having exactly the right amount of players for raiding, whether we ran one group or two. There have been MMOs in the past, EverQuest, Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot for example (thank you Tully Ackland, Tim Mang, copperbird and JasporDH!) that didn’t cap how many could participate in a raid but there were down sides to having the option to invite unlimited participants – someone is bound to be a ninja or worse. Click the link above to read an interesting conversation on the attraction of dread and uncertainty in old school raids.
Are you looking for more members?
We always love new members. We are a very social guild, so our members should be social, but we do have a few members that like to keep to themselves and chat when they want. We don’t require much and try to help members when needed.
What is the level breakdown now in your guild?
We have members that only play levels 50s and then we have members that have so many alts, it’s hard to keep track of them. I’m always working on an alt. Most members have 1-2 level 50s and leveling more.
How is trade skilling and in guild trades handled?
Members ask for help with skills on the forums and people will offer suggestions. Or ask in chat/mumble. As far as trades, we just dump items in the guild bank and let members pick what they need.
When looking at prospective applicants and their applications, what is your pet peeve? Or what would you advise NOT to do?
Don’t bash a previous guild or guild leader in their applications, otherwise we are very accepting to everyone.
Do you have a naming policy and if so what is it?
We have no naming policy
Do you do Operations? Where are you on that?
We run Operations twice a week. We are currently changing our times for runs. We regularly run The Eternity Vault and Karagga’s Palace in Story and Hard Mode. We are progressing in Explosive Conflict, but have not completed it…YET.
Have you decided on a loot division system?
The way we run loot drops are, Need for current character, greed for alts/companions. For class items sometimes need for alt spec also.
Do you PVP together in the guild?
Many members to PVP and we all love to queue together.
Yes, that was an awesome change to the Warzones!
Guild amenities. What does your guild have to offer its members? Forum, Chat etc. How about a Vent or TS server?
We have a Enjin supported website with chatbox, Mumble for members, and we currently have guilds set up in Star Trek Online, The Secret World, and soon Guild Wars 2.
What new guild features would you like to see?
Guild Mail and Event Calendars would be nice.
Tell us about You. What draws you to SWTOR?
I love the story lines within the game. Star Wars Galaxies is still my favorite MMO that I have ever played and SWTOR is a good substitue. I wish some of the SWG would have overflowed into SWTOR such as crafting and space, but overall I still love SWTOR. Operations and HMs are great and part of the draw for me. I like to team up and those get some great groups together.
What class is your main?
I love Smuggler. It was my first class. He is a Twi’lek, since Bothan wasn’t a playable choice. Even though I submitted that in Beta, MANY times.
What made you decide to run a guild?
It was a new challenge and in a previous guild, I felt I was already doing it. So forming a guild myself was the next step. I feel that with the members of Stonewall Council and the leadership we have, we are a great guild. We have has some ups and downs, but over all we have strong friendships and great support in and out of game. Running Stonewall Council is easy, because of the system we have in place and leadership we have.
Anything else you’d like to add? Maybe an anecdote for readers to enjoy and identify with? Or a funny or awesome guild story to share with us?
As Gwen DeMarco(Sigourney Weaver) said in Galaxy Quest, “Look! I have one job on this lousy ship, it’s stupid, but I’m gonna do it, Okay?” Our guild is no different. Everyone has their ONE job, Woobies – Our Twinkie Queen; Daryyn – Can’t follow a map; Polaryn – CC braker, Woof and Rampart – Agro Whores, Keiden – Our no inhibitions member.
As for myself, I sometimes can’t decide on who to play, Doogiegood the smuggler, Doogielocks the Sith warrior, Pollyprisypants the Sith Inquisitor, or Rumpertumskin the Trooper.
Oh wow that is my favourite quote of that movie! Thank you for determining what we’re watching tonight and thank you even more for showing us around Stonewall Council (and Inquisition!). I wish you lads and ladies many years together and many more MMOs to add to your stable!
If you want to learn more about Stonewall Council/Inquisition you can find them on their guild website, on Twitter, on Google+, on Facebook and in the following spots for recruiting threads: gaygamer.net, gaymer.org, wikiswtor.com and on SWTOR.com.
This week’s Galaxy of Guilds is brought to you by Enjin.com, where you can set up and host an epic guild page for free.
If you would like to submit your guild to the Galaxy of Guilds feature series please write to Kristen @ TORWars DOT com. Mark the email ‘Galaxy of Guilds – YOUR GUILD’ and tell me why you think your guild should be included in the series.