This is a very touchy topic, and I honestly haven’t seen it come up much in living history, although the thought has always been there.
If your group is trying to portray a time period / group of people as accurately as possible, what do you do about people who want to join who are of historically inaccurate sex/race? I mean, lets face it, women and people of color did not have all the opportunities back then that they do today. It was not normal to have female knights, there were no black archers at Agincourt.
So what do you do about this? I don’t know of any woman who’s tried to be a knight in one of the more accurate medieval living history groups. There are a handful in the SCA and larp, and that’s cool, but those groups aren’t going for accuracy of portrayals.
I know of one WWI combat group that says right on their website “Sorry, but this group is exclusive to males, not trying to be sexist, but that’s how it was” (I can’t find their page in my bookmarks for the life of me)
But this brings up another question, should even white males not portray another ethnicity? I’m 5’6 white male with English/German decent, I’d look off if I tried to play a viking, Italian, or Saracen. I think the one thing that sticks out the most is when a white guy, especially a fat white guy tries to portray a samurai. The result just makes me cringe every time I see it. I know people are obsessed with samurai, but if you’re a western male it just doesn’t work!