We absolutely adore the Sisters, who spread a genderfuck positive image, whether it’s at a bar or shouting from the bullhorn while protesting in the street. They’re a reminder that gays and lesbians are endlessly inventive and that the message of equal love is one that ought to be spread joyously. But how can you identify one Sister from another? Here’s 7 habits worth forming.
The mother church isn’t just the inspiring light of the movement, but also it’s defacto authority, making the Castro the Sisters equivalent of the Vatican.
Dubbed the ‘Abbey of St. Joan’, the Seattle branch has the best explanation for how they aren’t mocking nuns:
“We are often asked, “Why are you mocking nuns?” Well, we ARE nuns, silly! We recognize what “women of the cloth” have done over the centuries. They raise money for the needy, we raise money for the needy. They tend to the sick, we tend to the sick. They build their communities, we build our community. They have taken vows of celibacy, we… we have raised money for the needy. We are nuns for the 21st Century!”
The New York gals don their habit in a particularly Madonna-esque profusion of black and white sptots, making them easy to pick out in a crowd, even if the crowd were a bunch of flamboyantly attired men in nun’s outfits. The group were instrumental supporters of ACT UP! during the height of the AIDS crisis in New York.
“The House of Common Sluts” is actually the second version of Sisterhood in the UK, after the original group disbanded. Sisters 2.0 is a bit raunchier and in your face, just the way the Brits like it.
Dedicated to Saint Melitta, the Berlin chapter are in a mini-publishing system, producing regular online newsletters and magazines.
The habits of the Southwest’s biggest order are shaped like the Grand Canyon or a rising phoenix, depending on your state of mind. The Sisters have a huge public presence, hosting a weekly bingo night.
If those habits look familiar, it’s because they’re inspired by the shape of the Hollywood Bowl. The L.A Chapter devotes much of its efforts to raising money for AIDS-related charities.
The Sisters are great. IN THE LIFE recently did a story on them. You can watch it here:
I’m currently in Berlin, and was recently at a club (SO36) here that does a lot of fundraising for immigrant rights and other causes. There were two sisters at the club that were definitely running the show: EVERYONE wanted to talk with them. I thought they were just famous Berlin bearded drag queens. I had no idea they were part of an international advocacy organization, but that’s really awesome.
Everyone show all your love for the Sisters by helping spread their message:
1. IMMEDIATELY sending links to some of their best videos (there SO many to choose from) like the one below of their most recent Easter celebration of “our Lord’s resurrection” and the Hunky Jesus contest to every member of the Maine legislature before their marriage equality hearings begin tomorrow.
2. Send the same links to all your straight Net-savy family members, the family pastor, priest, rabbi, Imam, Mullah, whatever, coworkers, and your boss [assuming you don’t have a gay ghetto job].
3. Don’t forget President Obama & the First Lady, Secretary of Defense Gates, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff; your state and local reps, your Congressperson, your Senators, the local school board and principals of all the public schools in your town.
4. Print representative stills and mail them to every non Net-savy straight person you know, especially Granny and Grampa and all your aunts and uncles.
What a great story— I had never heard of them before, but now I’m really interested.
Sister Edith Myflesh
Hi and thanks for the lovely piece. I do have a couple corrections:
The Sister pictured for San Francisco is actually from San Diego. While each House has its own distinctive wimple, there are no rules against Sisters wearing another House’s wimple.
The Sisters pictured for London are actually from the Couvent de Paname in France. The London Sisters wear a traditional nun’s habit.
A couple fun facts: LA was the second House in the US, followed by Seattle and the Sydney, Paris and Berlin Houses were the first formed outside of the US (in that order).
Sister Edith Myflesh, Current Abbess
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc.
Yay! Sister Stella Standing is the face of Seattle! Thanks for highlighting this group! <3
Oh, honey, that’s not sister Stella, that’s Sister Faye Latio. Though I have seen sister Stella with a habit similar to that. 🙂
Sister Mona Little-Moore
@Trenton: Actually that’s Sister Faye Latio
Thanks for the clarification! Bad angle!
We’ve had the sisterhood here in Australia for years yet they don’t seem to rate a mention.
The first photo is Sister Picoletta from Berlin, the second is Sister Kali Vagilistic X. P. Alidosious from San Diego.
I have for many years been a “fan” of the Sisters, the work they do is phenomenal, they do outreach, fundraising, as well as have a good time in the process. Here in Seattle the Abbey of Saint Joan is probably one of if not the most respected fundraising organization in the City(although when the Abbey first started there were some “issues”)they have acheived a recognition status equaled by few others. Keep up the great work.
Sister Kali Vagilistic X.P. Aladocious
Yes, the above picture is of me, Sister Kali, and I am from San Diego. That photo was taken in San Francisco, Easter Sunday 2009 while I was there celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
Thank you for a wonderful article.
Much Love and More Glitter,
Sister Kali Vagilistic X.P. Aladocious; the Yonic Nun
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