I did my profile piece on the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a charity and activist organization that challenges and protests bigotry and intolerance through use of drag and religious imagery. I got to talk with and learn about five Sisters, all of whom were campy, witty, and beyond devoted to their jobs. I thought I’d use this post to spotlight them. So, without further ado, meet:
Sister ROMA! There’s No Place Like Rome. Sister Roma became a fully professed member back in 1987, and has been credited with being a major force in the rejuvenation and future growth in the Order. She has dedicated half of her life to serving the San Francisco LGTBQIA+ as an activist, public speaker, host, and icon of the SPI. Calling herself “The Most Photographed Nun In The World”, Roma is never one to pass up the chance to meet with people and spread her influence.
Sister Sister Agnes Dei’afta Tamara. Sister Agnes is Mistress of Novices, and is tasked with determining if someone has what it takes to become a Sister. She is the one who guides all potential members through their journey to Sisterhood. She helps potential Sisters find their sponsors and organize their first events, and is the one who decides whether or not a person is ready to be elevated to the next level.
Postulant Maddie Bout You. Maddie is not yet a fully professed member of the Order, and is on the second step towards Sisterhood. Since becoming a Postulant in November, 2013, she has had to spend at least six months learning about the Order, attending all meetings and most events, and finding a fully professed member to be her sponsor and ‘Mother.’ Only when she is elevated to Novice position can she finally wear a wimple and whiteface. Until then, Maddie takes pleasure in dressing in white dresses and full makeup “in preparation” for her next step towards becoming an official member of the SPI.
Sister Mora Lee D’Klined. Sister Mora is Maddie’s sponsor, and has been helping guide her through the process of becoming a Sister. Sister Mora has never sponsored a Sister before, and is happy to share her knowledge and secrets of Order with a new nun. She calls the relationship a sponsor forms with a aspiring Sister one of the most rewarding, lasting relationships one could ever hope to have.
Sister Hellen Wheels of the Daughters of the Divine Eruption. Sister Hellen is Vice President of the Order, and has dedicated her time to advising and helping other houses get off the ground. She succeeded in helping 6 houses get their Exequaturs (official independent recognition), including ones in Las Vegas and San Diego. After helping so many houses become official SPI Orders, Sister Hellen had enough information to create a book, which is now given to those wanting to found a new house.