For the sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Dodgers whipping is only part of the ministry
Ask the LA Sisters of Perpetuals why they decided to join the order of drawn nuns, and most will tell you it’s because they feel the call.
Sister Tootie Toot (glitter green lips, dark beard, emerald evening gown) felt like a ton of bricks as she entered a leather bar where many sisters had gathered.
Sister Unity (mandarin veil, tangerine eye makeup, furry tangerine shawl) feels like a tinny combination of fire, ice, and electricity when she happens to be in the original order of sisters. is blessing the crowd at a pride parade in San Francisco.
And Sister Candy Cide of the Immaculate Conception Misconception (long-sleeved black dress, white bib, several chains of imitation pearls) was struck by the sense of power emanating from a walking group of visiting nuns. on the road at an LA Pride event.
“I still feel guilty that I would let my parents down for who I am,” she said. “When I heard your message was to remove stigma and bring joy to everyone, I thought, ‘I need to do it for myself and I need to do it too. for others.’”
With their signature white make-up, oversized lashes (they call them Hoobie Doobies) and super-large lashes, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence always make a splash wherever they go. But the group’s national profile shot to new heights recently when the Dodgers announced that they would recognize the sisters with a community hero award, cancel the prize after resistance from conservative Catholic groups and then restore it – all in a whirlwind of several days.
The sisters got back the award as leaders of the Dodgers vow to educate myself better. Instead of being bitter, sisters give up a blessing:
May the game be lucky!
Good luck players!
May the fans be lucky!
May the beer and sausages overflow with delicious flavors!
Sister June Cleavage, a transgender female member of the group, said: “While some people may find it difficult to forgive the Dodgers, it is not the way sisters do. (The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence welcome people of “all genders, races, romantic affiliations, classes, species, industries, beverage preferences and sexual orientations,” according to website.)
“You can’t come to this organization without understanding, compassion, and having not fought these types of battles before on a smaller scale,” she said. “I think it comes with the call.”
On a recent spring evening, 11 sisters gathered in Elysian Park in the shadow of Dodger Stadium in full uniform to discuss the nonprofit’s past, present, and future. after the recent uproar.
The sisters’ origins date back to 1979, when three gay men began running around San Francisco in nun attire. What started as a cheeky joke quickly turned more serious when the AIDS crisis hit in the early 80s and the Permanent Sisters were organized. first fundraiser for AIDS organizations and put out the first safer sex pamphlet.
Rumors spread about the group marrying irreverently to the service, and new chapters sprung up in cities around the world, including in LA in 1995.
The sisters’ mission statement is to “remove the sin of discrimination and enact universal joy,” but since their founding, they have been called evil and anti-Catholic and accused by detractors of mocking Catholic nuns.
That’s not how they see it.
“We are not mocking anything,” says Sister Harlot D Lite (red ruched mini dress, red tassel earrings, ornate pink makeup). “We appreciate nuns, and we are doing it in our own way, for our community.”
All of the sisters work on a volunteer basis, and any money they earn through donations, appearances, or participation in events goes to charities.
“Any dollar that goes to the women is immediately given back to the community,” says Candy Side. “It doesn’t benefit us in any way.”
They also cater specifically to those in need.
We have a serious responsibility. Let’s live up to that and bring everyone the truth of our hearts and glitter and humour.
— Sister Unite
“From the very beginning, we were surprised to find that people liked the joke, but they also took the nun aspect very seriously,” Sister Unity said. “And we started thinking, ‘You know, we have a serious responsibility. Let’s live up to that and bring to everyone the truth of our hearts and sparkle and humour.’”
The sisters now call face-to-face interactions “missionary work” and say they happen all the time. They recall when Sister Mariposa Patriota, now a sister of honor, was standing on a street corner in West Hollywood amid the throbbing dance music, talking to a young man who had just debuted to his parents in Orange County. He cried because it didn’t go well. She assured him that he would be fine and that, although it was painful at the moment, there was a community of thousands ready to support him, his friends and family.
Unity remembers a gay bar’s bathroom confession from a burly dark-skinned dad worried about his boyfriend. Sister June Cleavage recently spent 30 minutes at the sisters’ annual White Dress Party holding hands with a volunteer grieving for his mother, who recently passed away.
Some women think that the anonymity of white makeup allows people to be more open to them.
“It’s a mask, and sometimes people feel more comfortable talking with a mask than with a real person’s face,” says Candy Cide.
Sister Loose Clarita, whose iridescent striped makeup resembles the Mexican flag, said the nuns were playing with clown or clown prototypes.
“Unless you have a phobia, you know the clown won’t hurt you. He’s a fool who has no value,” she said. “And so it allows us to reach out to other people in dark places they might be afraid to go.”
Joining the sisters isn’t as simple as picking a great name and putting on makeup. This process usually takes at least 18 months.
It begins with the desire phase, when one declares a desire to become a sister, chooses a name, and begins attending meetings.
If all goes well, three months later, she enters the preparatory phase, at which point she can start putting on makeup but not yet covering her face.
Six months later, she will move into the novice phase, at which time she wears Hoobie Doobie and is expected to participate in events and meetings but must wear a white veil at events. event.
To graduate as a full-fledged sister, each intern must complete a project, such as producing an event or organizing a safe sex campaign. One sister wrote a cookbook and donated the proceeds to an AIDS organization. Another hosted sister story time at an LGBTQ+ space in Torrance, where sisters read to children in English and Spanish.
“What I tell people is every stage is like, ‘Does your madness match our madness?’” Ms. Kumonawanna Leya said. “And also, ‘Are you here for a business out of vanity?’ Because it’s work.”
The sisters are used to attracting attention, but many admit that the recent whipping has taken a mental toll.
When the media reported that the Dodgers initially canceled the award because of the baseball team’s largely Latino and Catholic fan base, Sister Bearonce Knows, a lifelong fan of the team, was saddened. . “I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s I,'” she said. “So what do you want to talk about?”
Sister Tootie says that for many sisters, initial disregard recalls painful experiences in the past.
She said: “My initial reaction was that we started again – the same old, the same old. “Mostly gay and lesbian, we are used to disappointment and everything being taken away from us. So many of us have gone through that with our families, friends, and community.”
But many sisters say the experience also had a downside, even before the Dodgers apologized.
“I am a Mexican gay man living in the United States, so I am always scared,” Sister Bearonce says. “This particular situation doesn’t change that for me, but I feel most supported, not only by our own community, but also by people outside of our community.”
Miss Tootie agreed. “I was sad at first, but when I saw the love pouring out, it brought me back to life,” she said.
Ms. Unity has been touched by all the support that comes from LGBTQ+ organizations, which are not always welcoming to people doing drag work.
“I think it’s a cultural shift in the LGBTQ community,” she said.
But for Candy Cide, the most meaningful support she received came from her biological family.
Years ago, she struggled to debut her parents.
However, last week, her mother called to share that she was shocked to hear people say bad things about the Eternal Sisters. She knows it’s a great team and that Candy is a great person.
It is further proof that for a nun who is being manipulated, miracles can happen.