Film photography by Michelle Kilfeather
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, like any good spiritual group, have an origin story. There are some minor quibbles, but Sister Mary Media was there.
In Part 1, Mary Media describes the political and social climate from which the Sisters came to life in 1979. She goes on to talk about how the work they did back then evolved over time to include educating the public on the dangers of STDs and AIDS before it was known as that.
One of the least interesting things about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is their name, but it's a damn good name.
In Part 2, Sister Mary Media tells the story of how a few young gay men decided to form a group based around performance, politics, charity, and spirituality. They came up with the memorable name, and the rest is history. Mary Media goes on to tell much of that history, a time spanning the last 40 years, including how she got her drag nun name.
Author Heather Jacks is publishing a book to commemorate the Sisters' 40th anniversary. The launch party for Sister Stories will be at Spark Arts in the Castro April 19–21. Check out the event page for more details.
And the Sisters will be back at Dolores Park on Easter (April 21) to celebrate their anniversary, bringing their annual Hunky Jesus contest back to where it started. This is something you do not wanna miss!
We recorded this podcast at Sister Mary Media's house in Upper Haight in March 2019.