Since their appearance in San Francisco on Easter Sunday 1979, the Sisters have devoted themselves to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges.

Using humor and irreverence, they promote human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment, all the while exposing the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit.
Sisters from across the globe came to celebrate the landmark anniversary and reconfirm their vows in the city where their Order was born. This image was captured during the 40th Anniversary Easter Celebrations held in Dolores Park, San Francisco, 21st April 2019. 

Who are the Sisters?

In the words of Sister Dana Van Iquity…

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc., is a nonprofit, beneficiary 21st Century Order of queer (LGBTQStr8) nuns representing thousands of people across 75 chapters in 10 countries.

We do not make fun of nuns, but on the contrary, we glorify and emulate them. We do, however, make fun of the Pope when we disagree with his “edicts.” We serve as loving nuns to our communities. We teach safer sex. We are activists. We march for human rights. We raise thousands upon thousands of dollars for various charities.

What is known as the Mother House began in San Francisco 40 years ago on Easter Sunday by a few crazed drag queens from Iowa who migrated from there to The City, and as a joke, dressed in the dead nun habits they had convinced an Iowan Catholic convent to use in a Sound of Music production. Instead, they dressed as nuns—adding to their “Sugar Plum Fairies” act and putting on drag shows everywhere in Iowa. Fresh converts to SF life, on a whim, they donned those habits and “attacked” Lands End beach folks with toy guns and cigars. The citizenry liked the nun concept so much that the Sisters continued to show up at gay events everywhere in the City by the Bay. Or should we say: “The City of the Gays”?

Decades ago, we Sisters had been harshly accused of “ruining it for everyone” by some critics, and we decided to take back our power and use that as our sarcastic slogan. Since then, we have been injecting irreverent gaiety into serious affairs including human rights, political activism and religious intolerance. We consider it our mission to “ruin” all detrimental conditions—including complacency, guilt, and the inability to laugh at one’s self.

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