Thursday, January 19, 2017
Amor Ah Quality Becomes a Novice Sister
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence began as a costumed prank in San Francisco in 1979, and in the ensuing decades has morphed into an amazingly political and spiritual movement, with Sisterly orders sprouting up all over the country and the world. (Pictured above is Sister Rose Mary Chicken aka Poultry in Motion.)
Though the Sisters are predominantly gay men, any gender can join after going through a rigorous step-by-step trial period that involves being an Aspirant, a Postulant, a Novice Sister, and if 75% of the order approves, a full-fledged Sister.
Last Saturday in the tiny, triangular Castro District park created by Upper Market and 17th Street, two Postulants were being elevated to Novice Sister, including Gwen Essex (above center, flanked by Flora Goodthyme and a Sister out of habit).
Gwen's religious name will be Amor Ah Quality, and she had a posse of friends supporting her at the public event.
Both Amor and NormaLee Chaste knelt on the ground while their "Mothers" applied full-face white makeup.
They were given white veils to wear to signify their elevation...
...and were ornamented with fabulous costume jewelry.
A leader of the group gave a heartening speech about the difficult political times ahead, and how "the Sisters have devoted ourselves to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment. We believe all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty and we use humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit." We all raised our arms in the air and recited a prayer that ended with "Amen" and "Awomen."