Greetings Queer Nuns and Guards Worldwide,
We hope that you all are enjoying your Summer and all it is offering you. It is with great pleasure that we are bringing the Cleveland Sisters to One Veil. After reading their interviews, I’m sure you’ll agree that this group is one that has been through challenges and made it through quite successfully. Their Exequatur Party is to include a cruise of sorts…already sounds like a Blast! Please check out their website or contact one of the members for information on how you can attend.
The Orlando Sisters held a fantastic novice project back in late July for Novice Sister Christina Darling. The name of the event - “Remembering Stonewall”. This event was an event of laughs, tears, remembrance, joy and reverence. Prior to viewing the Stonewall documentary, a short show with various local celebrities and the Veil of Shame, Novice Sister Christina gave a fantastic opening speech. This speech was very moving and on point, in so many ways. We have asked Novice Sister Christina Darling to share her speech with the One Veil readers, so we hope you enjoy.
Unfortunately, in an earlier issue of One Veil, we credited a few photos to Jean-Jacques leaving off the last name. Any earlier submitted photo credited to Jean-Jacques, should have been credited to Jean-Jacques Gaudel. Our sincerest apologies for this oversight.
Since we are tits-deep in the Summer, we couldn’t go without a nice Summer Recipe. Oh yes, Hard Rock Café’s Watermelon BBQ Ribs…need we say more. Check out this recipe and let us know what you think.
Take care of yourself, AND each other!
Sister T’Keela Mockingburd and Sister Isadora Knocking
Can you tell us a short bit of sistory of your house, initial group of sisters, year was founded,etc.
Before moving to Cleveland from San Diego, I attended a pool party fundraiser for the San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with interest and questions, 3 months later Nsr. Holly Unlikely, Sister Olive Overhang and I founded our Mission August, 18, 2008
What is your full name and when did you become fully professed?
Sister Eula Dormee, November 2013
Who is, or who do you consider your Big Sister or Mother to be within the SPI organization?
Sister Ora Lee Gyfted from the Grand Canyon Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
How has the relationship with your Big Sister/Mother influenced your Sister journey?
I learned how to maintain the respect of my Novices and to keep the peace among all members.
How often does The Order of Cleveland Sisters have general membership meetings, and how long do they usually last?
Once a month, 2 hours long
What do you find most challenging when attending a GM meeting? (explain)
To cover as much business in two hours, and staying on topic.
If you could change anything about your journey to full profession, what would that be and why?
The elevation process is more defined, it produces stronger Fully Professed Sisters. The more you communicate with your Novices the better their journey.
As the MoN of Order of Cleveland Sisters, what are your expectations or goals of the house for 2014?
To utilize the strengths and talents of the individuals of our House, now that we have the numbers we can to do more of the good work.
What is the best part of being the Mistress of Novices for your house, and what would you say is your least favorite part.
The best part is that my nunlings like me and respect what I do, no fuss. My least favorite is having to actually use my ruler!
What are you currently most excited about?
Our Sisters at Sea Exequatur, Lake Erie cruise during the Gay Games 9. August 9-16, 2014. To celebrate with Cleveland, while hosting LGBT athletes from around the world. We are very excited.
If you were asked to give advice to a mission house that was going through the process of becoming a fully professed house, what would that advice be?
Encourage your whole house to sit in on the United Nuns Privy Council call. This is a Sister act, not a solo act.
What does being an SPI member mean to you, personally?
That my grandmother is smiling and laughing from the beyond…at the Nun she raised to me to be.
In one word, give your description of the SPI organization.
Please give me your Sister name and when you became fully professed.
Sister Olive Overhang, November 2013
When and how did you first hear of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence organization?
When Sister Mary Boom Boom went toe to toe with Dianne Feinstein in an election in 1982. I have been following the SPI since.
What about this organization caused you to want to be involved in founding an Order of SPI in Cleveland?
The activism and filling the funding gap in our Community.
What do you think was the most challenging part of beginning the process of founding The Order of the Cleveland Sisters?
We started with 5 Aspirants and two were lost… We call them our Lost Sisters. It is a long journey with just a few Sisters.
Did the initial group of the Mission House encounter growing pains? And what was learned from those pains?
No, we were good friends to start, with three strong community ties. Our growing pains have just begun.
Being a founding member of your house, did you go through the process of first being a postulant or novice, or were you just considered a founding member and basically have the same rights as a fully professed sister?
We began as Novices, because we did not have a Fully Professed Sister to start with us. Founding Novice Sisters.
How did the community react to the Sisters on the first manifestation in Cleveland?
Everyone was pleasantly perplexed! In an hour, their cocktails kicked in, and we were taking confession for donations in our buckets.
Did you find any challenges when dealing with the community for the first time? If so, what were the challenges?
It was very hard to decide where we were the most effective.
Now that your house has been established for some time, what is the biggest difference in your house now from when it was first founded (not speaking of the number of members, of course)?
We are in more demand in Cleveland.
If you could go back to the days of the order’s initial founding, what changes would you make, if any?
Start with more than three Sisters.
What advice would you give to a newly formed Mission House or any group that is considering the possibility of starting a house?
Listen to your Mistress of Missions. It will become your blue print
Do you have just as much excitement about being a Sister now, as you did when you were assisting with the founding of your Order?
Yes to see community members that are young and new, and those that have supported our causes since 2008. Always.
In one word (and one word only) please describe the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
Could you please give me your name and tell me when you became a member of The Order of the Rock N Roll City Sisters?
Novice Sister Rhonda Bout Town….. I started my journey in October 2013.
What level are you currently at in your journey?
Novice Sister about to become Fully Professed in the next 2 months.
What is the reason that you chose to become a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence?
Living in San Francisco as a young gay man, standing on the sidelines watching the conception of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence roller skate down Castro Street, bringing light, life, shock, and reason to the many causes of Gay Rights, Safe Sex, Human Dignity and Community Awareness has brought me FULL CIRCLE in my lifetime. Starting with the shocking days of the Stonewall Riots in 1969, to the fallout of Anita Bryant in 1977, to the fatal loss of many friends and loved ones of whom I stood by their death beds. Made their patch quilts as tears ran down my face to add to the National Memorial Aids Quilt in their remembrances all from the AIDS outbreak in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I have marched in my share of Pride Parades from Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Columbus and Cleveland and walked the “Front lines” in order to make way for Gay Rights and our freedom to live as Gay Men and Women. Yet I feel in my heart there is still much more to give and much more that needs to be done in order to complete this journey of my life here. I have always admired the outrageous camp, abundance of life, laughter and amazing “dish” at life in general, that the Sisters do as part of their willing mission statement. “To promulgate universal joy, expiate stigmatic guilt and serve the community”. All while raising money and community awareness for all the just causes our gay community endures. My reason for joining is two fold, one for all those who came before me that suffered and died for the cause. And two, for the young ones coming up in the ranks, so that they are aware of just what it took for all of us to get to this point of our freedom. And how important it is to stand strong and vigilant in our quest for the continued freedom of life and liberty. The Sisters are an example of this tireless effort, and I want to be a part of that. Standing proud along side of all my Sisters.
What have you found to be most rewarding in this stage of your journey
The surprise and amazement that the public have when they see us manifesting as a group and then ask questions about who we are , what we do and what we stand for.
What have you found to be the most challenging part of the process
Time spent and the work that needs to be done pulling our new house together and making it successful.
Who has been your biggest influence along your path and explain how that person has influenced you?
Spending time with my close friend, Sister Hoosia Daddy, asking him questions and picking his brain as to what and where the Cleveland House’s future was heading. Also Sister Eula, for her guidance and direction on my journey.
In short paragraph, please describe your first night of manifestation?
Oh my! I was so excited yet nervous about what was going to happen as I stepped out that door. Once the face was on and I headed out with all my Sisters, I was invincible! I passed out safe sex packets and told everyone that approached me, who we were and what we were all about! I preached our mission statement frontwards and back!! And believe me, I took no prisoners!! lol
What are you currently most excited about?
I’m so excited about the growth of our Cleveland House and the growth of new friendships of my Sisters. The upcoming Gay Games and our part in them with our Boat Cruise for the Exequatur Celebration is undeniably exciting. Our City is the center of attention for all the World to see, and we the Sisters are in the forefront! How much more exciting can it be!!! And I get to be part of it!
Most Sisters experience, what we call an, “Ah-Ha” moment. This moment is where we realize that we are definitely where we need to be and that this path of Sisterhood is in alignment with who we are as a person. Have you had that “Ah-Ha” moment yet?
My “Ah-Ha” moment was at this year’s Gay Pride, when I walked around the crowds of people only to get stopped every other foot for pictures, and questions. And than later that day a mother and her young daughter stopped by the booth to ask about whom we were and she wanted a picture of her daughter with me. She wanted her daughter to know who we were and to understand that diversity is the success of life…WOW! I had that moment!!! I will never forget the little girl, nor that moment of pride!!
In one word, please describe the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
What is your full Guard name and when did you become fully professed?
My Name is: Guard Dá Puppy, and I just recently became a Novice in the month of July, before going to compete for International Puppy (IPC).(It was a big week for me)
Knowing that some Guards occasionally find putting on makeup challenging, do you do your own makeup, or does someone else do it for you?
With my theater background, I haven’t found it difficult to do my face, but I am still working on the placement of my Dalmatian Spots.
How many members are in our Cleveland House?
As of our last meeting, 12.
How do you describe the role of a Guard, in your own words?
To me it means what it means, to guard. To protect and serve my family/community (sisters, puppies, leathers, gays, pagans etc…), and what they stand for; whether they are of the order or not, as well as to conserve and record our history.
What is the best advice you can give to a member who has decided to follow the Path of a Guard?
I was told when I asked another guard that, “You make more of an impact as a Sister.” I see where he was coming from but he also didn’t identify as a Human Puppy; which in itself makes its own impact. Puppies are good for watching, helping and biting if need be. So I would tell this person “Follow your path, how you feel and your dreams, and you will find the place that you feel you belong as I did”.
What is your personal mission as a Guard?
My mission is to spread the knowledge and awareness of the HIV disease and the prevention of contracting the virus.
What are you currently most excited about?
The elevation of our house is really exciting. However I met people during the International Puppy Contest (IPC) 2014; other pups that had recognized me from other Sisters talking about me, was pretty exciting because I am making an impact on the community. Meaning that one voice (Bark), can be heard.
Besides the obvious, what do you think the difference is between Sisters and Guards?
Well, in our house there is no difference; if you do the work, you get the respect. Again while in St. Louis for IPC, their Mother identified as a guard while also being a transgendered man (who just so happened to be pawesome). I feel that they would agree.
What is your most memorable experience as a Guard?
I must say it was at a local leather contest for Ohio, and the Sisters just had a few elevations, mine to postulant being one of those. We had gotten the mic to plug the house at the event, which was my second manifestation. Being a local pup and title holder, I am known here at home, so I hopped on stage with the rest of the house and the MC said, “Someone get the Puppy off the stage!” to which the house announced my arrival and elevation to the community. That will stay in my head for a while and it has become somewhat of an inside house joke.