Die Schwestern der Perpetuellen Indulgenz

Abtei "Bavaria" zur Glückseligkeit des Südens

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Kurzgeschichte der Schwestern

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Die Wurzeln der heutigen Schwestern der Perpetuellen Indulgenz reichen bis in das Jahr 1979 zurück: Am Karsamstag traten in San Francisco die ersten „Sisters“ in Erscheinung. Schon zu dieser Zeit wurden den Mitgliedern Spendengelder gesammelt, das sie dann sozial schwachen Menschen der Queer Community zur Verfügung stellten, um ihnen zum Beispiel die Finanzierung von Arztbesuchen oder das Aufsuchen von Rechtsbeistand zu ermöglichen. Diese kleine Gruppe schwuler, maßgeblich von den Radical Faeries inspirierter Männer hatte sich bis ins Jahr 1981 einen Namen in der schwulen Gemeinschaft in San Francisco erarbeitet. Sie veranstalteten ungewöhnliche Aktionen und waren auch politisch aktiv, indem sie an Protestmärschen und Demonstrationen teilnahmen.
 
Die Kostüme stammten von einem Theaterfundus für eine Aufführung des Musicals The Sound of Music 1977 im US-Bundesstaat Iowa, an welchem eine der vier Gründerschwestern mitgewirkt hatte. Vor dem Hintergrund erster Fälle der damals noch neuen, unbekannten Krankheit AIDS brachten im Jahre 1982 die Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in San Francisco unter Leitung der ausgebildeten Krankenpfleger Sr. Florence Nightmare und Sr. Roz Erection die weltweit erste Safer Sex-Broschüre mit dem Namen Play Fair heraus.
 
Darin benutzen sie sexuell-positive Sprache, gaben praktische
Ratschläge zur Prävention von sexuell übertragbaren Krankheiten
und Safer-Sex-Praktiken; sie waren humorvoll, ohne dabei den
„moralischen Zeigefinger“ zu erheben. Die auf AIDS, HIV und
Safer Sex konzentrierte Arbeit begann sich als ein Schwerpunkt
der Schwestern der Perpetuellen Indulgenz herauszukristallisieren.
Gleichfalls waren sie mit die ersten, die ein Benefiz (unter der
Schirmherrschaft der Schauspielerin Shirley MacLaine) zugunsten
der von HIV und AIDS Betroffenen veranstaltet haben.
 
Seit 1984 breitete sich die Idee der Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence dann auch weltweit aus. Neben dem Internationalen Mutterhaus in San Francisco gibt es heute in den USA Häuser unter anderem in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Russian River, Philadelphia. Das erste Ordenshaus außerhalb der USA wurde in Sydney als Order of Perpetual Indulgence (O.P.I.) gegründet.
 
Auch in Europa entstanden neue Häuser von S.P.I. und O.P.I., so in Großbritannien (London, Manchester, Edinburgh), Deutschland (Heidelberg, Berlin, Hamburg, Köln), Frankreich (Paris, Bordeaux, Lille), der Schweiz (Zürich) und Österreich (Wien).
 
In Lateinamerika entstanden ein Ordenshaus in Kolumbien und eines in Uruguay,
obwohl es in diesen streng katholischen Ländern mit oftmals sehr traditionellem
Verständnis von Geschlechterrollen äußerst gefährlich sein kann, als Mann in der
Öffentlichkeit Frauenkleidung – oder gar Schwesterngewandung – zu tragen.
 
Im Laufe der Jahre wurden durch die Gemeinschaft weltweit mehrere Millionen US-Dollar für HIV- und AIDS-Projekte gesammelt, es wurden unzählige Informationsbroschüren und Kondomen verteilt. Heute gibt es weltweit rund 1.500 Schwestern, die sich dem Kampf gegen AIDS – und auch alle anderen sexuell übertragbaren Krankheiten – verschrieben haben. Die Gemeinschaft hat sich mittlerweile auch für heterosexuelle und weibliche Mitglieder geöffnet.
 
 
Quelle: Wikipedia; Grafiken: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Inc.
"Short "Sistory" of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence"
 
The roots of today's Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence date back to the year 1979: On Holy Saturday in San Francisco, the first "Sisters" appeared. Already at that time, the members collected donations for the underprivileged people of the queer community to, for example, enable them to finance visits to the doctor or to solicit legal counsel. This small group of gay men were largely inspired by the Radical Faeries, a group that had made a name for itself in the San Francisco gay community since 1981. They organized atypical actions and were politically active by participating in marches and demonstrations.
 
The costumes were found in a repository of the performance of the musical The Sound of Music in 1977 in the U.S. state of Iowa, in which one of the four founding sisters had participated. Against the background of the first cases of the then new and unknown disease of AIDS in 1982, some of the earliest attempts to bring attention to the new disease were staged by the Sisters. Sister Florence Nightmare and Sister Roz Erection, both nurses, joined with a team of Sisters to create "Play Fair!", the first safer sex pamphlet to use plain language, practical advice and humor, and without "finger pointing of the moral high ground". The focus on AIDS, HIV and safer sex work began to crystallize as a focus of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Likewise, they were among the first who organized a charity concerned (under the auspices of actress Shirley MacLaine) in support of those with HIV and AIDS.
 
Since 1984, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have spread worldwide. In addition to the international headquarters in San Francisco, CA/USA, there are other houses in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Russian River, CA and Philadelphia. The first house outside of the US was founded in Sydney, Australia as the Order of Perpetual Indulgence (OPI).
 
In Europe, houses of the SPI and OPI were also founded, such as those in the UK (London, Manchester, and Edinburgh), Germany (Heidelberg, Berlin, Hamburg, and Cologne), France (Paris, Bordeaux and Lille), Switzerland (Zurich) and Austria (Vienna).
 
In Latin America, a house was founded in Colombia and one in Uruguay, although it can be extremely dangerous in these staunchly Catholic countries, often with a very traditional understanding of gender roles, for a man to be seen in women's clothing -- much less in a nun's habit -- in public.
 
Over the years, several million dollars for HIV and AIDS projects worldwide have been collected by the community, and countless brochures and safer sex materials were distributed. Today there are about 1,500 Sisters who join the fight against AIDS and all the other sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. The community is now also open to heterosexual and female members.
 
(P.S. A big Thank you and lot's of Glitterkisses to Kat!)
  • Origins of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
    von Kenneth Bunch
    Origins of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
    von Kenneth Bunch
    ORIGINS OF THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE
     
    In 1974, 75 and 76 at the University of Iowa, Fred Brungard and I co-produced the first Midwest Gay Pride Conferences. This was at a time when Iowa gay organizations consisted of 3 bars and two student groups.
     
    At the same time I formed a traveling drag performance troupe in Iowa City called The Sugar Plum Fairies, consisting of myself, Tracy Bjorgum, Susan Short (a born female) Lisa (a transvestite) and Michael Salinas (who later became editor of one of the most important gay newspapers in the U.S.-The Bay Area Reporter).During a weekly planning session Susan said, “I know the Mother Superior in an Order of Catholic nuns in Cedar Rapids (Iowa). Mother Superior is a good friend of mine. When nuns die there they put their habits into storage. If I ask her if I can borrow some habits she’ll probably loan them to us.” Susan went to the Mother Superior and told her we were doing The Sound Of Music and she got the habits. The original names of the dead nuns were still sewn into the habit collars. We performed at the few gay bars across the state of Iowa. Most drag shows at the time consisted of classic diva tributes (Diana Ross, Judy Garland, etc.) Queens weren’t ready for the iconoclasm about to engulf them! When we hit the stage doing a pompon routine to the U.of I. Fight song the audience erupted into pandemonium!
     
    Following the final Pride Conference in 1976, Tracy and I realized we were preaching to the converted and needed a way of reaching the general public with our messages of gay liberation, challenging their homophobia. I suggested to Tracy we apply for a marriage license, knowing the statewide media would give us wide visibility. At this time most people did not think they knew a gay person. The whole word “gay” was not familiar to most Iowan’s. In their minds queers were imaginary child molesters with horns and tails. We set out to show the people of Iowa that a gay person could be their neighbor, friend, relative and co-worker. Privately to our friends we called it ‘A Fag In Every Living Room Campaign”.
     
    We were the FIRST people to apply for a same-sex marriage license in the state of Iowa. The statewide mainstream newspaper The Des Moines Register carried our photo and story applying for the license . This is how I “came out” to my parents!
     
    In 1977 I moved to San Francisco from a gay farm on the outskirts of Iowa City. I had “come out of the closet” in 1973 and lived every day in scag- drag, as a political statement. While packing for the move I decided to throw all my drag in the trash. I was getting out of drag and into the new leather/levi look that gay men were adopting. While packing for the move I came across those nun’s habits. It is amazing that history can turn on a small moment and an instant decision. I decided they would be the ONLY drag I would keep “in case one day I get bored”. If I had not kept those nun’s habits we might have become the CLOWNS of Perpetual Indulgence. :)
     
    In 1978 I convinced Fred Brungard to move to San Francisco and live with me. We found a cottage apartment at 272 Dolores Street.
     
    The atmosphere in San Francisco at the time was VERY conformist. S.F. Chronicle columnist dubbed it “the castro clone” look. On Holy Saturday (day before Easter) 1979 I announced to Fred that I was bored and “the only thing different that I have are those nun’s habits”. Fred, myself and Bruce (Barouk) Golden dressed up in those habits and terrorized the Castro, Lands End and Polk Street. The reaction even in liberal and jaded San Francisco that first day out was electric, like someone had lit a stick of dynamite!
     
    In June of 1979 the Gay Softball League played against the San Francisco Fire Department in a game in Kezar Stadium. I asked my friend Edmund Garron to come along to the game. I said,” Now, we can go as normal looking college cheerleaders or as nun cheerleaders.” We decided the habits I had from Iowa would be more fun. We ran around the rim of the stadium and ran our veils up the flagpole. We caused so much distraction with the crowd cheering us that the game had to be stopped temporarily. That was the moment, I believe, that Edmund caught the nun bug and saw the potential of a group of queer nuns, I then introduced my roommate Fred Brungard (who became Sister Missionary Position) to my friends Bill Graham (Reverend Mother) and Edmund Garron (Agnes- Sister Hysterectoria).
     
    I had met Edmund in a dance class in San Francisco run by a lesbian friend , Francesca Dubee, from Iowa in 1977. Bill was a teacher in the gay Transcendental Meditation group I had formed with him in San Francisco in 1977. The 4 of us moved into a flat on Ashbury Street in 1979 which became known as The Convent. We discussed our mutual experiences we had in those nun’s habits earlier in the year. The general consensus between us was that we should form a group, making use of the intense energy this iconic symbol seemed to evoke not only in the general public, but also in ourselves. Maybe we could use this as a tool for social activism and have some fun as well.
    The 4 of us convened a meeting of our friends to form SPI later that year.
     
    The friends of the 4 of us formed the first Order of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and our apartment on Ashbury (The Convent) became the meeting space for the General Membership. Our telephone was the SPI telephone line.
    In 1980, Fabian, a friend of Sister Missionary Position who became Mother Abbyss (formerly Mother Inferior) came to stay the night in The Convent. After being exposed to our Sister activities he returned to Sydney, Australia and formed the second Order of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI). The third Order of SPI in the world was in Toronto, Canada (which no longer exists) and the fourth Order of SPI in the entire world (second in the United States) was in Seattle, Washington founded by Mother Theresa Nervina in 1987. In 1990 the first French Order was formed in Paris by Archimere RITA du Calvaire-de-Marie-Madeleine-Car-Elle-Aussi-A-Beaucoup-Souffert .Shortly after that the first German Order was formed by Erzmutter JOHANNA Indulgentia in Heidelberg. Today Orders are formed or forming on four continents.
     
    Our first experiences in those Iowa nun’s habits in 1979 were the flame that became a roaring bonfire blazing across the world to this very day.
     
    If only those Catholic nuns and Mother Superior in Cedar Rapids, Iowa knew what their habits had ignited!!!
     
    Grand Mother Vicious Power Hungry Bitch
    a Founder of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
    San Francisco
     
    (from Facebook)

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