The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence make up an unlikely order of nuns. Self-described as “twenty-first century queer nuns,” the Sisters began in 1979 when three bored gay men donned retired Roman Catholic nuns’ habits and went for a stroll through San Francisco’s gay Castro district. The stunned and delighted responses they received prompted these already-seasoned activists to consider whether the habits might have some use in social justice work, and within a year they had constituted the new order. Today, with more than 83 houses on four different continents, the Sisters offer health outreach, support, and, at times, protest on behalf of queer communities.
Queer Nuns: https://nyupress.org/9781479820368/queer-nuns/
Melissa M. Wilcox is Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at UC Riverside specializing in the study of gender, sexuality, and religion in the Global North/Global West. Dr. Wilcox’s books include Coming Out in Christianity: Religion, Identity, and Community; Sexuality and the World’s Religions; Queer Women and Religious Individualism; Religion in Today’s World: Global Issues, Sociological Perspectives; Queer Nuns: Religion, Activism, and Serious Parody; Queer Religiosities: An Introduction to Queer and Transgender Studies in Religion; and (with Nina Hoel and Liz Wilson) Religion, the Body, and Sexuality.
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