Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Sisters share SF Pride parade judging duties with activists

Sister Hellen Wheels awards California Attorney General Kamala Harris the "Most Outrageous Individual" award at the 2015 Pride parade for her support of equal marriage. (Photo courtesy of Sister Merry Peter.)

Sister Hellen Wheels awards California Attorney General Kamala Harris the “Most Outrageous Individual” award at the 2015 Pride parade for Harris’ support of same-sex marriage. (Photo courtesy of Sister Merry Peter.)

San Francisco’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have announced that they’ll be sharing the role of LGBT Pride parade judges with other community activists in order to support the 2016 Pride theme, “For Racial and Economic Justice.”

In a news release this week, Sister Merry Peter, who for the past five years has helped organize volunteers for the parade, said the charitable nuns group is “proud to share parade judge service with remarkable Bay Area activists leading the daily struggle for justice.” This year’s parade is Sunday, June 26.

Referring to the June 12 massacre at a gay Orlando, Florida nightclub in which 49 people were killed and 53 were injured, Sister Peter said, “The tragic shootings at Pulse Nightclub make clear the urgent need to stand against violence, overcome hatred and unite in creating and sustaining welcoming, safe, and just communities for all.”

She added, “As your pride judges we stand in solidarity with Orlando and dedicate our service to celebrating the joy, resilience and power of our communities. As you pass by our table, we hope you will see your own courage and beauty reflected and amplified in our smiles, cheers and applause.”

Judges will include Mahnani Clay, ‘a queer black mother’ who was formerly incarcerated; Reverend Daigan Gaither, a Sister and hospice volunteer who co-founded the San Francisco Zen Center‘s Queer Dharma Group; Ericka Huggins, a Black Panther leader who’s developed programs for women and children with HIV; Edwin Lindo, one of the Frisco5 hunger strikers who’d called for former police Chief Greg Suhr’s firing; Jenna Rapues, a Filipina American transgender woman who works to combat health disparities among trans people and others; Lisbet Tellefsen, an activist who co-founded Ache, the longest running black lesbian journal of the 1980s; and Reverend Diana Wheeler, a former night minister with San Francisco Night Ministry and a saint of the Sisters.

Also judging the parade will be Sisters Chola de Dah, Guard N O’Pansies, Merry Peter, Phyliss With-Litaday.

The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Market and Beale streets and ends at Market and Eighth streets.

If you want to see this year’s San Francisco Pride parade live, you will have to venture down to Market Street to view it in person.

For the first time in more than two decades a live broadcast of the parade will be unavailable, either online or on cable television.

Visit for more information.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, June 23, 2016 @ 11:47 am PST
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