Sister Shalita Corndog Has a Message for Critics of LGBTQ+ Nuns


The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a singular group of nuns drawn into the highlight for his or her typically controversial celebrations — however what many have but to find out about is their neighborhood work and love for each critics and followers.

They’re an order of LGBTQ+ nuns based in San Francisco in 1979 with a prolonged historical past of neighborhood service to the LGBTQ+ neighborhood, particularly throughout the preliminary a long time of the AIDS disaster.

In June, they made headlines once more when the Los Angeles Dodgers invited them to obtain a neighborhood award, uninvited them after conservative backlash, and reinvited them after backlash from the LGBTQ+ neighborhood.

Whereas the Sisters obtained an award at a June 16 Dodgers sport, protests led by numerous Catholic neighborhood teams befell exterior the stadium. The actions have been seemingly attended by members of the Proud Boys and well-known far-right figures, in addition to ex-LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. At its peak, the protest grew to just about 2,000 individuals, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Gerald Garth stands with members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Gerald Garth stands with members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on the Dodgers sport.

Mark J. Terrill/Related Press

Regardless of the incident, Sister Shalita Corndog, a member of the group’s board of administrators — identified out of behavior as Juliano Innocenti, a psychiatric nurse practitioner — mentioned in an interview with Enterprise Insider she wished to maneuver away from dichotomies of “us and them.”

Corndog mentioned the Sisters weren’t upset in regards to the state of affairs with the Dodgers from the outset.

“We do not do issues for public accolade,” she mentioned. “We by no means have, we by no means will. It isn’t who we’re.”

Exterior of the incident, the Sisters have obtained ample criticism from individuals who assume they’re an anti-Catholic group. In accordance with Corndog, that is not the case in any respect — and so they do not take into account themselves an order of Catholic nuns.

“The Sisters convey gentle and satire and humor, to not make enjoyable of any faith or spiritual religion, fairly the other. We respect them,” Corndog mentioned. “What we make gentle of is the hate-filled rhetoric that spouts from a few of these, and I believe that will get misinterpreted typically by the general public.”

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence protesting the US Republican Convention in Dallas, TX, in 1984.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence protesting the US Republican Conference in Dallas, TX, in 1984.

CRO / Related Press

She mentioned a part of their mission is to “promulgate common pleasure” and “expiate stigmatic guilt,” or the guilt rooted within the human situation typically.

This a part of the mission is tougher since some individuals carry “painful wounds” from the rhetoric they’ve heard or skilled in religion communities, Corndog mentioned.

“You are taught that God loves you, that you just’re surrounded by guardian angels that defend you, that watch over you within the night time, very lovely comforting messages — however then they sneak in on the finish of that, ‘so long as you are heterosexual,'” she mentioned. “What the sisters do is we make it okay to separate that hate-filled rhetoric from the core religion and perception that that particular person was linked to.”

She additionally mentioned that whereas some actions of the Sisters are well-publicized, like their “Hunky Jesus” or “Cunning Mary” costume competitions, different actions, just like the Sisters’ work with the unhoused and people with substance abuse issues, or their efforts to attach with lonely or struggling individuals of their communities, are sometimes neglected.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence after the shooting at the Pulse nightclub.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence after the taking pictures on the Pulse nightclub.

Richard Vogel / Related Press

Regardless of their charitable work, the Sisters obtain hate mail each day from throughout the nation, Corndog mentioned, which regularly contains violent and homophobic threats.

“I believe the way in which to confront this type of hate and divide is in a most loving, divine approach. To not worry them, to not hate them, however to really put into the universe, whether or not you name it prayer or in any other case, a hope for them to search out peace of their coronary heart,” Corndog mentioned. “To discover a pathway, to right the error of their methods, and for them to in some way discover enlightenment from the entire horrific hatred that they carry of their coronary heart. That have to be exhausting.”

However this type of hate does not come from a selected hate or faith, Corndog added. As an alternative, she feels individuals in energy have incorrectly interpreted spiritual dogma.

“You’ll by no means hear a sister say, ‘you are fallacious to consider that,'” Corndog instructed Enterprise Insider. “We might by no means, ever need anybody to really feel judged or belittled for having religion or believing in one thing.”

Corndog additionally mentioned she feels many spiritual individuals, in the event that they realized extra in regards to the Sisters, would help the group and their work.

She identified that Jesus Christ, within the Catholic Bible, typically used sarcasm and satire to attract consideration to injustice and strengthen their relationships with God.

“Love each other was on the core of his instructing, in addition to do not choose your self and do not choose others. These are actually the one two divine legal guidelines,” she mentioned. “I am unsure the people who find themselves spreading this hatred and this worry are conscious of how far off observe they’ve gotten from their core perception.”

Regardless, Corndog mentioned, she doesn’t want any unwell on individuals who disagree with the Sisters or ship them hate mail and sees a lot of their beliefs as motivated by worry — particularly, a worry of going towards teachings they’ve been studying since they have been younger.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at Out100 in 2023.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at Out100 in 2023.

Richard Shotwell / Related Press

Concerning responding to such hateful rhetoric, Corndog first advises individuals to keep away from engagement and preserve themselves protected. Moreover, she mentioned, individuals can get entangled in organizations that “fight” hate in an organized, educated method. She talked about that, for instance, individuals within the San Francisco Bay space may be part of actions just like the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Membership or a chapter of the Younger Democrats.

“You do not have to exit of your religion to fight this,” Corndog mentioned. “There are Catholic parishes and clergymen and organizations who’ve publicly come out in help of the Sisters.”

She summed up her recommendation by saying: “Keep alert, keep concerned, and know your limitations of what you’ll be able to and may’t deal with.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t reply to requests for remark from Enterprise Insider.


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