Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to Open "DisConvent" on USD Campus
Local Catholic University to Follow Up on Success of First-Ever Campus Drag Show with Opening of Genderbending Hotspot
"Limelight was a disco in a church. Bad Habits is a disco in a convent!"
MESSING ABOUT IN THE CHOIR STALLS, FOUNDERS CHAPEL, USD - Last year, the University of San Diego added "gender identity" and "gender expression" to the university's Equal Opportunity Policy and Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment. This April, USD raised up that equality by hosting a Transgender Awareness workshop and a Day of Silence to call attention to anti-LGBTQ bullying.
The school also sponsored a drag show hosted by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a gay activist group famous for donning old-style nun's habits (a form of drag known as Holy Disorders).
By all accounts, the event was a huge success, and was capped off by a mock "altar call" in which closeted students were invited to approach the stage and accept themselves "for who God made them to be."
The school was so pleased, says the group's spokesnun Sister Mouthboom, "they asked Head Sister Labia Majorum if we would like a permanent place on campus. A place that would serve as both a safe space for LGBTQ members of the USD community and a catalyst for the kind of theatricality that has been a hallmark of Catholicism since forever. They already had a facility picked out: the old Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus convent from the scary days when USD was the San Diego College for Women."
Sister Mouthboom continued, "We're grateful for the opportunity to reach out to such a sexually repressed community. But frankly, they need us more than we need them - have you seen those suburban churches? Felt banners and folk music - it's all so horribly tacky. The nuns don't even wear habits any more!"
Renovations to the old convent are slated to begin next month, and the school is hoping for a grand opening celebration near the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester. "They're not sure about all the funding yet," said Sister Mouthboom in a rather candid aside, "but maybe the diocese can take up a second collection at Mass for 'those who are discerning.' People in the pews just eat that stuff up."
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