Location: Mission Dolores Park, San Francisco
For those of you who are as little in the know as I am, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (photo) is a community organization of gays and lesbians. But that’s not the half of it. today was their 25th annual Easter bash, which featured, among other things, the Easter Bonnet contest, the first Hunky Jesus contest, and music by Polkacide. Aside from all that, there was world-class people watching, as the sisters are out to put on a show.
This was truly an “Only in San Francisco” kind of event. I will do my best to get pictures up as soon as possible. Many of the sisters were in flamboyant costume, but as this was outdoors in a public park most of the costumes were not terribly risqué. Just as well for my own comfort.
The Easter Bonnet contest was a lot of fun; I thought the guy with the huge feathered headdress (think Vegas) with the bunny tied to it with leather straps was going to be the winner, but then I realized that the dude with the hat made entirely of chocolate had a basin of melted chocolate in the middle in which he was dunking strawberries. After he won he let the kids in the crowd devour his creation. In the words of the MC’s: “Martha Stewart couldn’t do that!”
The Polkacide gig was very good – a better sound mix than they usually get despite the hasty setup – but short. The crowd was definitely getting into it, there was much twirling of partners and shaking of booties. They had another brief set later, but I left. I was getting hungry, as all I had eaten today up to then was an ice cream sandwich. It was starting to get blustery as well, and I wanted to take a top-down flight down the coast before it got too cold. (Remember the days when there was no such thing as too cold? Those days are over, my friend.)
Right. Back to the Sisters. The drive is the next entry. I spent a lot of time around behind the stage, both because I was hanging out with John and the Polkaciders, and because that is where the most interesting people were. Neil, the clarinet player for Polkacide had a basket filled with the traditional fake grass and the not-so-traditional painted beers. In honor of the event, the band dressed up more than usual, which for some of the members is saying a lot. One guy (I’ll fill in the name later) was in a red sequin body suit. Yikes.
Before I left, one sister, dressed in white, face painted white with absurdly long eyelashes, patted me on the ass and said “Somebody better put that to use.” I think he did it just because I had been around the backstage for a while and obviously was keeping my space. That or he thought I was hot. Nah. I was taken by surprise, and I have no idea what my expression was like when I turned to look at him. Hopefully honestly surprised rather than fearful, or, worse, blank. Of course, now I have thought of several things I could have said, each one better than the last.
Soon thereafter I left, leaving forever the mystery of the White Sister’s intentions, and leaving unsaid all the cool things I could have said. Strangely, I spent the day slightly worried that some man would ask me to dance of just be too familiar, yet if straight women never hit on me, why should I think a gay man would? In point of fact, there were Sisters carrying around buckets for donations for their causes, and I swear they were avoiding me. Finally I had to chase one down and practically tackle him to make my meagre donation. I’m guessing it was my fashion senselessness. Or maybe the sheer power of my personality intimidated them.
It was the fashion sense.