Metro Weekly

Sisters Act: Meet the D.C. order of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

They're here, they're queer, and D.C. is getting used to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and their "drag activism"

Senior Novice Sister Allie Lewya -- Photo by Julian Vankim
Senior Novice Sister Allie Lewya — Photography by Julian Vankim


Senior Novice Sister Allie Lewya

“I adore Catholic nuns and the work they do. While it’s subtle, and not always the case, I do try to dress like many of the modern nuns.”

What inspired you to join?

“I love all that nuns stand for: faith, dedication, hope, justice, service. I learned of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in a course on religions waging peace. I fell in love with the unique way Sisters minister to our communities. I was brought to tears when I heard stories of Sisters, with white face and crazy outfits, walking to the store with a person with AIDS so that people would stare at the queerdo and not the sickly person next to them. And I knew I had to join the first time I met a Sister, and she blessed me and told me to go and sin some more.”

Have you ever been involved in activism before?

“Activism and advocacy have been part of my entire adult life. I cut my teeth in activism while in college. I was a young adult organizer for a queer faith-based organization that works to make churches more LGBTQ-friendly. Since then, I have been involved in several justice-seeking movements, including camping out with the Occupy Wall Street. In my secular life, I work for a national, faith-based reproductive justice organization.”

What’s your catchphrase?

“Talk to your doctor about PrEP.”


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