June 26, 2003 I was in the Norfolk, VA airport, awaiting a flight to Sacramento. I was to meet people at UC, Davis to help me make my decision where to go for graduate school. In that airport I learned the Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws; I felt this was a sign CA was the right choice. I chose the end of June for this trip in order to coincide with San Francisco Pride, where I would first encounter the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI). I was mesmerized and more than a little intimidated, having grown up closeted in the South. But I could see that my aim was the same as one of theirs: to expiate stigmatic guilt. While the next few years of study in the social psychology of prejudice and stigma (especial as pertains to AIDS, HIV, and sexual identity) kept me too busy to join an order (even if Sacramento had one) I cherished that and subsequent encounters with the SPI.

Having become a pillar of the Sacramento community theatre and gay communities, the SPI theatricality and community service seemed the next logical step. When Sister Oddrey Heartburn informed me there was local chapter, I attended the very next meeting. And the rest, as they say is herstory. But this herstory is still being written, and I welcome you on my continuing journey.

~Ova D’Rainbow.