The Philadelphia Sisters

House of Otherly Love

Application for SPI Mission Status

"And A'Others Too!" - No Better Place to LOVE than Philly!

The Philadelphia Sisters, House of Otherly Love are a post-modern Order of Drag Nuns, Brothers and Others. Through the joyous celebration of Otherly Love and Loving the Other, education, fundraising, activism, mischief, and glitter, we are committed to serving the city of Philadelphia's gender and sexual minorities in a way that centers and uplifts the multiplely marginalized. We are active accomplices to those we aid, and we seek to create and maintain conscious, open and ongoing conversation with the communities we represent and support.

Founded by Sister Allison Chains/Brother Gary Cruter, Sister Anita Revolution Now, Sister Bertha Democracy and Sister Clearance Nightengown in June of 2018, the organization now consists of a founding circle of seven members, with 4 aspiring to membership as of our October general meeting.

We are gender-variant weirdos. We are trans and we are cis. We are gay, straight, bisexual, queer and everything in-between. We are black and we are white and we are mixed-raced. We are poor and we are disabled. We are greater than - and made better by - the sum of our parts, and each of us contribute to a better understanding of our organization, our community, and our selves.

Sisters, Brothers, and Others!


Sister Anita Revolution Now
(She/Her, They/Them)

Sister Anita is a long time queer organizer who experienced their first taste of activism as a logistics bottomliner during the Occupy movement in 2011. Soon after, she served as a Chairperson of Community Outreach for a major LGBTQIA youth non-profit, and more recently founded a drag education collective in February of this year. They have a B.S. in Marketing Management, an M.S. in Management and Leadership, and are currently pursuing a M.Ed. in Instructional Design.


Sister Bertha Democracy

Sister Bertha Democracy found her calling to the Sisters as part of a larger craving to be a stronger ally to the queer and alt-sex communities of Philadelphia. As a young woman, she was active in organizations that focused on AIDS and HIV outreach and education, social justice, and the support of marginalized communities, and is excited to continue that work in the Philadelphia area. Like so many others, she is angered and heartbroken by the path her country finds itself on and is dedicated to doing her part to impede the march of fascism and bigotry. She is eager and committed to spreading joy, love and light to Philadelphia with her fellow Sisters, Brothers and Others.


Sister Clearance Nightengown

Sister Clearance has been a long time queer activist since their days in college. At Occupy they found their focus as a street medic, helping in Connecticut, NYC, Philly, and D.C. Since then, they have been an educator and advocate for health care access in the underserved queer community. They have done work raising the voices of the queer religious since the early 2000s.


Sister EbonyAnn Rainbow Palooza

Sistah Palooza is an African American Queer Drag Nun who raises a sacred voice of defiance against injustice and offers open passionate arms of support to the queer community and the world! She (along with Empress Iownna Benzz, Miss North East Royale Elite 2017), is an avatar of Rev. Jeffrey H. Jordan - who has served Philadelphia's LGBTQW2SAI community as a pastor, activist and community organizer since 1994. His ministry at Whosoever Metropolitan Community Church is dedicated to raising a voice against spiritual violence and acts of injustice against marginalized communities.


Sister Electra Shock

Sister Electra Shock came to queer activism early: as her highschool's first out gay student she founded the school's Gay/Straight Alliance, helping the school find it's role in supporting their future queer students. Electra was inspired at this early age by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and their wielding of irreverent humor as a powerful weapon against oppression in our society, and is excited to continue this tradition in Philadelphia.


Brother Gary Cruter/Sister Allison Chains
(He/Him, They/Them)/(She/Her, They/Them)

Sr. Alison Chains (she/them) is an intersectional activist, dedicated to fighting injustice on all fronts. Br. Gary Curter (he/them) is a sparkly fusion of clergy, clown and Muppet, serving his community through laughs, hugs, and jazz hands! They share a heart dedicated to serving the full LGBTQAI community in all its glorious diversity! Gary/Alison has been involved with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence since 2013, becoming a fully professed member of the Seattle Abbey of St. Joan in 2016. They are excited to be a part of the Philadelphia Sisters ~ House of Otherly Love and its journey toward becoming a full SPI House.


Sxster Puncha Fascist

Sxster Puncha Fascist has dedicated their life to building equality across all communities, with intersectionality as the core that drives each facet of their life. They are dedicated to empowerment via education, democracy, and community.



The 50th Annual Henry David Ball

The Philadelphia 201 Hotel – October 31st, 2018
Sister Anita, Brother Gary, Sister Bertha, Jeffrey (Sister Palooza), Lilly


Thanks to Sister Palooza, the Sisters were invited to be VIP attendees at the 50th annual Henri David Ball  - the longest running Halloween event in Philadelphia! Rev. Jeffrey (Palooza) was honored to be the head judge for the ball's massive costume contest, where over 150 entrants strutted their stuff on the runway! It was an amazing opportunity to represent and introduce the House to the gaggle of Philly's queer elders, organizers and who's who while celebrating the joy of the Halloween season.

HELL-O-WEEN: The 8th Annual Portmanteau Party

The Portmanteau House – October 27th, 2018
Sister Anita, Brother Gary, Courtney (Sister Bertha)


Due to the amazing opportunity-spotting eye of Sister Bertha, the Sisters we're invited to tend bar at a giant annual West Philly Halloween party as their first fundraiser. Together, Brother Gary and Sister Anita wracked $351 in tips to go towards the Sisters operational fund, with the majority of the funds slated to go towards the non-profit incorporation fees for the House.

AIDS Walk Philly

Philadelphia Museum of Art – October 21st, 2018
Sister Bertha, Sister Clearance, Sister Palooza

Sisters Clearance, Bertha and Palooza manifested at the Philadelphia AIDS Walk 2018, arriving bright and early at 7:45 in the morning. After frolicking with an Interfaith clergy association, we kept busy spreading joy and love with glitter blessings for the participants! Later we put our veils to good use by joining them together to block the hate mongering protestors. Even though there were clouds, rain, protesters, and cold, we did a wonderful job of adding a dash of beauty and light!

SALON Bitchcraft

Lava Space – October 13th, 2018
Sister Palooza, Rev (Sister Anita)

For Philly Drag Class's most recent student revue show, Sister Palooza came to show her support and help with making sure the bar and door ran smoothly!

National Coming Out Day

Shout It From the Rooftop at Stratus Lounge, Philly BOOlesque Fundraiser for Philly AIDS Thrift at Tabu – October 11th, 2018
Sister Anita, Sister Palooza

For National Coming Out Day, Sisters Anita and Palooza visited a party at the luxurious Stratus Lounge on the roof of the Hotel Monaco in Old City, just a block away from Independence Hall. Afterwards we visited Tabu in their brand new building, which is a beautiful 3 story space with a roof deck that has an amazing view of the Philly skyline! While we were there, we attended an adorable variety show fundraiser for Philly AIDS Thrift, who have donated over 2 million dollars to 20 local area HIV/AIDS organizations. While we were there, we had the pleasure of speaking with Amber Hikes, the executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia, who is excited to see the Sisters in Philadelphia and has offered support for our future endeavors!

Amateur Drag Night

L'Etage – October 7th, 2018
Sister Anita, Brother Gary, Raven

After OutFest, Anita, Gary and our potential new member Raven visited the monthly Amateur Drag Night at L'Etage, where 4 of Anita's drag kids performed!

Philadelphia OutFest

Philadelphia Gayborhood – October 7th, 2018
Sister Anita, Sister Bertha, Sister Clearance, Sister Electra, Brother Gary

Outfest is world's largest National Coming Out Day festival, and serves as Philly’s less corporate, free Pride festival. We were joined by Beth B., a reporter from Philadelphia Gay News, who interviewed us as we manifested and hung out with us during the festival. We spread Play Fair packs and joy throughout the day, pausing to stand in front of a group of hate preachers, where the Sisters connected their veils together using bobby pins to make a wall between the preachers and the community.

Gender Queery

Stir Lounge – October 5th, 2018
Sister Anita, Sister Electra, Janeway (Brother Gary/Sister Allison)

To kick off our October manifestations, Sisters Anita and Electra visited Stir Lounge to see Gender Queery, a (now monthly) all trans drag and cabaret show!

September Bar Crawl

Daddy & Friends at L’Etage, Haüs Party at Tabu – September 21st, 2018
Sister Anita, Sister Clearance, Sister Electra, Sister Palooza

For our September bar ministry, Sisters Anita, Clearance, Electra and Palooza visited L'Etage for Daddy & Friends (a monthly boylesque show), where we bumped into Sister Dietrich Anne DiMaggio from the Baltimore mission! Afterwards, we took a stroll down South Street to eat a giant slice of pizza at Lorenzo's while introducing ourselves to the nightly crowds. Afterwards, we hightailed it to Tabu to visit the Haüs fam, who throw a monthly club kid party! We gave out plenty of Play Fair packets and were lucky enough to be provided with a front row seat while the kids walked the runway.

August Bar Crawl

Four Stupid Sluts at Tabu, Karaoke at Tavern on Camac – August 28th, 2018
Sister Anita, Sister Electra

Anita and Electra hit the Philadelphia gayborhood with some groupies after the POSE viewing party, spreading Joy and Play Fair packets to all! We had an amazing reception, including an opportunity from Zephyra Rivers (now Ms. Tabu 2019) to introduce the House and our work to the crowd.

POSE Viewing Party

Repair the World Philadelphia – August 28th, 2018
Sister Anita, Sister Electra, Brother Gary

Our final POSE viewing party and the debut of our coronets!!! We finished off the last two episodes of POSE and then Anita and Electra hit the gayborhood afterwards to spread some Joy!

POSE Viewing Party

Repair the World Philadelphia – August 14th, 2018
Sister Anita, Brother Gary, Ben (Sister Electra)

Our third POSE viewing party! We watched episodes 5 & 6 and had a ton of fun!

Play Fair at SALON Red 4 Filth

Lava Space – August 10th, 2018
Sister Electra, Sister Judith, Rev (Sister Anita)

Sister Electra and Sister Judith's first manifestation! The House tabled at Philly Drag Class's SALON student revue show with our brand new Play Fair packets and risk reduction kits, with supplies provided by Sol Collective. We also met and got to know Rev. Jeff, who joined us at our next meeting!

(The photographer for that show had their camera overheat, and we still can't find any pictures. ::sad face:: )

POSE Viewing Party

Repair the World Philadelphia –July 31st, 2018
Sister Anita, Brother Gary, Ben (Sister Electra)

The second of our 4 POSE viewing parties. We watched episodes 3 & 4, and got to know some members of the community here in Philly who are now avid supporters! Sister Anita celebrated her birthday and we had a fun afterparty at her home in West Philly.

POSE Viewing Party

Repair the World Philadelphia –July 17st, 2018
Sister Anita, Brother Gary, Ben

A conversation on the Philly Queer Exchange led to the group hosting our first series of events! Sister Anita and Brother Gary threw four watch parties for the series POSE, a show by and about trans and queer people of color in the 1980s NYC Ballroom scene. Thanks to the help of Kari David Collins, building manager of Repair the World (a Jewish service organization), the House was able to provide an ADA accessible space for these free viewings (along with donating snacks and beverages)!

Families Belong Together Rally

Logan Square – June 30, 2018
Sister Allison, Sister Anita, Courtney (Sister Bertha)

For our first manifestation, Sister Allison and Sister Anita, with a watchful Courtney in tow, attended the Families Belong Together Rally in protest of the Trump administration's immigration policies. The crowd filled Logan Square, where we had the opportunity to listen first hand to those who had been impacted directly by the government sanctioned separation of their families. During the rally, Sister Anita took the opportunity to register to vote. Afterwards, we were swarmed by inquiries from the press about our appearance, and had the opportunity to speak with reporters about our solidarity with immigrants and the undocumented.

Meetings and Minutes

October General Membership Meeting

Whosoever Metropolitan Community Church – September 29th, 2018
Sister Anita, Br./Sr. Garrison, Sister Electra, Sister Palooza, Adam, Barbara, Dan, Lilly, Raven

Minutes can be found here.
Raven is accepted as the last of our founding members as Sxster Puncha Fascist. The House accepts the resignation of Sister Judith. Report backs are given from each of the October break out meetings. The House puts the new progression guidelines into place, and 4 potential new members declare aspirancy.

September General Membership Meeting

Sister Bertha's Apartment – September 24th, 2018
Sister Anita, Sister Bertha, Br./Sr. Garrison, Sister Electra, Sister Judith, Sister Palooza

Minutes can be found here.
The House plans for a busy October. Philly Outfest, multiple manifestations, and scheduling three breakout meetings to discuss finer points of guidelines the House needs: a plan for Membership progression, garb guidelines and the House Mission and Values statements.

August General Membership Meeting

The Booty Hole (Sister Anita's House) – August 27th, 2018
Sister Anita, Sister Bertha, Sister Clearance, Br./Sr. Garrison, Sister Electra, Jeffery, Kris, Raven

Minutes can be found here.
The House celebrates the completion of a production model of the House coronet! Jeffrey joins us as Sister EbonyAnn Rainbow Palooza (Sr. Palooza for short). Lots of planning for September/October is done.

July General Membership Meeting

House of Dog – July 30th, 2018
Sister Anita, Sister Bertha, Sister Clearance, Br./Sr. Garrison, Ben, Ed, Manuel

Minutes can be found here.
Lots of housekeeping! The group decides on working guidelines for decisionmaking and membership requirements. Ben joins the group as Sister Electra Shock, and Ed joins as Sister Judith Priest (Judith later resigned in October due to scheduling constraints). The group discusses the near completion of Play Fair for Philadelphia and plans for future events.

First Meeting

Saxby's UPenn – June 26, 2018
Chase (Sister Clearance), Courtney (Sister Bertha), Rev (Sister Anita), Janeway (Br./Sr. Garrison)

Minutes can be found here.
The group gets to know one another; folks share their interest in and history with the Sisters. The group discusses their ideas for future actions, and plans their first manifestation!

The Otherly Look

Fab Habits

  • Two nuns knitting in Eastbourne, Sussex, UK. 1960’s.
    The inspiration for the Philadelphia coronet.

  • A dazed Sister Anita wearing the first finished coronet.
    She’s trying not to puke from relief.

The Philadelphia coronet is a heart-shaped bonnet made from white linen, stiffened with 6 layers of fusible interfacing and then topstitched for extra body. A marvel of modern drag-nun engineering, the completed coronet has a strip of velcro in the back for quick veil attachment, and even folds flat for storage! Each one takes about 5 person-hours to complete.

A joint labor of love between Sister Electra and Brother Gary - and crying and swearing from Sister Anita, the coronet took 2 months to create from concept to production, with lots of experimentation and 7 prototypes before the first production model was completed.

The House is currently solidifying the rest of our look for our formal garb, postulant and novice-wear, and plan to work out the rest of the details in the upcoming months.

Logo (In Progress)

  • Original concept sketch.

  • First revised sketch.

  • Most recent work in progress.

Our logo is currently in progress and is being developed by local Philadelphia artist Samuel Richman. Featuring a fat-positive, pinup style, we're excited to be working with him and even more excited to see what the final iteration looks like!