Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not your mother's conclave

For those who may have wandered by the Park yesterday morning around 10 and wondered what the heck was going on with all of those unusually dressed, face-painted outres clogging the beach, the answer is provided by Seattle Gay Scene's website. All of the commotion, as it turns out, was simply due to the opening of another summer convention in our fair town, although the group involved is really rather unconventional. It seems that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence's 2009 International Conclave ("Retreat in the Emerald City") is underway all this week--and the kickoff for this, the 13th annual event, was an "opening/blessing/picnic" at Madison Park on Monday. I am sorry that I was at work yesterday morning and unable to film what must have been a fun and atypical-for-Madison-Park event.

There are plenty of activities being held during the rest of the week, so you will have fresh opportunities to see these performers in action, including two "Duck Tour" buses filled with nuns on Saturday. A lot of the action, naturally, will be on Capitol Hill, with details on the SGC's website. For those who are unaware of the Sisters, I quote from the website of their local chapter, The Abbey of St. Joan: "We are an order of Twenty-First Century nuns dedicated to the promulgation of universal joy and the expiation of stigmatic guilt. We work to raise money for AIDS charities; fight for queer rights and visibility; do safer sex outreach; and strive diligently to keep our sense of humor, never taking ourselves so seriously that we forget to have fun." Let's just say the sisters are in no way connected with the Catholic Church:

Madison Park, by the way, seems to have the reputation as a gay-friendly neighborhood. For those not in the know, the area just to the north of the Madison Park Bath House is considered the gay area of the Park, although straights occasionally do wander in, especially on the weekends. A gay website, in fact, refers to Madison Park is an excellent place for a "gaycation." I don't think we are quite as popular, however, as Foster Island.

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