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No, Sister!




 Heidi Walters myopic feature article on the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence ("Oh, Sister!" Sept. 8) is sadly one-sided. Her peppy gee-whiz-it's-the-Sisters approach fails to disclose any of the group's many negatives.

 She could have spoken to numerous gays who are embarrassed by the group's mostly gay adult men parading around in clown makeup and women's clothes. The familiar refrain at last Saturday's gay pride  parade in Eureka was that it was a great parade seriously marred by the presence of the Sisters, including one with women's underwear on his head.

 Walters could have easily found some HIV positive people (and their families and friends) who refuse to participate in the yearly AIDS walk because of the obnoxious presence of the Sisters in full drag. Group member Michael Weiss in particular should know better. He's the program services coordinator with the Humboldt County Health and Human Services Public Health branch. HIV already has enough stigma; Weiss makes things worse by having his cross-dressing group conduct the whole event.

 If reporter Walters had cracked the surface, she could have found women who are offended by the sexist and misogynist version of femininity presented by the Sisters. She might have also examined the substance abuse - alcohol in particular - that is present at nearly all of the Sisters' events, virtually all of them held in bars and other venues that serve alcohol.

 Sure, this group raises money for good causes. However, Heidi Walter's one-sided article presents only part of the story of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The Journal should be able to do better.

Dixon Sommers, Eureka



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