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Sister Boom Boom: Wikis


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Sister Boom Boom, the drag nun persona (1980–1985) of astrologer Jack Fertig (born February 21, 1955 in Chicago, Illinois),[1][2] was one of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence who has since retired from the group. Often credited erroneously as a founder of the group, Sister Boom Boom actually joined the Sisters in 1980, several months after its founding. She left the order in the Spring of 1986. Her full name was Sister Rose of the Bloody Stains of the Sacred Robes of Jesus, which would trail into a sing-song cadence and a long fermata. This called for a short nickname. "Sister Boom Boom" is often spelled with a hyphen, but she never used one, and comically explained, "Oh, I lost my hyphen a very long time ago!"

In 1982, she ran for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors with agitprop campaigning tactics bringing humor and raising issues she felt were being ignored in the race. She won 23,124 votes with her occupation listed as "Nun of the Above". Five supervisors were elected; she placed eighth.[3] After she started campaigning for mayor in 1983 against incumbent Dianne Feinstein, San Francisco passed a law requiring candidates to use only their legal names on the ballot. This was commonly called the "Sister Boom Boom law".[1]

She wrote a theatrical-ritual exorcism of Jerry Falwell and Phyllis Schlafly performed in Union Square the Friday before the 1984 Democratic National Convention.

She is one of the characters in Emily Mann's play Execution of Justice about the trial of Dan White for the 1978 Moscone–Milk assassinations. George Moscone was mayor of San Francisco and Harvey Milk was the city’s first openly gay supervisor.[4] In the Broadway production she was played by Wesley Snipes.[5]

Jack Fertig retired Sister Boom Boom in 1985, and joined a sobriety program.[2] He converted to Islam in 2001, and continues to live in San Francisco where he works as an astrologer.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Boom Town: San Francisco Cracks Down". Time Magazine. April 11, 1983.,9171,923498,00.html. Retrieved 2007-10-28.  
  2. ^ a b Bizjak, Tony (November 8, 1989). "When Sister Boom Boom sobered up he vanished from San Francisco Streets". St. Petersburg Times, reprinted from San Francisco Chronicle.,2322835. Retrieved 2009-04-09.  
  3. ^ Moritz, Michael; Dick Thompson,William R. Doerner (July 16, 1984). "What's Happening off the Floor". Time Magazine.,9171,951221-5,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-09. "Sister Boom Boom. No large gathering in San Francisco's homosexual community, including the gay rights march planned for the day before the convention opens, would be quite complete without the appearance of a figure clad in a hiked-up nun's habit, black fishnet stockings, and a tightly drawn wimple that sometimes fails to hold in an unruly shock of red hair. These have become the transvestite trademarks of Sister Boom Boom, member of the Order of Perpetual Indulgence, and the drag creation of a 29-year-old astrologer named Jack Fertig. Part put-on artist and part self-promoter, Boom Boom sparks reactions that run the gamut from righteous outrage to raucous approbation. Outside San Francisco, Fertig's bizarre alter ego has come to symbolize a climate of tolerance gone haywire. Boom Boom's "order," which consists of about 20 other "nuns" who go by names like Sister Mary Media and Sister Sadie Sadie Rabbi Lady, has performed legitimate charity work by raising funds for AIDS victims and gay Cuban refugees. Fertig ran for the board of supervisors in 1982; with five seats open, he placed a respectable eighth, collecting 23,124 votes. Even some gays find it offensive when he wears a cross as part of his costume or mocks the sacred. But Fertig insists that he is genuinely, if not conventionally, pious. "The sisters share my own sense of absurdist theater," he says. "I believe that you can reach God through your own means.""  
  4. ^ Nolte, Carl (2003-11-26). "CITY HALL SLAYINGS, 25 Years Later: Revisiting the horror of that day of death; for those who are old enough, the memory is searing". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2006-12-10.  
  5. ^ Gussow, Mel (1986-03-14). "Stage: Emily Mann's 'Execution of Justice'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-09.  
  6. ^ Smillie, Dirk (2008). Falwell Inc.: Inside a Religious, Political, Educational, and Business Empire. Macmillan. p. 146. ISBN 9780312376291. Retrieved 2009-04-09. "Fertig converted to Islam in 2001, and now works as an astrologer in San Francisco."  

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