Novice Sister Ida Claire

I had my first interaction with a sister in my early 20’s (that was a long time ago…). I was at a show for an out stand-up comedian who had a bit in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire. There was a Sister from San Francisco at his show. My boyfriend, at the time, wanted to hang out after and meet the comedian as well as the Sister. We had a great time in that interaction. That was the first time I had ever encountered “Sister” and it will forever stand out for me.

Fast-forward, let’s just say a while, and I moved to the San Francisco Bay area. As a gay dude in S.F. you are just going to run into a sister. They would regularly hold beer busts at my favorite haunt (The Eagle Tavern, as it was known then.) as well as street fairs and the like. The more time I spent in the city, the more encounters I had with Sisters.

Fast forward just a few years more and I find myself wanting to let myself explore how I might show up in some form of drag. Ooh Gurl! I am a “handsome” woman to put it nicely. Some of that may have to do with the fact that I don’t care for my face without fur. Long story short, it didn’t turn out so well. Yet I was still compelled to explore it. My partner, at the time, said “Hey you should look into becoming a Sister. You’ll be able to keep your beard and be doing things that benefit the community. It was a great idea. So, for the next five years I toyed with the idea. I spoke with Sisters from various houses and tried to learn what being a Sister meant to them.

Five years later and I’m with my current partner who just happened to be a founding member of the Cincinnati Sisters. He encouraged me to join. To this day, I’m not sure there’s a moment in which I said “yes let’s do this,’ but rather he said “you have to come to this meeting on Wednesday and become an aspirant.” Initially I resisted “oh no, wait. I’m not ready for this yet..” blah blah blah enter the non-committal commentary. Finally, I decided that it was right in front of me and it was going to be now or never. When that “Now or Never” concept was in front of me I imagined my life further down the road and me having not become a Sister. Then I saw myself being so mad. So I committed.

I’m very glad I did. This has been a wonderful experience where I have been able to see people do beautiful things as well as be a part of someone else’s beautiful experience. I’m proud to be a Sister and look forward to future Sister life as I continue down this road.