Sister Sparkle and the Queer Nuns of the Redwood Forest
A remote former logging town wasn’t the likeliest place for a community of fearless drag queens and gay rights activists...until it was.
Text by Drew Denny
“Thirty years ago, I wouldn’t be allowed in this building,” says Sister Sparkle Plenty, an out, gay drag queen, who wears a basic tank top and jeans as she delivers four plastic grocery bags stuffed with backpacks, binders, paper and crayons to Guerneville Elementary School. Sister Sparkle, who asked to be identified by only her drag name in this article, has filled her Honda Civic full of school supplies twenty-seven times to deliver them to local elementary students — all donations gathered by the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a band of queer nuns who live in Guerneville, a town with a population of 4,534 located on the Russian River, seventy-five miles north of San Francisco.