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Join Us

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."
--Mr. Rogers

So you want to join the Sisters, taking on a 40-year legacy and doing The Good Work while looking fabulous at it? We can always use more bodies! But there's more to being a Sister than makeup, glitter, and thrift store dresses; that's just what the public sees. Backstage, there are boring business meetings, book-balancing, paperwork to file, building ties with other organizations, getting caught in the middle of conflicting factions within the local LGBT community, etc. And of course, there's also the ever-present battle between one's personal life and Sister activities. Will you have time to make it to manifests and monthly meetings? Would you be open about your Sistering activity, or will you have to keep your new hobby a secret from your friends, family, and/or employer?

Taking the veil is not a decision made lightly, not for conventional nuns nor is it for us. But the joy we feel as we spread joy to others and serve our community is...wonderful. Raising money and handing a stack of dollar bills to charity organizations, turning heads when we make an appearance at an event, taking pictures with admirers and their children, talking to folks about their lives and what it means to them to break free of stigmatic guilt, setting an example for young people who may be struggling with their sexuality or gender identity, etc. All these things make the drama worth it. Fundraising, advocacy, and visibility are the three main facets of the Mission. Many members find themselves with an affinity for one over the others, and that's alright too.

The Sisters are open to any adult over the age of 18 regardless of religion (you don't have to be Christian or religious at all to join), race, gender identity ("Transistors" are fully welcome), sexual orientation, or disability. What's more important than your background is your ability to work well with others. Conflict is inevitable in any organization, but it's important that we're still able to function as a group. All members must be willing and able to mesh with the Order and contribute to the group dynamic, not detract from it.

How To Serve

Every city handles new members differently. For the Steel City Sisters, the process of going from Joe Random to Mission Sister takes about a year. During that time, you'll go through four levels: Aspirant, Postulant, Novice, then finally Mission Sister. Before we get into those steps, now is a good time to think about how you would like to present yourself. Understandably, not everyone wants to dress in female drag and that's fine. There are male/non-binary options for those who wish to present that way, and you won't be locked into a single role forever. Members are allowed--encouraged, even--to try on different faces from time to time, and many members have different names and personas depending on whether they're presenting as a Sister, Brother, or Guard.

Membership

The first step toward joining the Sisters is to get in touch with us and say you want to join, either by email or attending a Meat-n-Greet. Our public meetings are the third Sunday of every month, though the location varies. For more information on where we're meeting, you can email us here. Once you get in touch with us, our Mistress of Novices will speak to you about our organization, give you our contact information, and invite you to our next manifestation. Mind you, a lot of people encounter us at bars and drunkenly say they want to join, then we never see them again. It is your job to put words to action and meet up with us at our next event, at which point you will officially be considered an Aspirant. The four ranks are explained below. Where "Sister" is mentioned, it can be replaced with Brother or Guard as necessary. ​

Level 0: Aspirant

If we compared Sister ranks to Pokemon evolutions, then the Aspirant would be an egg. At this level, you are not a member of the group and you have no voting rights or capacity to speak for the Sisters. You cannot wear whiteface or headwear, save for a lipstick A on your face. Your job at this point is to observe the ins and outs of Sistering, and perhaps be a dear and carry things. Our job is to get to know you as a person and learn your background and personal skills. At this level you're free to back away at any time with no hard feelings if you decide this isn't for you. In order to elevate to Postulant, you must attend at least three general meetings (usually one per month) and three manifestations (though you may attend as many as you're able), choose a Mission Sister to act as your mentor, and decide on a name. At your third Meat-n-Greet, an elevation ceremony will commence where your mentor will present you with a white veil, and you will take your first vows.

Level 1: Postulant

Just as a Pokemon egg hatches into...let's say Charmander, the Postulant stage is where you begin to look like a Sister, albeit a nascent one. You may dress in costume, but your makeup is limited to basic whiteface. A single color is allowed over your eyes, but your lips must be either white or unpainted. This sympolizes the fact that your role is still to watch rather than speak for the Sisters, and also it lets you practice applying makeup and experiment with your look. Your mentor will help you construct a basic wimple worn with the white veil you were given that will serve as the base of your cornette when you elevate further (if you take on the Guard/Brother role, you will be given a comparable look denoting your station). At this level you're not expected to attend the separate business meetings yet, and you can only go somewhere in Face if your mentor or another Mission Sister is present, and we prefer that you let them do the talking if someone asks about the Sisters. In order to elevate to Novice, you must once again attend three meetings and manifestations, and also choose a Patron Saint (a pop culture or some other public figure that serves as an inspiration for your look and deeds) and pen a brief essay explaining why you want to be a Sister and what you would bring to the organization. At your third meeting, you will present both, and at the next busines meeting, the Mission Sisters will vote on whether or not you should be allowed to advance further. The vote must be unanimous, but in the off-chance that it isn't, they will explain what you need to work on in order to elevate.

Level 2: Novice

Once you reach your Novice elevation, you will be allowed to wear lipstick and multiple colors with your whiteface, and you'll be presented with the official Three Sisters cornette (sooner or later), though you'll still be limited to a white veil. As the Charmeleon stage of your journey, you'll be given more freedoms and responsibilities, though a few restrictions remain. You're now expected to attend business meetings which are held in the afternoon before Meat-n-Greets and vote on important matters, but not on the elevation of Postulants or other Novices. You may manifest with Novices, but not with Postulants or Aspirants without a Mission Sister present. You must attend at least six business meetings and manifests. The most important partof this stage is the Novice Project, where you will use your charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to plan an event or some other initiative that benefits the Sisters. This may sound like a daunting task, but you'll have plenty of help on hand and at least six months to pull it off. Once all requirements are met, you'll petition for elevation to Mission Sister and the others will once again vote on your advancement, and then... ​

Level 3: Mission Sister

The final elevation! All previous restrictions on how you present yourself are lifted, and as Charizard you can now fully spread your wings. You may wear any color veil or makeup, and vote on all matters in business meetings. But these rights come with responsibilities. This includes but is not limited to helping plan events, building and maintaining ties with other organizations, and/or guiding Sisters of lower ranks as they move up. You may be called upon to take on a new member as your Little, and lower-ranking members may look to you for your best judgement. Even at this stage, however, it is preferred that you not manifest alone without prior discussion and approval from the group. The biggest concern is safety, but there is also the issue of social appearance. One Sister alone is just some weirdo in nun drag, but two or more weirdos in nun drag are part of a larger movement and are more likely to arouse interest. At this stage you will be on par with fabulous Sisters all over the world.