Well known Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence member, one-time San Francisco mayoral candidate, and early AIDS activist Jack “Sister Boom Boom” Fertig passed away Sunday night at age of 57. The Sisters send us this remembrance:On August 5, 2012 at 9:30 PM, Sister Boom Boom aka Jack Fertig succumbed to liver cancer in the loving presence of his partner Elias Trevino and dogs, Chloe and Perry. Jack was also known to many as teacher, astrologer, artist, and a devout and faithful scholar of Islam. Sister Boom Boom was a key Queer pioneer who took Queer Consciousness to the mainstream. In 1982, Sister Boom Boom nearly won a Board of Supervisors seat by running a uniquely San Francisco campaign of radical politics and nun drag. She won 23,124 votes with her occupation listed as “Nun of the Above.”
A year later, Boom Boom ran for the 1983 mayoral race against incumbent Dianne Feinstein and, as a result, San Francisco passed a law that requires candidates to only use their legal names on the ballot. This law is often referred to as the “Sister Boom Boom” law. Due to internal disputes, Jack Fertig broke from the Sisters in 1985. Jack Fertig went on to pursue his Divine calling and became an award-winning astrologer and respected Queer Muslim activist. He was also an avid organizer in the leather and sober communities. Cleve Jones, AIDS activist and creator of the NAMES Project AIDS Quilt remembers Sister Boom Boom as a “dear friend” and a “fierce advocate for the poor and immigrant communities.”
Fertig eventually reconciled with the Sisters, who will announce a public memorial for Sister Boom Boom shortly.