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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 10 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 32
Sister Boom Boom becomes a 'Nun of the Above'
Section One
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Sister Boom Boom becomes a 'Nun of the Above'

On August 5, 2012, at 9:30 p.m., Jack Fertig, aka Sister Boom Boom, age 57, died of liver cancer in the loving presence of his partner, Elias Trevino. His weekly astrological column, 'Q Scopes,' distributed by Q Syndicate, has run in SGN for several years.

As Sister Boom Boom of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence of San Francisco, Fertig was an early AIDS and Queer rights activist. In 1982, Boom Boom nearly won a seat on the city Board of Supervisors, receiving 23,124 votes. A year later, she ran for mayor against incumbent Dianne Feinstein. Subsequently, San Francisco passed a law requiring candidates to use their legal names on the ballot. This is often referred to as the 'Sister Boom Boom Law.'

Due to internal disputes, Fertig broke with the Sisters in 1985. He became a leading astrologer, teaching classes and giving personal and business consultations as well as writing for numerous publications, including the San Francisco Bay Times and the San Francisco Spectrum. Fertig was a member of the San Francisco Astrological Society steering committee and the International Society for Astrological Research, among other professional groups. His principal interest was in outer planet motions and their correlations to social and historical changes.

Fertig was also an avid organizer in the leather and recovery 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 reconciled with the Sisters in 2009 and, in what would be her last public appearance in habit, spoke on a 'Sister Spirituality' panel for San Francisco's Gay Buddhist Fellowship.

Said the Sisters on their website, 'Sister Boom Boom XXX, legendary change-maker and hot ginger, joins our Nuns of the Above. We honor the amazing Queer power that manifested as Sister Boom Boom and we will ensure our Sister's legacy is not forgotten. A public memorial is being planned by the Sisters and will be announced soon. In lieu of gifts or flowers, please donate to Grateful Dogs Rescue or LYRIC for LGBTQ Youth.'

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