Many people believe Jesus died for their sins, but in San Francisco, a bunch of Jesuses dye their beards for our amusement.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the worldwide troupe of nondenominational drag nuns founded in San Francisco in 1979, has announced that their Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary contests will once again return to Dolores Park, along with the annual Easter Bonnet contest that’s open to everyone.
It’s all happening on Sunday, April 9, with costumed competitors clamoring to see who most closely resembles the Lord and his mom. Irreverent, yes, but always in keeping with the Sisters’ values of inclusivity, philanthropy and public health.
As these divine look-alike contests take place in public during the afternoon, they’re typically PG-13 in nature—minus some occasionally raunchy wordplay. But this year, likely given the growing prevalence of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation nationwide, the Sisters are taking extra pains to separate the more family-friendly component from the adult-oriented segments.
“The day will begin at 10 a.m. with Children’s Easter featuring a special appearance by the Easter bunny, an Easter egg hunt and story time,” the release said. “The show becomes more adult oriented as the day progresses. While nudity and profanity are prohibited, some parents may find the content objectionable for children under 16 years of age.”
The theme for 2023 is “Peep Show,” which runs the gamut from microwaveable marshmallow confections to an homage to San Francisco’s historic strip clubs. RuPaul’s Drag Race competitor Honey Mahogany hosts a variety show starting at noon on the main stage with well-known drag and drag-adjacent performers like Connie Champagne, Polesexual and Kitten on the Keys, as well as the current incarnation of that other famous San Francisco theatrical-drag troupe, The Cockettes.
Hunky Jesus winners are often bearded men with shoulder-length brown hair and well-developed torsos, but a bit of social commentary can go a long way. In 2018, a flag-bedecked “Puerto Rican Jesus” won by lobbing paper towel rolls into the crowd, as former President Donald Trump had done after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island.
📍 Dolores Park
🗓️ Sunday, April 9
⏰ Children’s Easter, 10 a.m. | Easter Celebration, noon | Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary contests, 3 p.m.
Astrid Kane can be reached at [email protected]