Below is the text of the advert placed by the last Living Rules of the Toronto Irder announcing their decision to cease operations. The ad refers to a plebiscite; a request for feedback from our community on our failures, successes, impact and drawbacks that was issued earlier that year. Note that line spacing has been preserved only for headlines and bolded text.
The Sisters of
(the ad included a b/w copy of a
formal portrait of the last 5
Living Rules in this space.
The image was taken at a previous GCDC
[Gay Community Dance Committee] event)
The Sisters are very proud of their accomplishments and feel that needs still exist within our community. However, it seems as if our message has been overshadowed by our appearance. Our image has blinded many to the work we were doing.
What were the Sisters
Do you think the Sisters
“Whenever you appear, you seem to be whittling away at some cause or task that needs and deserves to be done” –G.F.
“You have been a welcome and important part of what it is to be gay in Toronto.” –J.C.
“Most important is your work on gender-fucking… it challenges in undeniable terms the root of our oppression.” –F.L.
“You were around to lighten spritis and promote having a good time.” –M.D.
“You created confidence, humour and even hope by your presence.” –J.B.
“Good solid challenges to our thinking but served on a platter of fun and puff pastry” –An appreciative friend
“The use of condoms was presented in an amusing and shameless fashion and if I stay free of AIDS, I have you Sisters to thank.” –C.K.G.
How did the plebiscite figure
in our decision?
While most responses were very positive and affirmed the work the Sisters were doing, we were challenged by some of the ideas and comments contained in the letters. One writer observed: “I am aware the onlookers respond only at their own level of awareness.” This zeroed in on the main problem– “How people were perceiving us.” Whether or not any single perception coincides with the image we were attempting to project is irrelevant! The fact that the perception exists validates itself. We now recognize that just by “being nuns” we are preventing the fulfillment of our goals. Therefore, it would defeat the purpose to continue.
Where do we go from here?
What about the monies raised
We Sisters felt that we made a difference by our presence here. We are very proud of the contributions we have made to the community. We want to express our sincere gratitude for all of the love and support you have shown us in the past. Carol Burnett has a most eloquent way of saying goodbye.
We’re so glad we had this
An on-line archive has digitized copies of many issues of The Body Politic, including the one in which the above notice appeared, page 37 of issue #132.
(Sister Admin’s Mother** Board expired; the archaic scanner is not compatible with the new computer system. Until such time as funds appear to procure a replacement, newly-arrived historical artifacts will be transcribed so that important content is available, although at a much slower pace than desired.)