RIP: Jack Fertig aka Sister Boom-Boom

August 8, 2012

I was sad to learn that Jack Fertig died Sunday August 5 of liver cancer at age 57. In recent years most engaged in his astrology practice and activism in support of queer Muslims, Jack is most famous as Sister Boom-Boom, one of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence whose public manifestations at political rallies has always been fun, inspired, and inspiring. As Sister Boom-Boom, Jack ran for mayor of San Francisco, and he became a character in Execution of Justice, Emily Mann’s play about the trial of Dan White, who murdered Harvey Milk and George Moscone. (I published the play in my Grove Press anthology Out Front: Contemporary Gay and Lesbian Plays.)

I met Jack in mufti, so to speak, at a head-shaving party in San Francisco in 1992 when I was living in California temporarily. We spent a little time together, and I found him to be a fascinating, complex intellect with a warm dry humor. He had a very straight white-collar job by day, so he had to be able to pull off that form of drag. That meant that all his elaborate tattoos and piercings had to be covered up by work shirt and trousers. He had a gigantic tattoo depicting the astrological chart of the day he got sober — how’s that for commitment to recovery?

2 Responses to “RIP: Jack Fertig aka Sister Boom-Boom”

  1. Steve Says:

    Nice picture of Jack. This is about the time I met him as well and this is how I remember him. Thanks for sharing

  2. David Roman Whatisee4U Says:

    I met Jack in 1980 he lived in my building on California St in San Francisco a wonderful devoted man with a kind heart. Sad to hear that he passed he was a voice of reason at a time when many gay men were confused. Jack understood and worked to educate the gay community on safe sex. RIP Jack you made me smile laugh and educate.


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