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BONUS: Exploring Celebration with Sister Unity

episodes show notes Aug 21, 2020

She is hilarious. She is irreverent. She is devastating in her academic acumen and her theatrical talent.

And, although we may be laughing, her messages are packed with wisdom and insights many listeners will find life-affirming.

While we pause our regular episodes and prepare a spectacular Season 2 of the GerleMen Podcast, we’d like you to enjoy some short, bonus episodes, co-hosted by my dear friend and rambunctious orange Nun, Sister Unity of the Los Angeles House of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

So enjoy the show my friends! We’ve packed all this awesomeness into some very short clips.

Mentioned in this episode:

Sister Unity (Listen to The Queer Hero's Journey with Sister Unity episode)

Sister Unity on Social Media:

Dr. Frankie (Listen to Intuition is Everything with Dr. Frankie Bashan episode)

Dr. Frankie on Social Media:


Episode full transcript:

Mike Gerle  0:00 
Hello GerleMen listeners, while we pause our regular episodes and prepare a spectacular Season Two of the GerleMen podcast we'd like you to enjoy some short bonus episodes co-hosted by my dear friend and rambunctious orange nun, Sister Unity, the Sister Unity of the Los Angeles House of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence that we had in Episode One. She's hilarious and she's irreverent, but she's also devastating in her academic act. And our theater talent is brilliant. You'll hear the joy we have in the laughter while we're digging into these ideas, but our messages are packed with wisdom and insights many GerleMen will find life-affirming. So enjoy the show my friends and pay attention. Remember, you can find us anywhere podcasts can be found from iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, wherever you find us, please hit that subscribe button, sign up to our newsletter and our website at that's It's a place to see some of our video outtakes from each episode, or contact us on Facebook again just search for GerleMen. And if you're feeling old school, send me an email at [email protected], enjoy the show. What comes to you when when we use the word celebration? What do you think internally is happening when we when a person's celebrating who they are? Their authenticity.

Sister Unity  1:29 
It's a pretty broad question because the first thing in my mind I'm asking myself is, Is Mike talking about inside or outside celebrations? Is he talking about a psychic process? Or is he talking about the physical manifestations of actual... You know.

Mike Gerle  1:44 
Awesome. I am talking about this psychic process. How does that feel? How can you describe it? It's so funny. It sounds like such a common word right?

Sister Unity  1:52 
Celebrating yourself inside is completely different for many, many people, and it depends a lot on background, personal history, family history and context. Someone who grew up in an evangelical household that reviled weakness in the forms of femininity, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, etc, anything seen as weak, which is really what's at the root of all of these isms and phobias by people who hate and people who other, that person growing up, they're recognizing who they are, and making a choice to honor that, which is, I think what you're talking about when you celebrate it? Well, I think there's a difference between honoring and respecting it and then purposefully triggering the sensation of joy around it. That to me is a celebration. So let's say that that's the baseline function for celebrating yourself purposefully triggering inner experiences of joy and pleasure and delight around your discovered self identity. So how that manifests itself, even inside does vary, I think, by context. So we have the person who grew up in the restrictive evangelical, homophobic household, there's is going to have a certain feeling maybe I didn't grow up that way so I'm guessing, but I could imagine it being like a tension between what they've grown up and know they're supposed to do, and what they decide to respect in themselves, and now choose to celebrate. So there may be tension, or there may be a kind of tension and release champagne cork popping, where they've gone through all of this restriction, they see themselves, they respect themselves, and then they start to celebrate that they start to apply joy to it, or find joy from it, and they go out of all of the restriction and tensions. So those are different shapes or different experiences inside that are governed by context. The one I know best is the one that happened to me, which was, you know, let me think about that way. When did I start Celebrate myself inside versus when did I like see myself, respect myself and honor myself. Here are two small ways in which I celebrated. The first time I came out, sorry, my lip glitter. So I first came out to myself at a summer stock theatre at the Hampton Playhouse, Hampton beach, New Hampshire in 1978, or nine, I think, and a group of us were sitting in, we all stayed in these sort of dorm rooms. It was really an old hotel, they'd made over to house the teenagers in this summer stock program. And we're all sitting sort of rapping, not rapping music, like what rapping meant in the 70s talking. And Scott was going on about what he learned about the Holocaust. And David was going on about musicals, and somewhere in me something just were like, and I was like, "You guys, I think I'm gay". And they're like, "Oh!", I was just like it was respected, but it wasn't. You know, it didn't move the world. They didn't bring out a cake and balloons. But in me, there was a celebration going on that was unconsumed by any purposeful thought. I all of a sudden felt pleasant and light and content and happy. So now that I say this, I realized there is a kind of celebration that happens when you have free and clear space, when you're not like coming out to yourself and all of a sudden guilt or your parents are, you know, jumping all over you for it. There is a natural celebration. And a lot of people even the ones who came through very harsh circumstances and coming up, thrown out of their home etc, or wrestling with their own guilt. People who came out in their 70s or in their 50s have also noted that when they came out, it was like weight lifting. So I think that there is a natural propensity towards celebration towards what we would recognize as celebratory feelings by the weight being removed, the ownness, the guilt the pressure of...

Mike Gerle  2:50 
Yeah, like what you said it seemed like pleasant and light and content and happy, those are all shedding or revealing states have been the core is coming through.

Sister Unity  6:15 
I do think that it clears junk out of the pathway between the conscious mind and the bright core of the soul, Atman, divine weasel, whatever is inside. Oh, there's a weasel ended in meditation. Its name is Stanley.

Mike Gerle  6:34 
I did interview a lesbian. Her name is Dr. Frankie. She sets up she's a matchmaker. She had an amazing episode talking about having to know who you are first, before trying to go out and find your match.

Sister Unity  6:49 
No wonder I'm single. I have the vaguest idea.

Mike Gerle  6:53 
But it seems like you know celebration seems like it might be a step in celebrating ourselves for who we are having that feeling of matter core, who we are, might actually have us end up getting together. Or at least according to Dr. Frankie.

Sister Unity  7:07 
Well, Lord only knows, there are so many things that go into, you know, whether your pair or don't pair everything from luck to, you know your own inner unconscious choices. We've now got two conversations about celebrating your inner self. There's the purposeful one, in which you apply joy to your feelings of yourself in which you say, Okay, I'm gay. And I'm going to now purposefully make positive thoughts around that. I'm going to congratulate myself for it. I'm going to look at it and love it and think how wonderfully of it and then there's the one I was just describing, that sort of comes very naturally, hopefully very naturally when you clear the clutter out of the way between your conscious mind and what's going on deep inside.

Mike Gerle  7:51 
Well, I think that's great.

Mike Gerle  7:53 
Hope you enjoyed this bonus episode of The GerleMen podcast. I want to thank sister unity for her magic, her wisdom and most of all for her huge open heart. We started this podcast with a promise that we deliver heart-centered connection, both Sister Unity and I want you to feel the love that we have for ourselves for each other and for you are queer and dear family. We are all one. We are all connected and we'll see you next time.


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