The Lumberjack student newspaper
Photo by Andres Felix Romero | Sister Gaia T of the Revolting Earth (right), Sister Nova Aggra (center), and Sister Fawn D'Amen (left) pray during the Day of Non-Judgement.

Canceled Ferndale drag show spurs protest


by Andres Felix Romero

Queer activists known as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence hosted an action they called a ‘Day of Non-Judgement’ outside the city hall in Ferndale, CA on Jan. 22 in response to the recent cancellation of a drag show fundraiser. The show was canceled by the venue ownerswho were concerned about extremist violence following anti-LGBT signage outside of a local church. The church has a history of using its signs to spread anti-LGBT hate. 

The Day of Non-Judgement consisted of sermons, testimonies, and speeches in support of the Humboldt queer community from event goers such as local clergy, parents of queer youth, and Cal Poly Humboldt students and staff. Cal Poly Humboldt professor of psychology Benjamin Graham spoke in remembrance of Camile Nauta, a Humboldt student who recently passed away and was involved in the queer community. Graham also spoke on the significance of having the Day of Non-Judgement in Ferndale.

“It’s a great opportunity for the community to come together and wash over the hate and fear that too many people live their lives in,” Graham said. 

Other attendees supported the action by holding signs or flags. Phoenix Gomez held a pride-themed California state flag, and said they felt that there was work to be done due to the threats.

“We should be allowed to have our events. We should be able to have them without being interrupted,” said Gomez. “If there’s hate by any form, there’s always going to be work to be done.”

The Sisters’ Eureka order is also known as the Abbey of the Big Red Wood, and includes members such as Mistress of Scriptures (Secretary) Sister Gaia T of the Revolting Earth. 

Sister Gaia T felt action was needed to support the Humboldt queer community.

“The sisters respond to the need of our community. We were told that our community didn’t feel safe in Ferndale,” said Gaia T. “We were told that people wanted something that made them feel welcomed and loved. Part of what the sisters do is the ministry of presence, where just by entering spaces we create safe spaces for everyone around us just by being present.”

The Day of Non-Judgement is an opportunity for the community to come together in a public space and support one another by speaking out against hate, and in support of diversity and acceptance. Sister Mary Magnalaid Me hopes that the action in response to the recent bigotry is an opportunity for change in Humboldt, especially as attitudes vary across the county.

“Humboldt County is a very rural place and each little pocket really has its own flavor and its own local culture,” Magnalaid Me said. “My concerns are that the roots of the watermark of judgment, racism, patriarchy, homophobic, and negative sorts of perspectives, has roots in Ferndale that are in other places in Humboldt and other places in our nation and our world as well. Perhaps they’re visible here. And when things become visible, what we have are opportunities, opportunities to bring the margins together, and opportunities to galvanize people to organize for change.”

This is not the first Day of Non-Judgement the sisters have hosted. Since the Abbey of the Big Red Wood’s debut at Humboldt State University’s 2006 Queer film festival, the sisters have been a part of the local community. They’ve hosted bingos and fundraised for local charities such as Humboldt Domestic Violence Services and Humboldt Breast Health Project, to name a few. 

The canceled event was organized by Lost Coast Pride, and was going to be Roaring 20s themed. Already, plans are in the works for more drag events in the area. Shortly after the Day of Non-Judgement on Jan. 22, Rivera mentioned that a few venues had already offered to be a space for the show.

The Day of Non-Judgement ended with the protestors performing their rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” with some, including Graham, providing instrumentals on their own guitar.

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination