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'Hamster Church, featuring Betty Desire!

Each month Echoes hosts a monthly gathering in which we invite a member from the larger Bellingham community to share about their life - why are they here? what are they doing to make life better here in the ‘ham? how can we learn from them?

In May our dialogue partner is Bellingham’s iconic drag personality, Betty Desire!

Betty has been performing and creating community in Bellingham for well over two decades. In a 2013 poll by KOMOBellingham, Betty was overwhelmingly nominated as “Bellingham’s Most Fascinating Person.” In an article in Cascadia Weekly, Betty’s creator, Matt Endrizi, “says he grew up wanting to be a pastor and graduated from Western Bible College in Clayburn, British Columbia. Somewhere along the line, Matt became Bellingham’s most iconic drag queen instead. And although her plans changed, Betty says she eventually realized she didn’t need to be in a church to have a congregation because her performances allowed her to connect with individuals in a way that hadn’t been possible before. 

“I wasn’t off track thinking that I should go into pastoral work,” Betty says. “What I didn’t realize at the time was that my pastoral work was my daily life. Every time I do a Betty show I want to leave the audience uplifted in some way—just like a pastor would. I really feel like my job is to do everything I can to spread joy and compassion because I believe we all need that. Especially right now.”

In this conversation you’ll get to know this joyful, compassionate figure who had generated a mountain of good in Bellingham. Betty is authentic, honest, and witty. We think you’ll be moved, delighted, and more motivated to love others.

The GOAL is of ‘Hamster Church to create better networks here in Bellingham. We’ll be recording these sessions in hopes of launching a podcast that seeks to give voice to even more Bellinghamsters, developing a broader web of neighbors who know each other. We live in an amazing place with amazing people - it’s worthwhile to get to know others!

Snacks: feel free to bring some. Abundant snacks for all!

Location: Old Parish Hall @ 2116 Walnut Street, across the street from St Paul’s Episcopal. Many thanks to St Paul’s for the generous use of this space.