Betty Devine

An Afternoon of Drag Bingo

The scene is typical for a senior apartment community. Who doesn’t love a game of Bingo?

Seniors at Eleanor Apartments gathered for a fun afternoon playing one of the most popular games in the world. Gathered around tables, neighbors share light refreshments, laughs, and greetings as new participants walk through the door. But this was not just any traditional game of Bingo – it was Drag Bingo. Led by a special guest, LGBTQ+ Bellingham community leader, and popular drag performer, Betty Desire was the surprise Bingo caller for the day.

Over the next couple of hours, BINGO was yelled, and every card was double-checked. Winners didn’t go home empty-handed, as prizes donated by local businesses were handed out.

seniors playing bingo

Matt Endrizzi, whose drag persona is Betty Desire, has lived in Bellingham all his life. In all that time, he has seen significant change. “Bellingham hasn’t always been the most progressive community. It took the work of countless advocates to arrive here. Now, I believe Bellingham has embraced this community.” Matt said.

Twenty-two years ago, Betty began the work of creating a city-wide Pride event. “I want to make sure all members of our community can share in the experience of Pride, which brings me here.” Sure, it is a few games of Bingo, but it is also an opportunity to learn from each other, connect, and embrace the diversity that makes Bellingham unique.

We strive to build community among neighbors who call Mercy Housing home. Betty stands among a large crowd of performers, musicians, singers, speakers, and community members who are invited to Mercy Housing Northwest communities on an annual basis.