I initially started writing this yesterday and it was completely different. I was writing you yesterday to thank you for truly making a difference by standing up and making a statement that “ALL are welcome here”; that hate has no home here in Howell; and that LOVE and openness will always win.
The small-minded town that once was is growing, changing, and emerging as a more positive and inclusive community. I was so overwhelmed with happiness to know that the older generations, who still discriminate and hold on to the hate of the past, are not able to bully that energy into our future. Drag bingo is a small start to our evolving and growing community.
I’m disheartened to learn that there is even a remote possibility that this game/show could get canceled or moved, due to those same bullies. It is embarrassing that this is 2021, and rather than accepting one another and building our community HIGHER and BRIGHTER, we are stomping our feet about BINGO! An entertaining night out, where you have to be 21+ to attend, where people dance and sing — at 9:30 p.m. — THIS is where we want to hang our hats? I do not care if you think God said this or said that: THIS ISN’T YOUR CHURCH! No one is pushing anything on anyone; drag is not a religion, and thus your god has nothing to do with it. This is OUR city and OUR community and frankly OUR future. I’m so sick of the trashy reputation Howell has. It is our time to change folks! We need to change, our dirty little reputation needs to get cleaned up and we have to start making steps to be better. This is just another stain on our already tainted image.
I honestly thought we were making big steps, I thought, “WOW! Go Howell!!! Finally!” Nope. Nope!
Politics and hate are still able to dictate and bully people to cower in fear rather than stand up for others and be proud. Can you imagine being SCARED to go somewhere because of who you love? Or for the color of your skin? Or the clothes you wear? Can you imagine a TOWN having such a reputation to make people think twice about their safety coming here? Or IMAGINE LIVING HERE: I have friends who won’t go to grocery stores alone out of fear, neighbors who were/are scared to talk to other neighbors, and entertainers who won’t come to our events out of fear. It breaks my heart. My empathy truly extends to all, but I can’t keep sitting by and watching so many live in such a selfish hateful bubble. You can’t call this OUR community event or OUR City if it doesn’t include EVERYONE!
We owe it to our friends, neighbors, and this CITY to be BETTER! To do BETTER! I want to be better and I want better for my family and upcoming generations. I plan to do whatever it takes to start changing our dirty reputation and making this town inclusive of everyone and I hope you all want to help make those changes too!
The event is sold out. There is a long waiting list. Does that not tell each and every one of you something? Our CITY wants this! We want to start a new reputation, we want change, and we are READY to stand up to the past and to move forward.
Don’t let the hate win. The future generations are watching… lets show them how to love thy neighbor!
Holly Natzke, Howell
An empathetic ally for all