What names mean to transgender and nonbinary people, and the impact of chosen names.

Story By Jax Kiel

Early in her transition, Sarah Mayes went to a Starbucks kiosk at the mall and ordered an iced coffee, looking for something routine and thoughtless to do.

“[The barista] asked what my name was and I said ‘Sarah,’” Mayes said. “And that was the first time I said my name out loud to a stranger. To someone who wasn’t very intimately connected to me.”

The woman smiled, wrote the name, and a few minutes later the iced coffee cup labeled “Sarah” came…

The lasting impacts of being raised by an alcoholic parent

Story by Anonymous

Illustration by Amanda Kelley

I remember my first drink, a Heineken my roommate bought me on my 21st birthday. I have always been afraid of alcohol, but that night I did not want fear to rule anymore. Yet, as I took my first sip, I wondered if I was making the biggest mistake of my life.

I am what people refer to as an “adult child of an alcoholic”, a fancy term meaning that my dad drank — a ton. I am talking bottles of Jameson Whiskey in less than a…

The storefront of Browsers Bookshop is photographed on June 5, 2021. Photo by Jackson Sweeny

This podcast is a supplement to a story about the history of Browsers, a woman-owned bookshop in downtown Olympia, Washington. Click here to read it!

Podcast by Emily Feek

Browsers Bookshop’s history of overcoming challenges as a small business owned by women.

Story by Emily Feek

Bookseller Zoe Wagner reads a staff pick book in the science fiction section at Browsers Bookshop in Olympia, Wash. Zoe has worked at Browsers since November 2020. Photo by Merrideth McDowell

Browsers, on its surface, is a cozy local bookshop located in downtown Olympia, Washington. The clean logo, signage and eye-catching window displays draw you in, and upon entering, you’ll see the shelf of staff recommendations on your left. At the front of the store, there are tables with tidy stacks of new fiction releases, some accompanied with handwritten staff pick tags.

Quiet instrumental music hums through the speakers, but you’re more likely to notice the chatter between shop owner Andrea Griffith and regular…

Illustration by Julia Vreeman

How putting one foot in front of the other opened endless possibilities.

Story by Nolan Baker | Content warning: anxiety, depression

The final climb of most of my walks around Bellingham, Washington end at the observation tower atop the Sehome Hill Arboretum. Looking west gives you a picturesque view of the city and stretches all the way to Victoria Island and beyond. To the east, you can just see the tip of Mount Baker, peeking out above the hills.

Early mornings in the first few months of the pandemic, I could walk through all of campus, up the observation tower…

Opposition equipment is photographed at a Bells game at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham, Wash. on June 20, 2021. Photo by Jackson Sweeny

After canceling their 2020 season, The Bells return to compete for a West Coast League title.

Story by Jordan Stone

The Bellingham Bells have been playing baseball at Joe Martin Field since 1999. Before that, the Bellingham Mariners occupied the field from 1977 until 1994. Over this time, Bellingham, Washington has seen magnificent baseball talent play in its city.

From Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez, to local stars like Austin Shenton, the people of Bellingham have watched spectacular players take the field. …

Illustration by Julia Vreeman

Point Roberts is a tight-knit community outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, where residents have endured being limited to a few square miles for over 400 days.

Story by Hailee Wickersham

A pene-exclave, pronounced by the International Phonetic Alphabet as pɛniˌɛkskleɪv, can be defined as part of a territory in one country that can only be easily accessed by traveling through the territory of another.

Point Roberts consists of roughly 4.8 square miles of land and is surrounded by the crystal blue waters of the Strait of Georgia and Boundary Bay. The town is dotted with cedar tree forests, sandy beaches…

“A little bit” more from “Sweet as Honey,” with an in-depth look into the lives of two Yiddish speakers in Bellingham.

Photo Essay by Eva Bryner

David Schlitt, Manager of Special Collections at Western Washington University

Illustration by Julia Vreeman

The living history of Yiddish in Bellingham, Washington.

Story by Eva Bryner

It’s a beautiful sunny day and you’re walking through the streets of downtown Bellingham, Washington. As you walk, what do you hear? The lull of the bay, the ever-present seagulls overhead, an occasional train briefly filling the world with sound. You hear people talking, connecting, laughing. What language are they speaking? Maybe English, Spanish or Russian.

Floating through the breeze by David Schlitt’s home, you’d hear Yiddish.

Yiddish uses the Hebrew Alef-Beys (alphabet) and is most commonly spoken in the U.S. among East Coast Hasidic communities. While Yiddish…

Illustration by Julia Vreeman

What the Lesbian Masterdoc taught me about myself.

Story by Sophia Beach

M y friend Isabel was driving her gray 2002 Toyota Corolla on the Alaskan Way Viaduct while I sat and watched the columns fly by from the passenger seat. It was the middle of my senior year in high school, following a breakup from my first serious boyfriend.

Isabel had been out for years prior, and I knew she was the right person to tell.

“I think I might be gay,” I said, drowning in doubt and sinking deeper in my seat. I told her I was uncomfortable…

Klipsun Magazine

Klipsun is an award-winning student magazine of Western Washington University

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store