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Colleen Boken interviewed by Clara Redmond
February 18, 2020
A 2019 graduate of Whitman, Colleen Boken was a History and Art History double major. She grew up near Pasadena, California. At Whitman, she had a busy academic life as well as being involved in sorority Theta, Peer Listeners, Tabletop Board Games Club, and the LGBTQ+ student group PRISM. She worked at the Sheehan Gallery, Reid Center and also won the David Nord Award in 2019. After graduation, she worked in an Americorp position for a year. At the time of the interview, she was planning to start a graduate program at the University of Washington in the fall of 2020.
In this interview, Colleen Boken ‘19 talks about her journey toward accepting her identity as a trans woman and her unexpected decision to come out while at Whitman. She discusses her relationships with people from all across Whitman and the support that she got as a student, and how she hopes that she’s paid that support forward to younger students. Specifically, Boken explains how she did a Voices of Whitman speech in her senior year about her mental health struggles and how her friends and the community reacted. She comments on the occasional harassment she faced in Walla Walla but how she felt safe and comfortable on campus, which was a big reason she chose to come to Whitman. Boken briefly covers the activities she was involved in, including several clubs and a sorority. She also talks about the art exhibit that she put together thanks to the David Nord Award.
1 digital audio recording: 01:13:04
Whitman College and Northwest Archives, Whitman College LGBTQ+ Oral History Project Recordings and Transcripts, WCA159
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