Sequoia High School graduating senior Liam Taylor hopes to be an underwater welder. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Sequoia High School graduating senior Liam Taylor hopes to be an underwater welder. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

This future welder who likes sharks is thinking deep

Liam Taylor, a Sequoia High School graduating senior, wants to be an underwater welder.

EVERETT — Liam Taylor, 19, finished his graduation requirements last week at Sequoia High School. He was a Rotary Club of Everett student of the month in January. He plans to attend Everett Community College in the fall to study welding. He wants to be an underwater welder.

Question: Why underwater welding?

Answer: It started out as just welding. I am kind of artistic in the sense that I like to mash things together. I like fire and I like melting things and bending them and sticking them together. Somebody said, “So you like sharks and you want to be welder. Have you ever considered underwater welding?” And I was like, That’s a thing?

If I can do welding and be underwater where there are sharks, that would be like living the dream. I’m not the greatest swimmer, so I have to work myself up to it. I am not afraid of sharks.

Q. What are you afraid of?

A. Abandonment. I’ve never had somebody stick in my life for long periods of time, except for my friends now and my mom and my little brother.

Q. Why did you choose Sequoia?

A. I used to go to Everett High and I had really, really bad grades and attendance and I didn’t have a great support system. I started falling really behind and not showing up for school. I was so unmotivated and down. Then I started going here and everything pieced together and my grades got better. I wouldn’t be where I am without being here. I am going to be successful.

Q. Favorite classes?

A. My history teacher Erin Hawkinson taught me interesting things I wouldn’t even think to think about. I would sit there mind-blown for the rest of the day. Bona Park has helped me because I didn’t understand math until I had taken a math class with her. She actually got me to the point to where I enjoy doing math.

Q. What do you do at Grocery Outlet?

A. Courtesy, which is bagging and getting the carts. I go around fixing aisles when there’s nothing to do.

I used to be a server and I had a lot of anxiety. I used to talk quietly because I was awkward and shy.

At the Grocery Outlet I made friends. I socialize a lot more. They worked me up to that.

Q. What do you do for fun?

A. I really like skateboarding. I like hanging out with my friends and going to parks and looking at nature and swinging. I have a lot of energy. There’s a hill that’s really fun to go skateboarding down. It’s very scary but it’s also very fun.

Q. Ever broken anything?

A. I haven’t, but I have some pretty insane scars.

Q. What is the best thing that ever happened to you?

A. Coming to Washington. I’m from Kansas. I was 12. My mom got a job here.

Q. Who is your hero?

A. Lil Peep (rapper who died in 2017). His music is about his struggles with depression and the things he’s going through. He breaks gender rules.

Q. What are three things in your refrigerator?

A. Cake. Salad. Mustard.

Q. What do you want people to know about you?

A. Being trans. I had a problem with my identity for a long time. When I was younger I used to be like, Oh, I’m a tomboy. It didn’t feel right, but I was young so I didn’t understand. I would research all the time, obsessively looking up things about being transgender. Questioning myself: Am I really trans? Or is this a phase? What is this?

I originally identified as non-binary. I didn’t want to jump right to conclusions that I was male. I wanted to come out, but a lot of my friends at that time had shown signs of not being supportive. I cut those people out of my life because they weren’t good for me. I came out and immediately had lots of support and people who wanted me to be happy.

For a while, my mom was iffy about it because she wanted to make sure I was actually who I thought I was. Once I turned 18 she said, “OK, I believe that this is who you are.” She has always supported me. She just wanted me to be sure. My mom got me on hormones about five months ago. And now I am as happy as I can be. I’m growing chin hair now, I have a little mustache and my voice is deeper.

Q. What would you say to other people?

A. Follow your gut feeling. Not to give up even if people tell you that you’re wrong. And to always love their self.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

Dave Calhoun speaks during a 2017 interview in New York. (Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg)
Lawmakers to confront Boeing CEO on mounting quality and safety issues

Before the Tuesday hearing, a congressional subcommittee accused Boeing of mismanaging parts and cutting quality inspections.

School board members listen to public comment during a Marysville School Board meeting on Monday, June 3, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. Rinehardt is seated third from left. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Marysville school board president resigns amid turmoil

Wade Rinehardt’s resignation, announced at Monday’s school board meeting, continues a string of tumultuous news in the district.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

A BNSF train crosses Grove St/72nd St, NE in Marysville, Washington on March 17, 2022. Marysville recently got funding for design work for an overcrossing at the intersection. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
BNSF owes nearly $400M to Washington tribe, judge rules

A federal judge ruled last year that the railroad trespassed as it sent trains carrying crude oil through the Swinomish Reservation.

Everett Housing Authority is asking for city approval for its proposed development of 16 acres of land currently occupied by the vacant Baker Heights public housing development on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett inches closer to Park District affordable housing plan

Building heights — originally proposed at 15 stories tall — could be locked in with council approval in July.

Mountlake Terrace maintenance crew Ty Burns begins demolishing “the bunkers” on Monday, June 10, 2024 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Eyesore no more: After decades, Mountlake Terrace bunkers bite the dust

The bunkers held a storehouse of history, much of it moldy, outdated and unwanted.

The intersection of Larch Way, Logan Road and Locust Way on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 in Alderwood Manor, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Roundabout project to shut down major Bothell intersection for months

The $4.5 million project will rebuild the four-way stop at Larch and Locust ways. The detour will stretch for miles.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.