The WNBA veteran has received support from both the league and New York Liberty teammates after their social media announcement.
New York Liberty guard Layshia Clarendon announced on Friday that they underwent top surgery to remove breast tissue earlier this month. Clarendon made their announcement on social media. The Cal-Berkeley graduate wrapped their first season with the Liberty after signing with the team last offseason.
“Itâ€™s hard to put into words the feeling of seeing my chest for the first time free of breasts, seeing my chest the way Iâ€™ve always seen it, and feeling a sense of gender euphoria as opposed to gender â£dysphoria,” Clarendon said in their Instagram post. Iâ€™m usually not scared to share news publicly but the amount of hate, myths & ignorance surrounding Trans and Non-Binary peopleâ€™s existence actually had me debating sharing this joy. I want Trans people to know and see that weâ€™ve always existed & no one can erase us!”
Clarendon’s announcement has received droves of support in the wake of their announcement, including statements from both the Liberty and WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, as well as from teammates like Amanda Zahui B.
“Layshiaâ€™s story is one of inspiration and courage, and as a takeaway from the emotional conversation we shared recently, my hope is that the WNBAâ€™s full support will extend far beyond this league,” Engelbert said on her Instagram story. “We are so proud that Layshia is part of the WNBA and we know that their voice and continued advocacy will not only support and help honor and uplift many other nonbinary and trans people, but also encourage empathy and understanding for the community across all levels of sport.”
“The New York Liberty family is in full support of Layshia Clarendon and their choice to live authentically. The Liberty has been and will continue to be an organization that celebrates the individuality of all people. Layshia is a proud embodiment of our belief that our strength lies in our truth and no one should live constrained by societal boundaries. Layshiaâ€™s journey as a pioneering athlete, along with their activism and advocacy work, is an inspiring call for each of us to honor our humanity above all else.”
Clarendon entered the league as a first-round pick of the Indiana Fever has been at the forefront of the WNBA’s off-the-court endeavors, serving on the WNBA’s Social Justice Council and the vice president of the league’s players association. They earned a career-best 11.5 points per game in the WNBA’s Bradenton bubble last season.
The Liberty, along with the rest of the WNBA, will be permitted to formally sign free agents on February 1.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags