The WNBA’s first transgender and nonbinary player Layshia Clarendon (she/her/they/them/he/him) had top surgery and couldn’t wait to share the news. And their team New York Liberty is equally thrilled to cheer the good news!
Layshia said on an Instagram post last Friday “I had Top Surgery! I’m feeling free & euphoric in my body & want Trans people to know and see that we’ve always existed & no one can erase us!”
On Jan 13th at 10am I hugged my wife in front of my surgery building, walked in and took a deep breath…The day was finally here. The day I got to have Top Surgery!!!!!!!
It’s hard to put into words the feeling of seeing my chest for the first time free of breasts, seeing my chest the way I’ve always seen it, and feeling a sense of gender euphoria as opposed to gender
dysphoria. Sighhhh…freedom… freedom at last.
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I’m usually not scared to share news publicly but the amount of hate, myths & ignorance actually had me debating sharing this joy. I had Top Surgery! I’m feeling free & euphoric in my body & want Trans people to know and see that we’ve always existed & no one can erase us! ?️⚧️✊?❤️ pic.twitter.com/6ERDPoQGwb
— Layshia Clarendon (@Layshiac) January 29, 2021
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) January 29, 2021
Yes, trans people belong in sports. Yes, I belong in sports. Can we please stop asking if peoples existence is valid cause that’s what you’re doing by debating if we “belong” or not.
— Layshia Clarendon (@Layshiac) January 28, 2021
“We must ask ourselves the critical question: Why are trans girls and women being targeted the most?” Read @WNBA star @Layshiac‘s op-ed on why the scrutiny of women’s bodies is the real threat to women’s sports—not the presence of trans women and girls.https://t.co/E1gE6ztlu7
— Marie Claire (@marieclaire) February 5, 2021
Layshia Clarendon’s article “Yes, Trans People Belong in Sports” on Marie claire reads in part–
“Glennon Doyle has a quote in her book “Untamed” that reads, “We are mugs filled to the brim, and we keep getting bumped. If we are filled with coffee, coffee will spill out. If we are filled with tea, tea will spill out. Getting bumped is inevitable. If we want to change what spills out of us, we have to work to change what’s inside us.”
“This past year has been one of perpetual bumps, showing us all just how much work we have to do to change what spills out. We have witnessed kneeling during the anthem in sports become the norm, corporations co-opting Black Lives Matter as a badge of honor, droves of people in the streets protesting for dignity and life, and police budgets reduced in major cities like Los Angeles. Things that would have been inconceivable just a short time ago. But as we have started to collectively understand, we can’t expect to arrive at our destination and kick up our feet—we must continue to keep our foot on the gas.”
“As someone who lives at the intersection of many identities, I have grown accustomed to having to put aside one piece of myself to fight for another. I have stood at center court and fought for racial justice, negotiated groundbreaking collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) within the WNBA, and spoken out for LGBTQ+ rights over and over again. So when I watched President Biden sign the executive order that made clear that this new administration would protect all LGBTQ+ people under federal civil rights laws, a part of me that is so often put on a shelf felt the warmth of light.
“Shortly afterward,” wrote layshia. “I experienced something else I have grown accustomed to: backlash. If you play women’s sports, you know online trolling all too well. If you speak out on race, you’ve been there, done that. If you are open about the love for your wife, you learn to click “block” and move on. But when you vocalize the most basic support for the humanity of your trans community, a new level of hate surfaces. The piping hot coffee that spills out of these mugs is filled with unaddressed work within our culture. Fear of and misconceptions about and downright contempt for trans people are everywhere. And somehow right now, this fear of trans people and trans bodies has zeroed in on trans people belonging in sports.”
layshia had a conversation with Chase Strangio, ACLU attorney (and our person of the year) Friday about her joy and the struggles our community is enduring this year just to live authentically. It is an amazing conversation.
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