Layshia Clarendon announces top surgery, encourages trans community: 'No one can erase us'

New York Liberty guard Layshia Clarendon wants the trans community to know “no one can erase us.” Clarendon announced Friday that she underwent top surgery. Clarendon said they were hesitant to share the news, but felt “free and euphoric” in their body, and wanted to send a message to others in the trans community.

Clarendon — an eight-year veteran in the WNBA — announced they were trans in 2020. In an Instagram post, Clarendon wrote he was trans and non-binary, meaning she does not identify with the gender assigned to her at birth, but does not consider himself exclusively male or female. Clarendon uses the pronouns she/her/they/them/he/him.

Top surgery is a procedure that can involve the removal of breast tissue or the placing of breast implants, according to the Mayo Clinic. While the Mayo Clinic uses the terms “transgender men” and “transgender women” when describing the procedures, Clarendon identifies as non-binary.

Liberty and Cathy Engelbert support to Layshia Clarendon

Both the Liberty and WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert released statements offering support for Clarendon.

The Liberty’s statement read:

“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 love constrained by societal boundaries. Layshia’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.”

Engelbert’s statement read:

“Layshia’s story is one of inspiration and courage, and as a takeaway from the emotional conversation we shared recently, my hope is that the WNBA’s full support will extend far beyond this league. 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 the uplift many other non-binary and trans people, but also encourage empathy and understanding tor the community across all levels of sport.”

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