Using the restroom is something most of us never give much thought to, but for transgender people it’s a subject fraught with anxiety and often fear. That’s why this lead to an article about a trans male college basketball coach in Michigan was so spot on.
Lansing Community College's new women's basketball coach felt intimidated a few months ago in a sports bar.
It had nothing to do with Xs and Os.
It had to do with a men's bathroom, and the first time he had ever been in one.
"It was so great!" Layne Ingram exclaimed to his wife after he relieved himself. "Nobody was talking about their hair, or what this dude did to them. I just went in there, peed and came out!"
Ingram’s story is sensitively told in a feature by Eric Lacy at the Lansing State Journal. Ingram is very well known in Lansing as a star player on the women’s teams in high school and at the University of Michigan and was drafted in the WNBA in 2002. His dad is coach of his Lansing Community College's men’s basketball team.
Layne Ingram’s profile in town was already high, yet the school and his players have embraced his transition, with everyone focusing on what a good coach and administrator he is.
Not that the proper use of pronouns still doesn’t confuse some, including his wife.
Tonya Causley-Ingram, Layne's wife, met him at LCC and describes the transition as part of a natural step in their relationship. The couple celebrated their first wedding anniversary on Sept. 30. ...
"Clearly, I met a girl," Causley-Ingram said. "But our relationship, our roles have been very comfortable for both of us. I accepted who she … he wanted to be.”
Now that he is open about being transgender, Ingram wants to make easier for others like him.
"As the state's capital, we can move some things forward," Layne said of gender identity education and outreach. "It's about understanding, it's about acceptance. I don't need anybody's tolerance. I don't need anybody's approval, because I approve of me."
Ingram told me in a phone conversation that he came out publicly so he can make a difference and help educate people about transgender issues. Based on the positive reaction he told me his story has gotten so far, he’s off to a great start.
Ingram can be reached via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and on Twitter.