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College basketball coach has seen incredible acceptance since coming out as trans

Layne Ingram had his team off to a hot start before injuries. He wants to spend 2020 making a difference for LGBTQ youth.

Layne Ingram has found being trans a non-issue in his work as a coach at Lansing Community College.
Kevin W. Fowler

Layne Ingram led the Lansing Community College women’s basketball into the season with high hopes. At the start of the season, they delivered, starting with a 5-1 record and losing only to an NCAA school.

“My third season I was looking for this to be a championship year,” Ingram told Outsports in a recent phone interview. “That’s what I came here to do. I came here to win.”

Yet injuries caught up to the team in December, and they finished the season 12-18, ultimately earning a 7-seed in the conference tournament.

The team lost in the conference quarterfinals to Mid Michigan College, 61-57, which went on to win the conference with a record of 28-3.

While the season ended with a loss, it was a loss Ingram took solace in. It was a team LCC had lost to by 32 just a week before, and they had shots in the final minute that could have tied or won the game.

“My team played hard every game, and they didn’t quit,” Ingram said. “And when they did the stuff they could do, they did it very well.”

Since coming out publicly in 2017, Ingram has been an example for other LGBTQ coaches and people looking to get into coaching. Over the next year he wants to have a measurable impact in the lives of LGBTQ youth.

“I want this to be the year when I can find ways to help our LGBTQIA+ youth,” Ingram said. “By the fall of 2020 I’m hoping to launch something to help kids in mid-Michigan.”

Ingram said since beginning his transition he’s found a ton of both support and indifference across basketball.

“The interaction with different coaches and different players, who’ve gone through this transition with me, it just hasn’t been a thing.”

He added that people have been shockingly able to adapt to his transition from the very first moments he shared his true self with them.

“Everybody who’s not in your circle it’s like a switch comes on,” Ingram said. “At work I told people on Thursday I was going to be going by Layne, and by Monday the switch had come on and that’s what they called me.”

You can follow Layne Ingram on Twitter @The_Right_Layne, and on Facebook.