Layshia Clarendon just passed a significant milestone as part of her transition after publicly identifying as transgender and non-binary. And to celebrate, she decided to share it with her fanbase.
This week, the New York Liberty guard underwent a top surgery procedure, which is an operation to remove breasts and achieve a flat chest. Rather than wait until they were asked about it, Clarendon took to Twitter and Instagram and broke the news themselves.
To emphasize that this was something to take pride in, they also included pictures.
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
Clarendon is one of only a handful of pro athletes identifying as gender non-conforming, using these pronouns interchangeably: She/Her/They/Them/He/Him. In this story, I will do the same in referring to them.
Clarendon’s message about “the amount of hate, myths & ignorance” she has received since her announcement indicates that they have been fighting many battles out of the public eye. So in addition to demonstrating that “trans is beautiful, their tweet and pictures also serve as a swift rebuke to any transphobes in their mentions.
In spite of the vitriol, Clarendon ultimately decided that his top surgery produced such joy and euphoria that he had to share it with the world.
Shortly after they posted their tweet, the Liberty stepped up in the kind of exemplary way that we’ve come to expect from WNBA teams. Recognizing the importance of this moment, New York affirmed their support for Clarendon with another tweet:
That sums it up just about perfectly, right down to the pronouns.
Both Clarendon’s and the Liberty’s tweets emphasize that top surgery is a moment to be proud of and a beautiful, gender-affirming part of living your truth. Furthermore, as Clarendon noted, sharing pictures of their surgery as a public figure is a way to remind trans fans “that we’ve always existed & no one can erase us!”
Which deserves every single like on the internet.
Note to readers: Clarendon and ACLU attorney Chase Strangio will be talking about the fight for transgender equality — and perhaps their surgery, too! — on Instagram at 7:30 p.m. EST.