WNBA's Layshia Clarendon Undergoes Top Surgery: 'Freedom at Last'
The athlete said on Instagram Friday that they're "feeling a sense of gender euphoria as opposed to gender dysphoria"
Layshia Clarendon is feeling "freedom at last."
The WNBA star, 29, shared on social media Friday that they underwent top surgery earlier this month, and in doing so, is finally "feeling a sense of gender euphoria as opposed to gender dysphoria."
"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!!!!!!!" wrote Clarendon on Instagram, sharing several photos from after the 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," Clarendon wrote. "Sighhhh...freedom... freedom at last."
Clarendon, who welcomed a baby with wife Jessica on Christmas Day, continued in their Friday caption that they were hesitant at first to share the news of their top surgery.
"I'm usually not scared to share news publicly but the amount of hate, myths & ignorance surrounding Trans and Non Binary people's existence actually had me debating sharing this joy," the athlete wrote. "I want Trans people to know and see that we've always existed & no one can erase us!"
"I want people to remember that my freedom is your freedom because none of us are free until we are all free!!!" they added.
Jessica shared Clarendon's post on her Instagram Story, adding, "Proud, real tears."
Clarendon currently plays on the New York Liberty, which shared a statement of support for the point guard on Twitter Friday.
"The New York Liberty family is in full support of Layshia Clarendon and their choice to live authentically," the team said. "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 live constrained by societal boundaries," the statement continued. "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."
In 2015, Clarendon wrote an article for the Players' Tribune, saying, "I identify as black, gay, female, non-cisgender and Christian."
In December, Clarendon opened up on Instagram looking back on the article and how the athlete's understanding of their identity has evolved.
"When I wrote those words I knew my gender did not align with the sex I was assigned at birth, but I didn't know exactly where I fit or how to describe the feelings I was having."
"I just knew what I was not...cis lol. And I knew I wasn't a trans guy. The images of Trans folx I saw and the mainstream narrative we still largely see (but is changing!) exists in the binary of male or female," they continued, giving a shoutout to close friend Myranda Warden for showing them "that you can be trans and non binary, genderqueer and so much more. That the more you embrace all of your gender the more free you become."
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"Existing outside of the binary for me is freedom," Clarendon said. "I've learned that my gender just doesn't fit into these molds that keep trying to hold it down and box it in. I know that my gender will keep evolving because we change and grow and shape shift and expand. I know that as Andrea Gibson says, my pronouns haven't even been invented yet. I know that we all have masculinity and femininity inside of us and mine show up equally and wholly and fully."
"Cheers to being whole because we were not created to be anything less than that!" they concluded the post. "To the Trans Community, I see you, I love you, I love us. We are whole, we are enough, we are fucking badass. ❤️"