WNBA’s Layshia Clarendon feels free after breast removal surgery

Clarendon went public about the procedure in hopes of inspiring other trans athletes

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Basketball player Layshia Clarendon announced on social media Friday that they underwent successful breast removal surgery earlier this month.

Clarendon, 29, who identifies as transgender and nonbinary, went public about the procedure in hopes of inspiring other trans athletes. Currently a shooting guard of the New York Liberty, Clarendon was drafted in the first round to play in the WNBA in 2013.

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According to TMZ, sources close to the guard say they are recovering well after the procedure that is also known as top 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 on Instagram, along with three post-surgery photos.

Although Clarendon is open about their identity, they were hesitant to share the joyous news of the surgery due to the overwhelming amount of negativity that trans and nonbinary people have to endure.

“I want Trans people to know and see that we’ve always existed & no one can erase us!” they wrote.

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TMZ reported that the WNBA is supportive of Clarendon’s decision. In fact, Cathy Engelbert, WNBA Commissioner, offered her support in a tweet on Friday.

“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,” Engelbert wrote. “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 and uplift many other nonbinary and trans people, but also encourage empathy and understanding for the community across all levels of sport.”

The WNBA star is an eight-year veteran of the league. Clarendon and wife Jessica became proud parents of their first child together in December.

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