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"I'm Feeling Free": WNBA New York Liberty's Layshia Clarendon has successful top surgery

New York Liberty guard Layshia Clarendon took to Instagram and Twitter Friday to announce they underwent top surgery earlier this month.

"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!!!!!!!" Clarendon wrote on Instagram, while sharing 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 continued by writing they were hesitant to share the news of their surgery. 

"I'm usually not scared to share news publicly but the amount of hate, myths & ignorance actually had me debating sharing this joy," Clarendon said. "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!"

The WNBA star identifies as trans/non-binary — she/her/they/them/he/him, according to their Twitter page.

The New York Liberty team tweeted a statement in support of the point guard 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 an Instagram post in December, Clarendon wore a t-shirt that read "There's No One Way To Be Trans" and wrote, "shoutout to one of my closest friends who was the first person to show me that transness can exist outside of the binary. @mywarden showed me 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.

"Existing outside of the binary for me is freedom. 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! To the Trans Community, I see you, I love you, I love us."

Clarendon is the first vice president of the Women's National Basketball Players Association and has played eight seasons in the WNBA. Last season, they averaged 11.5 points and started in 19 games.

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