It’s been a career year for California Golden Bears women’s basketball alumni Layshia Clarendon. Clarendon earned her first WNBA All-Star appearance. Taking over point guard responsibilities for the Atlanta Dream, Clarendon has gone on to average 11.7 points, 6.9 assists, and 1.1 steals per game this season to earn a reserve spot on the East team.
Clarendon made the most of her opportunity in the All-Star game, registering a double-double of 14 points and 10 assists.
Layshia isn’t just doing good work on the court. She has become extremely active in human rights causes, particularly in the fight for LGBTQ rights.
Clarendon is gay, and does not conform to gender (she identifies as non-cis, someone who does not have the same sex or gender, but do not identify as transgender). She wants to use her platform as an athlete to educate others. More from ThinkProgress.
Education is everything for Clarendon — she spends time educating her teammates and friends about gender fluidity, and has spent time over the past couple of years educating herself about transgender issues. Because of her gender expression and the difficulty it causes her in public bathrooms, she feels a lot of empathy for her trans brothers and sisters. But she recognizes that she still is speaking from a platform of privilege — and she wishes many more athletes would speak up on behalf of the transgender community.
“I want to use my platform to highlight those people who are the most marginalized within our already most marginalized groups,” she said. “It’s all just kind of checking our privilege.”
One of the many examples of how damaging gender policing is. We have to break down rigid binaries & our views of gender/gender expression.— Layshia Clarendon (@Layshiac) June 6, 2017
Just the other day a woman yelled at me in the restroom "this is the women's!" These moments don't hurt me as much as they used to...— Layshia Clarendon (@Layshiac) June 6, 2017
But they remind me that I fall outside the box. I refuse to be boxed in & I will always stay true to myself.— Layshia Clarendon (@Layshiac) June 6, 2017
We support Layshia in her fight to bring equal rights and privileges to people of all genders and orientations. Go Layshia and Go Bears!