In an op-ed, basketball player Layshia
Clarendon opens up about her faith and sexuality.
Clarendon, who was selected 9th
overall in the 2013 Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
Draft by the Indiana Fever, wrote a lengthy post titled Keeping
the Faith which appeared on ThePlayersTribune.com.
“I identify as black, gay, female,
non-cisgender and Christian,” Clarendon
wrote. “I am an outsider even on the inside of every community
to which I belong. My very existence challenges every racial,
sexual, gender and religious barrier.”
She wrote that after her older sister
came out gay, her parents turned to religion.
“It can be a convenient excuse, the
Bible, to cover up someone's personal discomfort.”
“[W]ith time and exposure, [my mom]
came to fully accept my sexuality. It's easy to discard or disagree
on principle with a faceless concept – my gayness as a mere fact.
But when she saw – when people see – two people, relating in
happiness and love, it becomes much harder to untangle right and
“Love is not a moral argument. …
Love isn't a gay or straight experience; it's a human experience.”
Clarendon added that the church has “a
rich history of homophobia, which has inflicted so much harm on so
“I took this especially personally
because I am a Christian who often needs to prove her faith because
of her sexuality. How could my fellow believers be the ones to
exclude any walk of life? As leaders in faith and the league, I
expect my sisters in Christ to fight for inclusion. That's what we
should be doing – that's the right thing to do. Isn't that the