WNBA star Layshia Clarendon has undergone successful surgery to have her breasts removed -- and is now going public about it in hopes of inspiring other trans athletes.
Clarendon -- who identifies as non-binary -- uses all pronouns (she/her/they/them/he/him).
In other words ... by society's standards, Layshia is comfortable being referred to as a woman ... but personally, doesn't identify solely with one specific gender.
Sources close to Layshia tell us the 29-year-old NY Liberty star underwent breast removal surgery (also known as "top surgery") in early January and is recovering well.
"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," Layshia said in a statement.
You may be wondering ... are there any issues with the WNBA, which has the "W" for "Women" right there in the name of the league?
The short answer is no.
We're told Layshia has been in contact with the league and there are ZERO issues with her status as a player.
As one source close to Layshia explained to us, "Layshia does not identify as a man. They're not journeying to a destination. Gender is actually a spectrum."
One of the main reasons Layshia is going public with her story ... we're told Layshia wants to initiate a "very real, inclusive, sensitive conversation about how to INCLUDE trans people in sports, instead of how to exclude them."
"Trans youth want to participate in sports ... let's have the conversation."
Layshia was a 1st-round pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft -- and was an All-Star in 2017.