Layshia Clarendon is a two-time FIBA gold medal winner and point guard with the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA. Layshia is an openly queer, gender-nonconforming person of color and a devout advocate for LGBTQ+ issues and social justice causes. She uses Instagram as a platform to speak up about the issues she cares about (@layshiac) and has joined us in smashing shame and stigma associated with periods. Layshia is an ambassador for the DivaCup and 100% embodies everything the Inner Revolution is all about. She pretty much rocks and if you read on you’ll see why.
Do you struggle to motivate yourself to keep going while on your period?
Sometimes I struggle for motivation while on my period. The worst time for me is actually leading up to when my cycle starts. I’m usually fatigued and wondering WHY DO I FEEL SO TIRED even though I slept 8+ hours? Why is my back so sore? Then I remember it’s because I’m about to start my period. I try to be kind to myself during that time while also balancing the realities of showing up and performing for work. Especially for a job that requires constant physical activity.
How do you push through period pain?
Physical activity often helps with my period pain. When I start my cycle on off days for training it’s actually worse for me because I’m not distracted and moving around lifting weights or playing basketball. I will usually use a hot pack and Advil to help with muscle cramps.
When did you first hear about the DivaCup?
In 2014 from a really good friend. My mind was completely blown and I had so many questions. One of the first being, where do I buy one?!
How did you decide the DivaCup was the best fit for playing sport?
Using the DivaCup for sports was a no brainer. Once I realized you could leave it in for up to 12 hours and you didn’t have to change it or deal with a wet string from tampons, I was all in. One of the worst things about being on your period during sports is worrying about leaking through your jersey and having to change tampons or pads at half time. DivaCup gives me the freedom to be in my normal routine without the fuss.
Do you know of other players or people in other fields of sport that use the DivaCup?
I have definitely gotten other WNBA athletes to give the DivaCup a try but am not sure across other sports if people use it. I recently had a player in our league come up to me and say “you know I’ve been using DivaCup ever since you told me about it!” And my response is a squeal, yay!
What advice would you give to people who want to quit sport because of their period?
You totally don’t have to quit sports because of your period. I know as people who identify as women and/or folks with uterus’, we already have to overcome so many struggles. I won a gold medal while on my period. My advice would be to not let it hold you back. With products like DivaCup, or whatever you choose, you can still play. Sports can instill so many lessons and joy into your life, keep playing.
What has it been like being an ambassador for DivaCup?
Honestly, it has been a dream come true. Since the first year I tried this product, I wanted to be an ambassador. I am such a fan of what this product brings to my life that I share it with anyone and everyone who will listen. I am really intentional about what I attach my name to and only endorse products I truly believe in. It has been amazing to be an ambassador for a company that is unafraid to talk about such a taboo subject. I’m proud to be a part of breaking down that shame and stigma.
What does the #innerrevolution mean to you?
It means freedom. Freedom from the shame and stigma of having a period. Freedom from wet strings, dry cotton and plastic applicators. Freedom to use the restroom and do a happy dance that I’m wearing my cup. Freedom to actually experience the natural blood that comes out of me. I never knew it was so silky and like mucus. Anytime I wear my DivaCup, I feel like I’ve got a secret in my pants and no one even knows!