Transgender coach at Lansing Community College breaks down barriers

“There’s so many trans people in the world that you interact with everyday that you don’t know about.”
“It was scary, but it was also like the clearest moment of clarity you could ever imagine. It was freeing,”
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 6:56 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Layne Ingram went from the Waverly High School basketball team to a top 10 scorer at the University of Michigan. His run in maize and blue took him to the WNBA, and then back to Lansing Community College to coach.

“For me, I always knew that something was off and something was different,” said Ingram.

Ingram came out as a transgender man in 2017, at the age of 36.

“Growing up in Lansing, everybody knew who I was. I was a pretty good basketball player. I was in the paper and I was in the news.” recalled Ingram. “So being back home and realizing that I was trans was a big deal.”

He said you won’t always get the reaction that you want when you’re coming out to people. He also said that being your true self is priceless.

“It was scary, but it was also like the clearest moment of clarity you could ever imagine. It was freeing,” he said.

As he came out later in life, he went through his transition while employed at LCC. Ingram said he’ll never forget the support he got from the team he was coaching at the time he came out.

“I love my coach. He is a great inspiration, and I look up to him dearly,” said current team member Riley Merryfield, “I think he’s just a really great player all around, and he’s a very good person”

Merryfield said the open and inclusive environment is the reason she came to LCC.

Coming out at LCC did not hold back Ingram’s career, in fact, he was recently promoted to chief of staff. He said he will keep supporting and holding up members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“If somebody’s coming out to you, understand that you mean enough to them that they wanna share something like that with you,” he said, “So, it’s important that you show them how much they mean to you, and lead with love.”

If you’d like to learn more about Layne Ingram and his story, check out his podcast “The Reconstructed Man” by clicking here.

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