Kye Allums will become the first openly transgendered athlete to play NCAA Division I basketball when George Washington University takes on the University of Green Bay-Wisconsin in a game Nov. 13, according to a story reported first this week by outsports.com.
Allums, who was born female, identifies as male. Outsports.com reports: "It was during his sophomore year that Allums told some teammates he was a man inside a woman’s body. At first, they didn’t believe him. They joked with him about it. But Allums was serious, and when he is on a mission everyone takes notice.
“'We were all just talking, a bunch of teammates, and he said that he’s a guy,' said teammate Brooke Wilson, one of Allums’ closest friends on the team. 'At first I didn’t understand, and then he explained that sex is how you’re born and gender is how you identify yourself. Then I started to understand.'"
Now a junior, Allums decided to go public with his situation. Why? "I wanted to set an example for other people who are afraid to be themselves," he told an Associated Press reporter.
In this video, courtesy of USA Today, Allums talks about being transgendered and his decision to go public about his situation:
Allums plans to have sex-reassignment surgery next summer, but cannot begin hormone treatments until after his college basketball career is over, according to NCAA rules.
In the meantime, he knows he will encounter some people who will give him a hard time.
"People come up with all kinds of crazy stuff, but the only thing you can do is just be clear with what is actually happening, and that's what I'm trying to do," Allums told the Associated Press. Don't "fear what you don't understand and actually look at things to understand it. Yes, transgender, there's so many different things people think it is, but actually look it up."
- Mary Pasciak