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GW athlete first openly transgendered athlete to play NCAA Division I basketball

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

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Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

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Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

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Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

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Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

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