- Kye Allums, left, comes out (Photo: Associated Press)
This season, the George Washington University women's basketball team will welcome a man on the court. On Nov. 13, Junior guard Kye Allums, formerly Kay-Kay, could become the first publicly transgender person to play Division 1 NCAA basketball.
Allums joined the women's team in 2008 as a freshman; he came out as as man to his teammates during his sophomore year. Last summer, Allums disclosed his gender identity to the team's head coach, Mike Bozeman, and arranged to officially come out on the team this season.
Both Bozeman and the George Washington University have released statements in support of Allums, but the support of transgender athletes within the NCAA remains largely untested. The athletic association currently defers to a student's state-issued ID in order to determine a player's gender. That's not too much of a problem for a guy like Allums, who wants to continue to play on a team consistent with his sex at birth. But the policy could end up posing difficulties for trans men and women athletes who want to play on teams consistent with their outward gender identities.
In October, the National Center for Lesbian Rights released a study proposing new model policies for dealing with transgender athletes. The NCLR suggests that schools and athletic associations draft rules that "focus on maximizing inclusiveness, rather than restricting students’ opportunities to participate based on their gender identity or expression."
Allums plans on undergoing sex-reassignment surgery next summer, but he's holding off on one aspect of his physical transition until he finishes his senior season: taking masculine hormones would certainly disqualify Allums from the sport. He plans on starting the treatments in April of 2012.