A Colonial Transition
Nov. 3, 2010
GW junior Kye Allums is the first openly transgender male student-athlete to compete for the Colonials' Division I women's basketball program.
A transgender person identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one of his or her sex at birth.
"I want people, not just athletes, to be comfortable with who they are and not feel like they have to hide who they are," says Mr. Allums.
The NCAA does not keep statistics on transgender student-athletes, but Mr. Allums isn't the first to come out publicly. In 2005, Keelin Godsey began competing as a transgender male member of Bates College's women's track and field team. Mr. Godsey went on to win the hammer throw at both the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Division III Women's Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.
Mr. Allums has been open about his transgender status with teammates and coaches and adopted a new legal name in September. Now, he is ready to make his transgender identity public.
"GW has been supportive during this transition. This means a lot. I didn't choose to be born in this body and feel the way I do," says Mr. Allums.
Mr. Allums approached the university in October about being referred to as male.
"The George Washington University supports Kye and his right to make this decision," says Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert A. Chernak. Women's basketball head coach Mike Bozeman and his staff echo that support.
"Kye has informed the university that he will not begin any medical or drug protocols while a student-athlete. The university consulted the NCAA regarding his competitive status," says Dr. Chernak. "Kye will continue to compete as a member of the women's basketball program. Kye has informed his teammates, and the university, with Kye's consent, has informed athletics staff and others, as appropriate."
While Mr. Allums chooses to identify as male at this time, his birth sex hasn't changed, nor will it affect competitive balance. "Until I begin taking hormones, I'll be fine playing against people of my same biological sex," says Mr. Allums.
For a representative list of the university's LGBT resources and services, click here.