Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
  mile markers

Kye Allums, The First Trans Man to Play NCAA Division I Basketball

When college basketbal player Kye Allums (nee Kay-Kay) hits the court Nov. 13 for George Washington University’s season opener, it’ll be the first time an openly trans Division I player plays ball. The junior, a Minnesota native who grew up resisting his mother’s best efforts to dress him in feminine clothes, began coming out to teammates as trans during his sophomore year, and eventually managed to have that conversation in June with head coach Mike Bozeman, who told his he would always have his back.

And while the NCAA figures out its transgender athlete policies, Allums is still playing on the women’s team, as he has not undergone hormone treatments. Though here’s a thought exercise for you: Bozeman’s tenure at George Washington is dependent on the women’s basketball scholarship he received; he does not have a scholarship offer from the men’s team. So were he to be barred from playing on the women’s team, he could theoretically lose his scholarship. But Washington D.C. has a city ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity. So that would make things interesting. [Outsports; NYT]

By:           ryan tedder
On:           Nov 2, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 21 Comments
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      That ordinance wouldn’t make things interesting at all. If a job requires someone to be of a particular gender (say an actor or a dancer) and that person’s gender changes, that business has all rights to end employment. Same deal here.

      Nov 2, 2010 at 11:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob
      Bob

      This is not discrimination. If the scholarship was meant for a female to play on a women’s team and the female decides to change gender while still attending the university under the scholarship, the scholarship can and should be rescinded. Political correctness is being taken too far here.

      Nov 2, 2010 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jake
      jake

      @Bob: He hasn’t changed anything except his name and the pronouns he prefers. According the NCAA rules, he is allowed to continue to play until he begins his physical transition. He doesn’t have a physical advantage from testosterone treatment yet and as far as I know changing your name doesn’t make you run faster or jump higher. So what’s your problem exactly?

      Nov 3, 2010 at 5:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      So he wants to be treated like a man in all respects, but won’t undergo treatment because it might impact scholarship opportunities?

      If you want to be treated like a man in all other respects, you need to take the consequences which go along with that. You can’t pick and choose which rights/opportunities/consequences you want and which ones you don’t, which is exactly what’s going on here.

      That’s not equal rights, that’s special rights.

      Nov 3, 2010 at 11:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • piny
      piny

      Bob, Kevin, and DR:

      You know that under the law in every state, a trans man cannot simply decide his own gender, right? You don’t just say, “I’m a man now,” sign on the dotted line, and go on with your life.

      The exact requirements vary, but all states require surgery in order to legally change your gender. Many require sterilization. No state allows a trans man to become legally male before he has begun physical transition.

      Trans men generally have to wait years before they can legally change their gender. In some states, it is never possible for a trans man to legally change all of his documents under the law.

      In other words, it will be some time before Kye will be treated like a man “in all other respects.” And so Kye has not put himself into a special category. Legally and socially, he has been forced into one.

      Nov 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • random gay
      random gay

      Well, if you want to act like an asshole like you do to all the other trans people, then you have to face the consequences. Like having no friends, drinking alone at night, etc. Are you ready for the proper consequences of being complete douche? Otherwise you’re asking for special rights. Bugger off now.

      Nov 3, 2010 at 12:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robin
      Robin

      I’m confused. This is a girl who wants to be a man. So why is everyone calling her he. Calling yourself a guy when you are a girl doesn’t make you one or vice versa. Whenever she gets a gender transformation then I suppose she can call herself himself but I suppose she will be long gone from college by the time that happens if I understand how long these things take. This whole gender thing is getting completely out of control.

      Nov 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @piny:

      Have you read the proposed regs proposed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights? I did. The proposal makes it abundantly clear that a FtM athlete taking testosterone cannot compete on a woman’s team and must obtain clearance to play on a man’s team (to protect the athlete from doping allegations, in all fairness; no sense in transitioning if you can’t play because of a medically prescribed treatment plan).

      This athlete has specifically stated in interviews that hormone therapy is something he wants. He has even marked his calendar for his last year of eligibility so he can continue to identify as a man but still play on the woman’s team.

      From the article: “Allums has been aware of NCAA regulations for years, and he’s made plans around them. Circled on his calendar is the last possible date he could play in an NCAA game, in April 2012: That’s the date he can begin hormone treatment. Between now and then, he does plan to have sex-reassignment surgery next summer before he plays out his senior season.”

      That’s not equal. That’s manipulating the system.

      Nov 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • piny
      piny

      Yeah, I have, actually–and this is what is happening:

      In order to retain his scholarship and play on the women’s team, he is forgoing necessary and wanted medical treatment prohibited by the regulations.

      While he plays on the team, he will not take hormones. As soon as he stops playing on the team, he will take hormones.

      He may undergo surgery during his tenure on the team. He has stated that he wants to do so. I wish him luck, but I question whether he will be able to, given financial and medical constraints. That surgery will offer nothing in the way of a competitive advantage.

      So here you have an athlete who is forgoing medical treatment in order to retain his scholarship, in accordance with the rules of the league, despite his own deep need to transition and despite the psychic pain caused by a delay.

      That’s not gaming the system. That’s making the sacrifices required to stay within the letter and spirit of the regulation. It is not special treatment. He is accomodating.

      What do you think should happen? Trans athletes cannot come out in childhood. Should they either live in the closet or give up the opportunities cis athletes take for granted?

      Nov 3, 2010 at 5:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      He transitions and plays on the men’s team. Clearly he’s making every effort to skirt the policy he can… he’s going as far as having top surgery while a member of the women’s team. He wants to take the court as a man, then he plays with the men.

      If he can’t compete and loses his scholarship, well, he enrolled as a woman and wants to be a man.

      This is totally gaming the system.

      Nov 3, 2010 at 6:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • STFU
      STFU

      @DR: Why do you simplify every situation a trans person is in to what the trans person is doing wrong? It seems like you’re trying to find fault with him no matter what he chosse to do. You do this every time there is an article on trans people. Did a trans person kill your mother or something? Because you sure do have a hard-on for them. Get over it and move on with your life.

      Being trans doesn’t look easy and yet you want it to be black and white. Gaming the system is what he is being forced to do. He has two choices: follow the rules to keep playing (and graduate college) or quit the team (and be forced to leave school). Clearly you think he should give up his livelihood so non-trans people don’t have to feel uncomfortable or deal with trans people. I’m glad you’re so accommodating (#sarcasm).

      Nov 3, 2010 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • piny
      piny

      He is not skirting the policy. He is following the policy. The policy states that he is eligible to compete on the women’s team so long as he does not take hormones. Therefore, he is not taking hormones.

      You keep saying “as a man,” yet you admit that he can’t compete as a man–not because of his ability or his body, but because trans men are pretty much categorically relegated to the category of steroid abusers, pending a slow exemption process. If he does start hormone treatments, he will be ineligible for both teams. And again: his legal status will be intermediate for a long time.

      So, as a trans man, he has atypical options and atypical exclusions. That isn’t “special” as in “privileged.” It’s only “special” as in “different.” Society prevented him from enrolling as a man; these regulations prevent him from competing as one.

      Look at another example. In many places, the law requires trans men to be permanently sterilized via surgery in order to change their legal gender (you can google around to find recent controversy in Australia, if you care). If a trans man complained about having to choose between biological children and legal recognition, would he be seeking “special” treatment because “real” men cannot get pregnant? If he refused to be sterilized and accepted partial legal status, would his gender or commitment be suspect?

      Or would his highly unusual situation merit some balance of pragmatism and compassion?

      Nov 3, 2010 at 9:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      My definition of “not competing as a man” is not what you’re incorrectly insinuating, which is “he can’t compete because he is biologically a woman”. My use of that phrase is “let him try out for the men’s team, and if he’s good enough, then he plays there”.

      If the legal process to permit him to play takes a year, hey, maybe check with the school and see if they’ll keep his scholarship? Has that thought crossed anyone’s mind? Did he think to suggest that he be given a similar scholarship to play on the men’s team?

      If the school is all about diversity, then I’m sure it will find a way for him to maintain his scholarship without playing the system and finding loopholes so he can have it both ways.

      @STFU:

      He wants to be a man, then don’t take the benefit of the woman’s scholarship. If he wants the woman’s scholarship, then don’t have a radical double mastectomy and mark the calendar for the day he can start taking steroids; if he can wait for the hormones, he can wait for the top surgery as well.

      Talk about wanting it both ways.

      There’s a difference between “equality” and “special rights”, and this is not equality.

      Nov 4, 2010 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • piny
      piny

      He wants to be a man, then don’t take the benefit of the woman’s scholarship. If he wants the woman’s scholarship, then don’t have a radical double mastectomy and mark the calendar for the day he can start taking steroids; if he can wait for the hormones, he can wait for the top surgery as well.
      Talk about wanting it both ways.

      “Steroids” is an inappropriate way to refer to hormones trans men take in order to physically transition, especially in a sports context. It’s like calling a trans woman’s medication “birth control.” It’s misleading and offensive. Please also bear in mind that mastectomy, while common, is not universal; there are altenatives, and we have no freaking idea what he’s been discussing with his physicians.

      How is this wanting it “both ways?” Really, explain: why is it a problem for him to delay transition according to the rules so that he can play? Why is it wrong for him to get a mastectomy, which is legal, and not get hormones, which are not legal, so that he remains legal to play? He is not asking for special treatment here; he’s doing exactly what he’s been told to do.

      Would you be happy if he did not get that mastectomy? If so, why? Why is it more ethical as long as he suffers more?

      Nov 5, 2010 at 10:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • piny
      piny

      If the school is all about diversity, then I’m sure it will find a way for him to maintain his scholarship without playing the system and finding loopholes so he can have it both ways.

      And what if they aren’t? What if they tell him to go screw, the way that most institutions do when they encounter a trans athlete, and the way that the NCAA currently does with trans athletes? Does he get to look to his own interests then, or does he still have to choose “neither” because cis people never have to negotiate this line?

      Nov 5, 2010 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tori
      Tori

      @DR: You obviously don’t like trans people so why read stories about them? Nothing you say makes any sense.

      Nov 8, 2010 at 12:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Love all people
      Love all people

      WHY IS IT HEALTHY TO TRANSITION AT ALL?

      Think about this really..

      Society tells us that if we are overweight, we should love our bodies, and not starve or vomit ourselves to death.

      If we hate our nappy hair, or our big nose, or our skin,or being too short, ect.. that we are still beautiful and unique, and should learn to love ourself.

      Why then, do we encourage a person who feels too feminine, or too masculine, to undergo drastic surgery and hormone treatments, to pretend to be someone they are not?

      I mean, I am a white male. When I was a little boy, I dreamt of being an Asian or a black man. I desperately wanted to partake in that dual world, that culture I’d never be a part of. Should I have surgery to slant my eyes, widen my nose, alter my skin tone, change my hair, to pretend to be someone I’m not?

      No matter how hard I wish upon a star, and click my heels together, I will NEVER be a black or an Asian man. Technology is good enough now to fool some people into thinking I could be, but I will never be.

      WHY IS IT PSYCHOLOGICALLY HEALTHY TO TRANSITION GENDER?

      What ever happened to crushing gender stereotypes? If you’re a girl, who likes other girls, and feels really butch and masculine, why not simply embrace your masculinity inside your female body?

      I have lived in San Francisco for 14 years, and rarely have I met a post-op transgendered person that can be honest, and admit their bioligical origin.

      I love all people, and I have nothing against transgendered folk. I just don’t get why this is healthy. To me, it encourages delusion and self-deception. I fail to see how this is healthy.

      ??

      Jan 18, 2011 at 9:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Love all people
      Love all people

      WHY IS IT HEALTHY TO TRANSITION AT ALL?

      Think about this really..

      Society tells us that if we are overweight, we should love our bodies, and not starve or vomit ourselves to death.

      If we hate our nappy hair, or our big nose, or our skin,or being too short, ect.. that we are still beautiful and unique, and should learn to love ourself.

      Why then, do we encourage a person who feels too feminine, or too masculine, to undergo drastic surgery and hormone treatments, to pretend to be someone they are not?

      I mean, I am a white male. When I was a little boy, I dreamt of being an Asian or a black man. I desperately wanted to partake in that dual world, that culture I’d never be a part of. Should I have surgery to slant my eyes, widen my nose, alter my skin tone, change my hair, to pretend to be someone I’m not?

      No matter how hard I wish upon a star, and click my heels together, I will NEVER be a black or an Asian man. Technology is good enough now to fool some people into thinking I could be, but I will never be.

      WHY IS IT PSYCHOLOGICALLY HEALTHY TO TRANSITION GENDER?

      What ever happened to crushing gender stereotypes? If you’re a girl, who likes other girls, and feels really butch and masculine, why not simply embrace your masculinity inside your female body? Wear masculine clothes, act like a guy, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you can become one. You will never be.

      I have lived in San Francisco for 14 years, and rarely have I met a post-op transgendered person that can be honest, and admit their bioligical origin.

      I love all people, and I have nothing against transgendered folk. I just don’t get why this is healthy. To me, it encourages delusion and self-deception. I fail to see how this is healthy.

      ??

      Jan 18, 2011 at 9:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DC Steve
      DC Steve

      @LOVE ALL PEOPLE: It sounds as if your intent is sympathetic, so I’m not sure you realize how appallingly offensive statements like “be honest and admit their biological origin” are.

      What business is that of anybody, except for the person in question, their close family, their doctor, and those they choose to share it with? It’s deeply personal.

      The reason trans people transition is because they feel that their birth-assigned sex is in contradiction with the rest of their being, and that if they ignore that, they are PRECISELY pretending to be someone they are not.

      Why is it better to force someone’s personality and self-expression into a societal mold that makes them deeply unhappy, rather than changing assumptions about sex and gender in a more compassionate and inclusive way?

      What does it matter to you so much that you won’t give people the courtesy to respect their preferred mode of address?

      Transgender people know they are fighting an uphill battle, that they are facing all kinds of flack and misunderstanding, but it is the only way they can be at peace and in balance with themselves.

      The reason it’s “unhealthy” to be transgender is the exact same reason it’s “unhealthy” to live openly as other kinds of queer. It invites all sorts of unwanted attention, from pointing and gawking right up to potential physical violence.

      Please try and show a little respect.

      Jan 18, 2011 at 10:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Love all people
      Love all people

      I’m not suggesting “to force someone’s personality and self-expression into a societal mold that makes them deeply unhappy, rather than changing assumptions about sex and gender in a more compassionate and inclusive way” at all. Merely suggesting that why drastically alter the body. To imply that they were “born into the wrong body” implies that all transgendered persons must believe in some type of God or order to the universe. Obviously, if they were born into a body that functions fully as a human body, then they were born into the right body. People are completely free to act, behave, pretend, and lie to themselves or whomever they see fit, you are right. I just wonder if it’s psyhcologically healthy. Again, I ask you to consider my wanting to become Asian or African-American. Could that not be considered offensive to one of the people in those groups? Should it? I am free to live how I want, of course. And you are correct, It is not my business to question or need to know anyone’s bioligical origin, I apologize, and that is true. (Although I consider any deception on the part of a romantic partner a person I am just not meant to be with.) My question still remains, why is it healthy to encourage people to pretend to be what they were not born unto the universe as?

      Jan 18, 2011 at 11:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DC Steve
      DC Steve

      For one thing, “drastically altering the body”, in terms of surgical procedure, is a pretty small part of the broad umbrella of “transgender”. Many/most transgender people aren’t interested in radical surgery, or are wildly unable to afford it. And as Pliny pointed out, some of the pressure to get surgery comes from the state — they are REQUIRED to undergo surgery to legally live as the gender they choose.

      How do you define a “man” or a “woman”? By their genitals or chromosomes? There are well documented cases of women born with male genitalia and vice versa (this is called intersex, and is distinct from hermaphrodism). It is also medically well established that women can be born with a Y chromosome in some cases, and that some men are born with only an X chromosome. These may be rarities but they certainly exist. Couldn’t there also, for argument’s sake, maybe be some not-yet-understood part of the brain that is hard-wired to tell people “you’re a man” or “you’re a woman”, and that in some people, the signals their brain is putting out don’t match up with the rest of their anatomy?

      If you met a Jewish man, would you ask “are they circumcized, or are they just pretending to be Jewish?” If you were introduced to a single woman, would you ask “is she really single, or is she actually divorced and just pretending to be single?”

      I’m not suggesting that we just wave our hands and pretend sex and gender don’t exist, that would be a terrible idea for everybody. I’m suggesting it’s dangerous and insulting to insist “there are two genders, period”, when there are plenty of medical exceptions to that, and socially it’s more complicated and nuanced by far.

      You raise the example of somebody wanting to pass as another race. This happens all the time. Immigrants change their names all the time, change the way they dress and act, all with the aim of being treated equally and living in peace? Should we label those immigrants and “liars and pretenders”, or is it maybe more useful to look at the prejudices and inequalities which create the kind of identity policing that the immigrants are responding to?

      Why is it healthy for society to demand people pretend to live as an identity that is fundamentally different than their own deepest understanding of themselves?

      Jan 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • POPULAR ON QUEERTY

    FOLLOW US
     



    GET QUEERTY'S DAILY NEWSLETTER


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.