Kye Allums, a player on the women’s basketball team at the George Washington University, announced yesterday that he is transgender, meaning that he is biologically female but identifies and lives as a man.
This makes Kye, previously known as Kay-Kay Allums, the first openly transgender male student-athlete to play for the Colonials’ Division I women’s team. He is also thought to be the first in the NCAA women’s basketball program.
Outsports ran the story Monday, featuring extensive quotes from Kye about his life and the process of defining who he is, up to his decision to go public with his story and continue his basketball career on the Colonials team.
GW announced this on their athletic department’s website, calling the story “A Colonial Transition.”
“I decided to transition, that is change my name and pronouns because it bothered me to hide who I am,” Allums said. “I am trying to help myself and others to be who they are.”
Allums, 21, a native of Hugo, Minn., changed his name legally in September and says that he has been open about his transgender identity with his teammates and coaches for some time now. In interviews on Comcast SportsNet last night, Allums spoke at length about his feelings about his gender identity and when he felt that it was important to speak out. He could not live as a woman when this is not how he felt, he said.
“I told my teammates first, and they, including my coaches, have supported me,” he said. “My teammates have embraced me as the big brother of the team. They have been my family, and I love them all.”
He also said in statements that he has felt supported by his university and the athletic leadership, .
“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.
His coaches and GW officials agree. Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert A. Chernak said the University supports Kye and his right to make this decision, adding that Allums will not participate in any drug or surgical procedures for gender reassignment while he is a student and remains on the women’s basketball team. Kye says his physical condition remains biologically female and won’t affect his competition with female athletes.
Mike Bozeman, women’s basketball coach, said that he and the basketball program “support Kye’s right to make this decision.”
Kye averaged 7.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 24.9 minutes per game last season, and notched a 75 percent free-throw record. He will kick off his third season with the Colonials on Nov. 13 in his home state, playing the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay at the Best Buy Classic in Minneapolis.