Colonials' transgender athlete finds supportive environment
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
"I was kind of shocked," he said in a telephone interview on Tuesday afternoon. "I didn't know what to expect. I didn't think this many people would find out or even care this fast. I thought it would take weeks or months, but in two days? I have people from Germany saying they had already heard about it and how they wish more people were like me or more people would be able to say something and it's crazy."
In a story first reported by Outsports.com, Allums is believed to be the first Division I college basketball player to go public about being a transgender person. The junior guard from Hugo, Minn., said none of the feedback he's received has been negative.
"I've had numerous Facebook messages, text messages, people calling me, people I don't even know, telling me how they're proud of me and how I'm a really brave person, and it's been really positive," said Allums, who added that he has no regrets about going public with his decision.
Allums, who changed his name from Kay-Kay to Kye, started 20 games last season, averaging 7.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. He informed his teammates of his decision last season, but was reluctant to tell his coach until this past summer. In a statement released by the university, GW Coach Mike Bozeman said, "The George Washington University women's basketball program, including myself, support Kye's right to make this decision."
Allums said that GW has been supportive during his transition.
"This means a lot," he said. "I didn't choose to be born in this body and feel the way I do. I decided to transition, that is change my name and pronouns because it bothered me to hide who I am, and I am trying to help myself and others to be who they are. I told my teammates first, and they, including my coaches, have supported me. My teammates have embraced me as the big brother of the team. They have been my family, and I love them all."
Because he has opted to forgo hormone treatments or surgery until after his eligibility has expired, Allums will continue to play for the Colonials.
"Kye has informed the university that he will not begin any medical or drug protocols while a student-athlete," Robert Chernak, senior vice provost and senior vice president for student academic and support services, said in a statement. "The university consulted the NCAA regarding his competitive status. Kye will continue to be a member of the women's basketball team."
GW opens the season on Nov. 13 at the Best Buy Classic in Minneapolis, about 30 minutes from where Allums grew up.