Part of Outsports’ series on our 100 most important moments in gay sports history.
College basketball, 2010. When Kye Allums contacted Outsports in the spring of 2010, he was afraid of the repercussions of coming out as the first publicly out transgender male playing women's college basketball. Other trans athletes like Keelin Godsey had come out in college, but Allums faced the scrutiny of D.1 basketball. With the help of Helen Carroll and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, we crafted a plan that would give Allums some protection. He decided to take the leap.
On Nov. 1, 2010, Outsports ran the brave story of Allums. George Washington University, where he played, wasn't remotely ready for what happened next: An unprecedented tidal wave of media attention for Allums that few women's college basketball players ever receive. Allums even received an invitation to the White House.
Allums' revelation forced the NCAA to put their thinking on trans-athlete issues into high gear. Suddenly fans and the media wanted to know what a trans athlete could and could not do to remain eligible. Some even questioned whether anyone who identified as male should be allowed to play women's sports. Like few other stories in history, Allums' revelation trained the attention of sports fans across the country squarely on transgender issues.
Heading into the 2011-12 season, Allums has ended his college basketball career. Speculation swirls about whether he was forced out by an intensely Christian coach or whether his passion for basketball faded. Regardless, Allums will graduate this winter...and I'm excited to see what he does next.
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