MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A young basketball player from Minnesota is being praised as courageous for coming out publicly as transgender.
Kye Allums plays for George Washington University’s women’s basketball team.
But Allums identifies himself as a man. He has the support of his school, coach and team — and people across the globe who’ve never met him are posting messages of support online.
Some hope Allums’ actions will help gay teens struggling with their identity.
Allums has come a long way from the basketball court at Centennial High School. Back then, teammates called him Kay-Kay, but he felt that never quite fit him.
“I feel as if I should have been born male with male parts but I am, my biological sex, is female,” Allums said.
On Wednesday, Allums became a poster child of sorts for the transgender community by announcing she, is now a he — even if the physical changes haven’t happened yet.
“It got too tough,” he said. “It got too tough to not be me.”
Rebecca Waggoner, of the gay rights advocacy group Outfront Minnesota, has been following Allums’ announcement and couldn’t help but notice the response.
“He’s getting so much support from so many people and that’s what equality looks like in an institutional setting,” she said.
It’s a change from recent stories in the gay community of teen bullying.
“Kids are dying all over the country and state of Minnesota because of their perceived identity and the bullying and harassment that they are experiencing,” she said.
Allums changed more than his pronoun with Wednesday’s announcement. Waggoner believes he’ll also forever be seen as a role model.
“That’s what’s going to change. The tide is hearing more of these stories where people do come out and it’s not the end of the world,” she said.
The NCAA said Allums is eligible to continue playing for the women’s team because he has not yet undergone hormone treatments.
Allums will play in his first game since his coming out on Nov. 13 at the Best Buy Classic in Minneapolis.