Kye Allums: A Male Trapped in a Female body

Kye Allums was a very controversial subject in the sport of women’s basketball during her career. Kye was the first openly transgendered athlete in division 1 history. She was a women’s basketball player for George Washington University. For those of you that may not know being transgender means you identify with the other sex instead of your own. Kye is biological a women and has all of the women reproductive parts. Even though she is biologically a women she identifies with the male race and considers herself to be a male. This is totally different then when someone is transexual. When someone is transexual that means they have already undergone the surgery to change gender. Kye openly came out to the public during a post game press conference and as can be expected this caused many issues in the sports world.   

The main issue facing Kye was many people believed if she viewed herself as a male then she should be required to play on the male team. Anyone that follows sports knows that putting a women on the males team would be unfair to the women player because would face a large physical disadvantage. In Kye’s case the NCAA ruled that as long as Kye was not taking any hormones or attempting to have a sex change surgery that she was allowed to continue playing on the women’s team. To many this seemed like a obvious solution because regardless of what gender she think she is she still is biologically a women. The issues came when trying to respect and treat Kye as she wanted to be treated. Kye said that she was going to wait until her basketball career was over till she began to under go the hormone therapy in order to have a sex change. In the programs sold before every game Kye Allums was listed as a male on the female team.

Another issue brought up by Kye’s case was what would happen if she were to have the surgery? Would she still be allowed to play with the women or would she be required to play with the men. Well according to the NCAA is a women begins taking testosterone in effort to have the sex change then that athlete would be ineligible to play. Once they are completed with the surgery then the once female athlete would then be regarded by the NCAA as a male athlete. With changes like this there are many smaller issues to be addressed by the NCAA. Issues such as which locker rooms and bathrooms with those athletes use? The list of possible moral issues can be endless, but in the society we live in where people can freely choose to make changes to their sexes these issues are going to become more common and are going to have to be solved.


About bradhelmick

I am currently a senior at ODU.
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2 Responses to Kye Allums: A Male Trapped in a Female body

  1. e924919 says:

    This is a very unusual but also fascinating conflict that I have never heard of in all my years watching basketball. To identify yourself as a male inside a women’s body and to still be playing women’s basketball is crazy to me. I don’t understand why she would even attempt to tryout for the male basketball team because physically she is still a women, forget how she feels inside. I definitely commend her for coming out and telling pretty much the entire basketball world her situation, but I personally would of kept that to myself. She definitely put her basketball career at risk with the statements made. The NCAA committee is a very strict organization, and you never know what rules they could pull up to ultimately end Kye’s career at GW.

  2. This post really highlights the difference between sex and gender. Sex we defined as the biological difference between males and females, whereas gender was a cultural construction of masculinity and femininity. Kye is of the female sex but has a male identity.

    What Kye’s situation points out is that, to a certain extent, even sex is a cultural construction. With the required reading from Hrdy I was trying to illustrate how social environmental conditions have a profound effect on biology, greater possibly than any effect biology has on the social.

    I feel like there was a similar debate last summer Olympics around a track athlete that competed as a female, identified as female, but was intersexed. Like she had a Y-chromosome but no penis or testicles. Or something like that? Does anyone remember this? The point is that if you push it far enough, even our common sense notion about the biological definition of male and female breaks down.

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