Kye Allums made news when he came out as the first transgender man to play on a NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball team in November 2010. At the time, Allums was a George Washington University junior majoring in interior design. When he disclosed his gender identity to his teammates and coach, he was greeted with open arms.
Allums’s announcement also prompted the NCAA to review how it handles transgender athletes and the organization eventually allowed Allums to continue playing. In an interview with The Advocate, Allums said, “Hopefully [I’ll be] making a difference in the world in some kind of way.”
Allums ended up not playing his senior year. Not many details were given for his departure, though some pointed to multiple concussions he received while playing basketball. When asked what he would do if he could no longer play, Allums responded, “I’ll just be trying to make some kind of difference in the world… Try to get into grad school and look forward to my life.”
Allums helped paved the path for other transgender athletes and continues to be inspiration for all of us looking to make our way in the world.
Each day in October, which is LGBT History Month, we’ll be featuring a different LGBT icon. Check back tomorrow for a look at another incredible individual who changed history and visit our LGBT History Month Big News Page for more stories.