Duke It Out: NCAA’s First Transgender Player

[It’s pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. Sometimes with mean words. We love a strong woman (unless she happens to be charging at us with her fists raised), so we thought we’d give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I’ll be featuring a hot topic (like is photoshopping wrong!) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]

Recently Kye Allums became the first publicly transgendered student-athlete in NCAA history to play as a male identifying player on the George Washington University women’s basketball team. It’s a big step for transgendered athletes everywhere and first off I have to say kudos to him. Still, with any kind of groundbreaking change like this, some questions arise, and it’s time to weigh in.

The big, obvious question, of course, is where does Allums belong in the sexually segregated world of college basketball? Though he hasn’t yet undergone gender reassignment, Allums does plan to have the surgery over the summer before returning for his senior season. He has no plans to take testosterone, and therefore won’t have any hormonal advantage over the other players on the women’s team, so it seems as though it shouldn’t be an issue. But on a very base level one has to wonder how things are going to be affected. Obviously it would be unfair to expect Allums to play on the men’s team, because of the physiological differences including the lower testosterone levels, but at the same time, he is essentially a man playing on the women’s team.

What do we do with that? Where does that leave the lines that have been set up by the sport’s governing body?

If the only factor allowing Allums to remain on the women’s team even after gender reassignment is the different hormone levels, then should we allow men with similar lower levels to compete in the women’s leagues? Or what about women with very high testosterone levels? Should they be allowed onto the men’s teams? Where do Allums and other student-athletes like him belong in the world of college sports?

What do you think? Should Allums be kept off of the women’s team or is it time for college sports to recognize that there’s more to gender than genitalia? Duke it out!

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