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Training and transitioning

Local college basketball player breaks sports barrier

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Kye Allums, a junior interior design major, is a shooting guard for the George Washington University's women's basketball team. (Photo courtesy of George Washington University)

In a time when athletes, like many others in the public eye, are still afraid to come out as gay, it’s surprising to hear of a college athlete coming out as transgender.

But Kye Allums, a transgender male, has done just that.

Allums, a junior interior design major, is a shooting guard for the George Washington University’s women’s basketball team, the Colonials.

He grew up in Hugo, Minn., and has been playing basketball since seventh grade. It wasn’t until his freshman year of college that he came to realize who he was.

“I finally got away from home, got away from just everybody really, and I was on my own,” he says. “I had a chance to think about who I really was, what I actually liked, and I found out that I was a transgender man.”

Allums cut his hair during his freshman year as well, but says it had nothing to do with how he felt. He didn’t like having to fix his hair.

Allums is the first transgender male student-athlete to play for the university’s women’s basketball team and one of the first in the NCAA.

“[Allums] is a role model for countless other transgender young people both as an athlete and a human being,” Shannon Minter, legal director of National Center for Lesbian Rights, says. “Because of his courage, transgender youth know they can follow in his footsteps and be successful athletes without sacrificing who they are.”

“[He] is … setting a precedent for other transgender athletes at the college … level who may now feel much safer about coming out and being their true selves,” Minter said.

Allums says it’s cool being the first, but that there’s also something sad about it.

“I don’t like knowing that other people are afraid to be themselves,” Allums says. “I know I’m not the only transgender male in the world. I’m trying to be an example for other people to not be afraid of who they are.”

Allums’ teammates and coaches have been supportive of his transition.

“The George Washington University women’s basketball program, including myself, support [Allums]’s right to make this decision,” said Mike Bozeman, the school’s women’s basketball head coach.

Allums describes the team as a family. He is the “big brother” and his teammates are his sisters.

Last month the National Center for Lesbian Rights, with It Takes a Team, released “On the Team: Equal Opportunities for Transgender Student Athletes,” a report that addresses integration of transgender student athletes in both high school and collegiate athletic programs.

“The support that [Allums] has received from his coach and his teammates is incredibly heartening,” Minter says. “The university is … providing a great example for other schools of how to support and respect a transgender player. This has been an incredibly positive experience for everyone involved and it has changed the face of college sports forever.”

The report addresses issues that may come up in competitive sports considering that many teams are segregated by sex and some athletes may question the fairness of a transgender athlete playing on either a women’s or men’s team, depending on the situation.

Allums’ decision to postpone hormone therapy is what allows him to remain on the women’s team and keep his scholarship.

A large part of his decision is based on the fact that testosterone is a banned substance within the NCAA because it could give athletes an unfair advantage.

Allums is planning on pursuing hormone therapy once his college basketball career is over.

GWU will open its 2010-11 season on Saturday against Green Bay in the Best Buy Classics in Minneapolis and its first home game will be Thursday against Coppin State.

The Colonials finished last season 6-22. Allums started 20 of the 26 games he played.

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Vulgar anti-gay slur halts championship final soccer match

The league has written rules and guidelines that call for the referees on the field to halt game play if fans ignore warnings

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DENVER, CO. – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football, (CONCACAF) league’s final match in the Mile-High City Sunday was halted after fans disrupted the game play by shouting a homophobic chant directed at players on the field.

ESPN reported the pause occurred during the final moments of the second half before the game went to extra time in the U.S. men’s national team’s 3-2 win. Referee John Pitti resumed the match after three minutes as players on both sides pleaded with the crowd to stop using the chant.

The league has written rules and guidelines that call for the referees on the field to halt game play if a warning to the spectators by the announcer over the stadium’s public address has already warned the crowd to cease and desist. Should the crowd not stop, then the referee has the authority to send the players to the locker rooms and can also call for the match to be abandoned.

ESPN also reported that this was the second tournament match to be halted due to anti-gay chants at Empower Field at Mile High. Mexico’s semifinal win over Costa Rica was also briefly paused. That match also saw several fans ejected from the stadium.

Outsports Webzine reported this past Spring that the disgraceful “puto” chant —a vulgar slur for male prostitute — is ubiquitous at Mexican soccer matches, and up until recently, Soccer’s governing body, Fédération Internationale de Football Association or FIFA, has been ambivalent towards its eradication. The organization has punished Mexico at least 12 times for the chant since 2015, and yet, it hasn’t disappeared.

In March, FIFA opened an investigation into anti-gay chanting by Mexico supporters during an Olympic qualifier against the Dominican Republic ESPN noted.

WATCH: USA Beats Mexico FULL MATCH [CONCACAF Nations League Final] | from CBS Sports. Game play is halted at the 1 hour thirty seven minute mark on the YouTube video:

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Niners kick-off Pride with NFL’s 1st-ever gender-neutral gear

The team hopes to score another win for its diverse fanbase Thursday with a new retail line that isn’t limited by binary gender styles

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49ers Pride (Photo Credit: SF 49ers.com)

SANTA CLARA, CA. – The San Francisco 49ers have announced month-long plans for the organization’s annual celebration of June LGBTQ+ Pride month. Led by 49ers PRIDE, the official fan club of 49ers Faithful who identify as LGBTQ+ and allies, the 2021 celebration will be highlighted by the 2021 49ers PRIDE Collection.

Every fan can feel seen

49ers Pride (Photo Credit: SF 49ers.com)

The San Francisco 49ers call their new retail line of rainbow-logo’d tops, tees and jackets “genderless.” We think you’ll call them cool- two years after the San Francisco 49ers led the NFL with the first official community for LGBTQ fans and allies, back in May 2019, the team hopes to score another win for its diverse fanbase Thursday with a new retail line that isn’t limited by binary gender styles.

The new array of team-branded and Pride-themed clothing is the league’s first and only “genderless” collection, according to a news release from the Niners. The threads are by Fanatics and the team promises 100% of the proceeds from this collection will benefit the San Francisco LGBT Center, the Oakland LGBT Center and The LGBTQ Youth Space: San Jose.

49ers Pride49ers Pride

“Supporting the LGBTQ+ community in sports is a priority for the 49ers organization because sport has not always been inviting,” the 49ers’ Hannah Gordon told the Los Angeles Blade. Gordon is entering her tenth season with the 49ers and third as chief administrative officer and general counsel.

49ers Pride49ers Pride

“We created 49ers PRIDE to make space for all of our LGBTQ+ fans and allies and it quickly became an incredible community. This year, we designed the first genderless retail line by an NFL team because we don’t want there to be 49ers fan who wants gear but doesn’t feel seen. If you want to support the Niners, we have something for you.”

49ers Pride (Photo Credit: SF 49ers.com)

There will still be items available that fans who prefer a feminine cut can purchase at the team’s online store, but the 2021 Pride collection is specifically geared toward Niners fans who aren’t interested in reinforcing gender stereotypes when they support their team and fly their Pride colors.

49ers Pride (Photo Credit: SF 49ers.com)

“With this line, we have pieces that were designed so that however you identify, you can find a fit and any two people can express different styles with the same piece,” said Gordon. “I love seeing how our fans wear these pieces and express their style. Doing it your own way is faithful to the Bay.”

49ers Pride (Photo Credit: SF 49ers.com)

Click here to view the collection and find out more about 49ers Pride.

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Pro rugby player comes out

Devin Ibañez played with New England Free Jacks pre-pandemic

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Devin Ibanez, gay news, Washington Blade

Major League Rugby player Devin Ibañez came out as a gay man on his social media platforms on Tuesday. Sharing pictures of embracing and kissing his partner Fergus Wade, the former New England Free Jacks athlete stated, “as of now I am the only openly gay rugby player to earn a contract with an MLR side. I hope that I will meet others like myself playing a high level of rugby and hoping to inspire the next generation of proud LGBTQ rugby players. So I will proudly call myself ‘that gay rugger’ in hopes that one day it won’t sound strange in men’s rugby”

Ibañez shares on his new Instagram account @thatgayrugger, “as 2020 comes to a close I took the time to reflect on my life and what aspects I could control and make positive changes to that would impact my day to day life and happiness.”

He continues, “I want to start 2021 by celebrating the love of my life and my partner @ferguswade who has been with me through the highs and the (very) lows of the last three years.”

Fergus Wade and Devin Ibanez (Photo via Instagram @thatgayrugger)
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