Last month, GW junior Kye Allums made news when he publicly came out as a transgender man and the first openly transgender person to play Division I college basketball. Because he is still biologically a female, he is able to continue playing on the women’s team as long as he does not undergo hormone therapy.
In light of Allums’s recent disclosure, transgender advocates encouraged that the National Collegiate Athletic Association clarify how these athletes should be treated and how it can make it easier for transgender athletes to publicly come out.
Suggestions offered by a group of the NCAA would allow a male athlete transitioning to female to play on a women’s team if “that athlete has undergone testosterone suppression treatment for at least one year.” Additionally, “documentation of testosterone suppression” would follow for the athlete to be eligible to play on a woman’s team.
Female athletes transitioning to males would be permitted to play on a men’s team at any time. But because testosterone is on the NCAA’s banned drug list, the athlete must acquire a medical exception to use the substance in order to participate in NCAA athletics before undergoing any hormone treatment.
The proposed interpretation, endorsed by the NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports, is similar to a set of suggestions offered by the National Center on Lesbian Rights and the Women’s Sports Foundation earlier this year.