Friday, May 20, 2011

Allums leaves team

Kye Allums, the openly transgender member of the George Washington women's basketball team, has announced that he will not be playing his senior year.
It is largely due to the two concussions he suffered this season, according to some sources. He has sustained eight during his career. He noted that he might not have been medically cleared to play anyway.

According to the NYT though the university's statement included this passage: "[Allums] has decided it is in his best interest to no longer participate in intercollegiate athletics." That leaves some room for speculation. I would have been speculating anyway given my propensity for suspicion. The statement also included a comment from Allums that he came to this conclusion all on his own.
His announcement last fall, of course, drew a lot of attention--both positive and negative. But due to his injuries he only ended up playing in eight games this season, which may have tempered some of the attention.

Of course the media coverage remains pretty bad. Both the above links (one to Fox News even!) referred to Allums as a male and used masculine pronouns. Good.
But this article from the Daily Mail (UK) was disturbing. It strung together Allums's story, Caster Semenya's, and an American trans man who got pregnant when his wife couldn't conceive.
What? First Semenya is not trans. She has an intersex condition. She does not want to be a man. OK, so both stories are about the not-so-certain nature of gender and sex in sports. But the story of a trans man who gets pregnant. What does that have to do with anything? Did the Daily Mail just do some kind of Google search and smash together the results into one rather incoherent story? Weird. And irresponsible journalism.

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