Kye Allums makes history today becoming the first out transgendered person playing Division 1 NCAA basketball.

According to Outsports, Allums was born a female, but chose to identify herself as a boy. But for Allums, choosing the gender he wanted to have wasn’t always easy.

“I’ve always felt most comfortable dressing like a boy, but my mom would take all of my clothes from me and she’d force me to wear girl clothes. I’d bring sweats and basketball shorts and put them in my backpack. I’d just change every day when I got to school, and I had to change back before I went home. It was annoying, but it was the only way I could go to school.”

Allums recalls a text he received from his mom. She wrote, “Who you do think you are, young lady?” Jezebel says this sparked an epiphany with Allums. “I realized I wasn’t a young lady at all.”

The reaction to Allums becoming a man by his female teammates wasn’t received so well in the beginning. But one of Allums’ teammates says they eventually came around.

“We were all just talking, a bunch of teammates, and he said that he’s a guy. At first I didn’t understand, and then he explained that sex is how you’re born and gender is how you identify yourself. Then I started to understand.”

While family, friends, and teammates, accepted him, Allums wondered what his coach Mike Bozeman would think. Allums seemed surprised by Bozeman’s final thoughts. “Why would you think I wouldn’t have your back? I’ve had your back through everything. Our relationship has grown from nothing to this, and now you think I’d just turn my back on you because you told me this? No. I love you and I’ll always be here for you.”

Jezebel says there are guidelines for trans-athlete participation—one including hormone therapy. But Allums won’t be doing that in order to continue playing on the women’s team. Guidelines also specifically state, “Transgender young people have the same right to participate and benefit from the positive aspects of athletics as other students do.”

Allums journey to being who he wants to be is an astounding example to youth struggling with identity in Black America. Hats off to the NCAA for standing up for their player’s right to choose.

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