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NCAA Clarifies Place for Trans College Athletes

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The governing body for American collegiate sports has approved a new policy that clarifies athletic opportunities for transgender students based on their gender identity.

The NCAA–which oversees athletic programs for more than 1200 colleges and institutions nationwide–worked with the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Sports Project and other LGBT advocates to develop the policy.

NCLR’s Sports Project Director Helen Carroll tells OutQ News that under the new guidelines, a transgender MALE student can immediately play on the MEN’S team because “there is not a problem of too much testosterone.” Meanwhile, a trans FEMALE student can join the WOMEN’S team only after taking a year of hormone therapy. Trans athletes NOT undergoing hormone therapy will remain eligible to play on teams based on their birth sex. But all students will be allowed to dress and use the appropriate pronouns for their respective gender identity.

Carroll says the policy change comes two years AFTER she and an initiative of the Women’s Sports Foundation came together to find ways on promoting equality for trans student athletes. She says the NCAA has supported their efforts from the very beginning.

CARROLL: I would have to say that I’ve been very, very pleased with how the NCAA has looked at this proactively and has kept the welfare of the student athlete and their member institutions directly in the forefront on this issue.

Carroll says one such trans student athlete—George Washington’s Kye Allums—was integral in making the specific changes. She says Allums himself was involved in the discussions among the NCAA, member colleges, and NCLR.

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