Search the site

Growing Leaders Blog

on Leading the Next Generation


How Will Leaders Handle These New Gender Issues?

OK. Here’s a new one that our parents never had to face when they were young. A basic tenet of modern athletics involves a separation of the sexes. Yet that principle has recently been challenged on the court and in the courtroom.

Last November, Kye Allums, a transgender student on the women’s basketball team at George Washington University, publicly discussed his decision to compete after coming out in a news story. The college junior, who once went by Kay-Kay Allums and has not had gender-reassignment surgery, is the first known transgender person to compete in Division I college basketball. Allum’s disclosure came just after Lana Lawless challenged the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s policy that its players be “female at birth.” Lawless claimed the PGA rule violates California Civil Rights law. Both of these current women still have male muscles and body parts. Hmmm. My grandparents never warned me about this. Sex change is one thing. Deciding what team they should play on is quite another.

The problem for sports, of course, is not whether this is moral or not. It’s that we will soon have women in men’s bodies competing against women in women’s bodies. Will that be fair?  Should they be playing on the men’s team or the women’s team? And where do they shower?  Will they have an asterisk by their name if they set any records, saying that they had male body parts and muscles which made the playing field…well…uneven? Certainly different. Or, do we simply let it go and say that society is changing?

I’m curious. What would you say if you had to decide how to handle this issue?



  1. E Glumb on June 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I think that society had tried very hard in the last 50 years to blur the gender lines.  It has left us with these kinds of issues to deal with now.  I would tend toward the real biology of this issue.  Having a biologically male body give these people an unfair advantage.  Would they be able to complete at the same level if they played in a male league?  I have a tendency to think, no.  So is this a gender issue or a way to take advantage of a blurry social issue? E. Glumb

  2. Mgrant on June 30, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I think they ought to make them all Cheerleaders….both sets!

    Leave the athletics for females at birth and males at birth only. It’s kind of an Archie Bunker answer, Tim, but it is what it is!   🙂

Leave a Comment

How Will Leaders Handle These New Gender Issues?