``I want to open people's eyes to what being trans is,'' Allums has said. ``I want other people to not feel that discomfort I felt in being someone I'm not. I didn't choose to be born inside this body and feel the way I do. It bothered me to hide who I am.''
Allums, born in Daytona Beach, grew up a tomboy who preferred jeans to dresses, and discovered an attraction to females in high school in Minnesota before gradually awakened to transgender sensibilities.
Is it a stretch to call Allums a hero if what he is doing, on stage, helps ease the inner turmoil others might be feeling? The website of The Nation, the respected magazine, has called Allums ``the Jackie Robinson of 2010.''
Allums has not generated more attention, or controversy, for two reasons, I think, beyond the fact women's college basketball -- outside of Connecticut and Tennessee and a few other enclaves -- is not nearly as maniacally followed as the men's game.
First, Allums is hardly a big, dominating, star player for a great team, standing 5-11 and averaging a modest 6.7 points as a reserve. Surely there might be an outcry from opponents if Allums were, say, a 6-5 physical force averaging 25 points.
Mostly, it has been the understanding of teammates and opponents that has softened the transition and defused what might have been a circus atmosphere. If it is true as a generality that women are more accepting than men, well, good for women.
``Courage,'' is the word George Washington captain Ivy Abiona uses for Allums.
Hurricanes players were nonchalant.
``We go by [uniform] numbers,'' guard Shenise Johnson said afterward.
Said Meier: ``It's definitely something to have a conversation about. It was talked about in the team. It's just a story you don't see very often. It's definitely intriguing. Congratulations to him for finding out about himself.''
UM, George Washington and Morgan State are participating in the Miami Holiday Classic through Thursday, and the Canes won Tuesday night's game handily behind a combined 36 points from super guards Johnson and Riquna Williams.
Meier's overlooked Hurricanes are 12-1 now, the victories including an upset of then-No. 11 Georgetown. Miami is on the verge of popping into the national Top 25 polls. (The Canes women, by the way, have won 14 consecutive home games dating to last season. Take notes, Dolphins.)
It's a shame the team draws paltry crowds, even with tickets only five bucks and admission free for UM students. Then again, admittedly, it took the curiosity over a transgender opponent to lure yours truly to his first women's game of the season.
Allums, by the way, attracting no discernable reaction from the crowd, scored a quiet seven points for George Washington.
No matter. Whether the shots are falling or not, he is making his point.