The Journey of Transitioning: Being a Trans-Athlete in College Sport
The NCAA’s stance on transgender athletes is such that universities should adopt new policies and practices to best provide equal opportunities for all transgender students wishing to compete on a collegiate athletic team. However, there is very little research about transgender athletes in college sport. This case study serves as the voice of one collegiate-athlete who is transitioning from female to male while continuing to be a Division I athlete. The limited research on transgender athletes provides some insight into their experiences before, during and after the athlete came out as transgender (e.g., Lucas-Carr & Krane, 2012; Semerjian & Cohen, 2008). However, these accounts were not given as they were happening, they were reported after the fact. This study followed one transgender athlete through his transition, which included social transition and testosterone therapy and treatment. The participant partook in eight semi-structured interviews spread across nine months. This article discusses two overarching themes (collegiate sport and transition) that emerged from our narrative analysis (Smith & Sparkes, 2009) and touches on many smaller subthemes. The implications of this study will be of interest not only to researchers, but also university administrators, coaches, and teammates of individuals who transition during their collegiate career. The participant’s description of his journey throughout the transitioning process will provide important, in depth narratives for all to consider moving forward.