Transgender Wrestler Mack Beggs Gets Booed After Winning State Title
Transgender wrestler Mack Beggs won his second consecutive state title in Texas over the weekend and was met with boos from the crowd.
TRANSGENDER WRESTLER BOOED AFTER WINNING STATE TITLE
Beggs, who began his transition from female to male a few years ago, won the Class 6A girls championship in the 110-pound division against Chelsea Sanchez. Beggs beat Sanchez last year as well. In 2017, a parent filed a lawsuit to keep Beggs from wrestling in the female division, claiming that testosterone gives him an advantage over the women competing.
“I understand if you want to transition your gender,” Cypress Ranch wrestler Kayla Fitts, who lost Beggs in the state semifinals, told Sports Daily HS. “I understand that totally. But there’s a time and a place. You can do that after high school. Or if you want to do it, you can quit the sport. Because I don’t think it’s fair at all that you’re taking testosterone. That’s steroids. I know it’s not a lot. But still.”
Whereas the University Interscholastic League (UIL) prohibits the use of testosterone, the substance in this case is not in violation of any policies because it has been prescribed by a physician.
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Also according UIL policy, student-athletes in high school are required to compete as the gender that is stated on their birth certificates. Beggs claims that he would much rather wrestle in the boys division, and that he would if the UIL policy didn’t exist.
“It definitely felt different,” Beggs told the Dallas Morning News of his win. “I felt a lot more humble. This year I wanted to prove a point that anyone can do anything. Even though I was put in this position, even though I didn’t want to be put in this position, even though I wanted to wrestle the guys, I still had to wrestle the girls,” he explained. “But what can I tell people? I can tell the State Legislature to change the policy, but I can’t tell them to change it right now. All I can hope for is that they come to their [senses] and realize this is stupid and we should change the policies to conform to other people in my position.”
“He inspires a lot of people, and if he can help just one person, then it’s worth it to Mack,” added Beggs’ father Marco Karem. The issue, it seems, is not with Beggs’ choice to transition, but with the fact that he wrestles against females. Beggs has learned to tune out the haters. “I don’t care, I gave my all in that match,” he told Texas news channel WFAA. “You put me in front of anybody and I’ll wrestle them. Each time I read comments, they all say the same thing about steroids… It all comes down to technique and who has the most heart.”
Beggs has high hopes for his wrestling future, saying he wants to wrestle in the NCAA and is currently considering a scholarship offer from an out-of-state school. He also wants to train for the Olympics. Contrary to the UIL, both the NCAA and International Olympic Committee have rules in place that athletes may compete as the gender they identify with. Beggs is also gearing up for gender reassignment surgery.
“I wanted to come out on top, and in my heart I feel like a champion,” he said after his win.
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