Mack Beggs is a high school senior at Euless Trinity High School in Texas, and he just won his second straight state title—in the girls’ 6A 110-pound division.
You can probably guess where this story goes. Beggs is a transgender male who has been legally taking testosterone since his freshman year of high school, but Texas’ University Interscholastic league rules dictate that athletes must “compete in the gender division that corresponds to their birth certificates.”
Beggs, who has gone 132-9 over three seasons, including an undefeated record for the past two years, has a scholarship offer to wrestle on a male team, and would have preferred to wrestle against men in high school. There have been lawsuits filed attempting to bar him from competing against women, and even legislative action that nearly passed the state congressional houses.
Here are two angles of Beggs’ victory in the championship bout. As you see, he was roundly booed by the crowd after winning the state title:
Many states, along with the NCAA, allow athletes to compete based on gender identity, rather than birth gender. Texas is not one of them, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Here’s what Beggs said after the match:
“My family, we’ve been through so much,” he said. “If you’re going to talk down to someone that just wants to pursue a wresting dream, to pursue any dream in general, who are you to as a person to talk down to an 18-year-old that wants to succeed in life but can’t do anything about it right now?
“And you’re just going to tell me either to not wrestle at all or wrestle the guys? Well, I can’t wrestle the guys, so I’m going to do in whatever ability I can, to do what I can right now, in the moment.
This is the latest clear example of how we bungle various rules and regulations as a society when we fail to simply let transgender men and women be who they tell us they are.