Transgender teenager Mack Beggs wins Texas wrestling title
Transgender teenager Mack Beggs has won the Texas wrestling title after being forced to compete in the female category.
The 17-year-old won the Texas girl’s state championship in the 110-pound weight class after he beat Chelsea Sanchez 12-2.
The teen had a 52-match undefeated streak in the girls’ league.
Beggs said of the win: “I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for my teammates. That’s honestly what the spotlight should’ve been on, my teammates.
“The hard work that I put in in the practice room with them, beside me — we trained hard every, single day. Every, single day, and that’s where the spotlight should have been on. Not me. All of these guys. Because I would not be here without them.”
The teen has pleaded with the Texas University Interscholastic League to permit him to compete as a boy, but he was forced to compete in the female category because of state policies that requires student athletes to compete “as the gender listed on their birth certificate”.
Despite having lived as male for several years and undergoing gender treatment, he was forced by the state to wrestle in the girls’ league – a less than desirable solution.
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Prior to winning the tournament, Beggs faced action from parents who wanted to ban him from the sport.
One parent, local attorney Jim Baudhuin, even filed a lawsuit to prevent Beggs from competing. However, AP reported that Baudhuin has since changed his stance on the teen’s rights to compete.
Baudhuin said: “Mack is a great kid, hard-working, great kid, so this is not a personal. This is not a hatred issue. We just don’t think it’s fair that Mack should wrestle, either be allowed or should be required to wrestle against girls.”
Speaking about the bigotry he has faced Beggs stressed that other wrestlers are happy to compete, and it was mainly parents who were discriminatory.
“The thing is, we want to wrestle each other. I feel so sick and disgusted by the discrimination not by the kids, the parents and coaches.
“These kids don’t care who you put in front of them to wrestle. We just want to wrestle,” he said. “They are taking that away from me and from the people I’m competing with.”