Lawsuit to have trans wrestler banned from competing dismissed by judge

Joseph McCormick April 26, 2017
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A lawsuit has been dismissed which sought to have transgender wrestler Mack Beggs banned from competing.

The lawsuit against the university interscholastic league (UIL) was dismissed yesterday by a Travis County judge.

It had claimed that the UIL should have stopped Beggs from competing, and winning a girls’ wrestliing state championship.

Lawsuit to have trans wrestler banned from competing dismissed by judge

This is despite that Beggs had asked to compete in the male championship but was originally denied that right.

The lawsuit suggested that, despite Beggs taking testosterone under a “safe harbor” provision, that he caused a higher risk of injury to other wrestlers and carried an unfair adventage.

It was brought by Coppell lawyer Jim Baudhuin, and alleged that the UIL was not adhering to its own policies on use of steroids.

The case was dismissed after the UIL filed a Plea of Jurisdiction.

“It was kind of expected,” said Damon McNew, Beggs’ stepfather.

“It’s what the UIL stated a little bit after the competition.”

It is unclear whether Badhuin will appeal the decision. “As I’m standing here 15 minutes after the hearing is done, I don’t think we’re going to pursue it any further,” He said.

Beggs was earlier this year given approval to compete against males, but there’s a catch.

The teen was told after winning the girls’ championship that he is now allowed to wrestle boys but only during the off-season.

The policy, which allows Beggs to fight against male opponents, is newly adopted by USA Wrestling. It determines that female to male trans people are only allowed to compete in the male category.

However, this goes against a policy instated by the University Interscholastic League which requires public school students to compete in the gender category that they were assigned at birth.

The policy change came a month after Beggs won the girls’ state wrestling title – much to the dismay of parents of other contenders who took legal action to sue the 17-year-old.

Parents argued that Beggs had an “unfair advantage” because of his testosterone treatment, although he was literally forced to compete in the girls 110 pound category.

A number of trans-sports activists believe that Beggs’ case could mean a huge change for trans athletes in the future.

Chris Mosier, one of the first athletes to come out as transgender, said that the policy was “not well thought out”.

“Mack is challenging what people thought was a good policy.

“This very well may spark change from people just by seeing how the policy was not well thought out and this is the outcome of following the rules exactly as they are.”

Since his case hit headlines, Beggs has pushed to send an important message to the young trans community.

The wrestler spoke about how he felt suicidal when he was younger, but insisted his “persistence and hardwork” has paid of.

“There’s always going to be another day or another week, you just have to keep going,” he said.

More: LGBT, Mack Beggs, Trans, Transgender, US, wrestling

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