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Transgender wrestler Beggs ends high school career with girls state title after prohibition from wrestling boys

Mack Beggs ended his high school wrestling career with a 132-9 record, after being forced to wrestle girls.

Dallas Morning News / YouTube

On Saturday, Mack Beggs of Trinity High School in Euless, TX, won the Class 6A 110-pound girls championship for the second time. This is despite Beggs, who identifies as male, wanting to wrestle other boys throughout his scholastic career.

Begg’s title winning triumph over Chelsea Sanchez of Morton Ranch High School in Katy, was met with boos inside the Berry Center in Cypress (per Brad Townsend of Dallas Morning News).

Beggs is banned from competing against other boys. According to, this is because Texas uses a student’s birth certificate to determine a student athlete’s gender for participation in sports. Texas is one of seven states that TransAthlete claims has discriminatory practices towards transgender K-12 student athletes. The others are Idaho, Nebraska, Louisiana, Alabama, North Carolina, and Indiana.

Samantha Allen of The Daily Beast wrote in her opinion piece ‘Texas Should Let Trans Wrestlers Like Mack Beggs Fight Other Boys’ that the 18-year-old’s ‘unique predicament’ is that he is barred from wrestling boys in Texas because his original birth certificate lists him as female, yet he is allowed to take testosterone as part of his medically necessary transition-related health care.

In her piece Allen points out that Beggs has been the target of outrage since his gender identity become public knowledge a little over a year ago. Allen argues that one of the reasons why there has been such vitriol directed at the teenager is that many cisgender people in the USA (and elsewhere) have a narrow understanding of what it means to be transgender and/or non-binary.

“There are those reacting to Beggs’ victory as if he were a per-transition transgender girl — i.e., someone who was assigned male at birth — competing in the girls category,” writes Allen. “Scroll through the replies on Twitter to the conservative Washington Times’ coverage of Beggs’ win and you’ll find many readers who didn’t grasp that Beggs is transitioning from female to male, not the other way around.”

Allen continues to state that the lack of understanding over Beggs’ gender identity is especially disappointing given that in a 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, 57 percent of respondents reported that they were assigned “female” on their original birth certificates.

In her op-ed, Allen connects the ire and confusion over Beggs with the current argument in the U.S. over “bathroom bills”, which seek to limit individuals access to public restrooms based on the gender they were assigned at birth. Allen argues that this debate largely ignores the fact that these rules, which have been enacted in several states, intend to force trans men to use facilities frequented by women and girls.

In Texas there were several attempts to introduce bathroom bills to limit trans individuals access to toilets, but each of these failed. The closest any of those laws came to becoming a reality was receiving a hearing in the State Affairs committee in the Texas House Legislature.

In Cypress, TX, after clinching his second state title, Beggs spoke to Sports Day HS about his accomplishment and touched on the negative reaction he received in the Barry Center (by some; there were also many cheers).

“This year I wanted to prove a point that anyone can do anything,” said Beggs. “Even though I was put in this position, even through I didn’t want to be put in this position, even though I wanted to wrestle the guys, I still had to wrestle girls.

“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.”

Beggs told Sports Day HS that he’s never cared about public reaction and that Saturday was no different. This is evident in the video captured by Townsend, where Beggs proudly taps his chest, as the cheers and boos ring out around him.

“They’re saying ‘steroids.’ They’re saying, ‘Oh they’re beating up on the girls,’” said Beggs of the typical heckles he receives.

According to Sports Day HS audience-members weren’t the only ones to voice displeasure over Beggs. Kayla Fitts, a senior at Cypress Ranch, was 52-0 on the season before losing to Beggs 11-2 in Saturday’s semifinal match.

Fitts told The Dallas Morning News that “The strength definitely was the difference. I didn’t anticipate how strong he was.”

Fitts also said flat out that it was not fair that she should have to wrestle Beggs. “I understand if you want to transition your gender,” she said. “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.”

Sports Day HS reports that Beggs has taken doctor-prescribed low-dose testosterone injections (36 milligrams per week) since his freshman year. Begg’s testosterone use is permissible for use in competition in Texas high school athletics because it has been dispensed, prescribed, delivered, and administered by a medical practitioner for a valid medical purpose.

The argument regarding whether it is fair for girls to compete against Beggs, even though Beggs himself only wants to compete against boys, is now coming to a close. Saturday was the last high school wrestling match of Beggs career. His teen years have seen him endure through boos, a lawsuit (from a parent who didn’t want their daughter competing against him, which was thrown out), depression, and even suicidal thoughts. But Beggs credits his coach Travis Clark, teammates, and most of all his family for helping him battle through and become a champion.

Now Beggs has graduation to look forward to and a career in college wrestling. Beggs has received a scholarship from a small college outside of Texas, but he does not wish to name them at this time.

The rules in Texas that have prevented Beggs from wrestling other boys don’t exist in the NCAA and USA Wrestling. Beggs is delighted and looking forward to the challenge. He told Brad Townsend of Sports Day HS that he is expecting to redshirt one year of college and maybe sit out another while improving strength and technique to ensure he is competitive against other men.

“My focus is now to go not just NCAA, but train for the Olympics, 2020 and 2024.”

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