Trans­gen­der boy with girls ti­tle: ‘I don’t cheat’

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

— A trans­gen­der boy who won a girls wrestling state ti­tle in Texas says he would com­pete against boys if al­lowed and is tak­ing lower doses of testos­terone to try to be fair to his op­po­nents.

Mack Beggs said in an in­ter­view that aired Sun­day on ESPN that he com­petes against girls only be­cause the state’s gov­ern­ing body for pub­lic high school sports re­quires him to wres­tle un­der the gen­der listed on his birth cer­tifi­cate.

Asked if he was tak­ing the amount of testos­terone he wanted while mak­ing the tran­si­tion to male, Beggs said he was “hold­ing back be­cause of wrestling.”

“I want to do it fairly,” he said. “I don’t want to cheat. That’s not some­thing I do. I don’t cheat.”

The 17-year-old Beggs won the 110-pound girls ti­tle as a ju­nior at Eu­less Trin­ity High School in the Dal­las-Fort Worth area. He could face a le­gal chal­lenge dur­ing his se­nior wrestling sea­son.

Univer­sity In­ter­scholas­tic League rules al­low Beggs to com­pete while tak­ing testos­terone, but school su­per­in­ten­dents and ath­letic di­rec­tors voted over­whelm­ingly last year on the gen­der re­quire­ment.

“We asked them is it OK if this trans­gen­der, this trans male were to take testos­terone while tran­si­tion­ing, and that’s what we got, ‘They can take it, but they can only com­pete on what’s on their birth cer­tifi­cate,’ ” Beggs said. “That’s when we were like, ‘Well, then, there goes us ask­ing if I can com­pete on the males.’ ”

Jim Baud­huin, an at­tor­ney and a Dal­las-area wrestling par­ent, has filed a law­suit seek­ing to keep Beggs from com­pet­ing against girls. The law­suit mostly takes aim at the UIL for al­low­ing Beggs to face girls while on testos­terone.

Af­ter the law­suit was filed, two girls for­feited their matches against Beggs at the re­gional tour­na­ment lead­ing into the state meet. All four op­po­nents wres­tled Beggs at state, but some par­ents com­plained it wasn’t fair. There were some boos in the crowd af­ter Beggs won the state ti­tle.

Beggs said the girls who for­feited at re­gion­als were forced into that de­ci­sion by their par­ents. “It’s not like I’m do­ing this be­cause I want to, like, call my­self a boy and just dom­i­nate all th­ese girls,” Beggs said. “What do I get out of that? I don’t get any­thing out of that. I was put in this po­si­tion. Change the laws and then watch me wres­tle boys.”

Beggs said wrestling be­came an out­let for him as he strug­gled with gen­der iden­tity.

“I want to wres­tle,” he said. “Doesn’t mat­ter who you put in front of me, you come in front of me, want to wres­tle, all right, let’s wres­tle. Let’s go. That’s all I want to do.”

THE DAL­LAS MORN­ING NEWS

Mack Beggs (at home last month), a trans­gen­der stu­dent at Eu­less Trin­ity High, won a state ti­tle wrestling against girls, as UIL rules re­quire. Beggs, 17, says that if al­lowed, he’d com­pete against boys.

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