Transgender Boy Forced to Wrestle Girls Causes Stir

Mack Beggs is on the verge of winning the 6A championship in Texas
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2017 3:41 PM CST
Transgender Wrestler in Texas on Verge of State Championship
Mack Beggs, right, a transgender wrestler from Euless Trinity competes in a quarterfinal against Mya Engert of Amarillo Tascosa during the state wrestling tournament Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in Cypress, Texas.   (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP)

After winning his third straight match of the Texas state tournament Saturday, wrestler Mack Beggs of Euless Trinity High School is headed to the championship match—of the girl's 110-pound weight class. The Forth Worth Star-Telegram reports Beggs was born female and is transitioning to male. The transgender teen, who has been taking testosterone for more than a year, is 55-0 this season. Some girls at the tournament have forfeited rather than wrestle against Beggs; others have left the mat in tears. After one match, a mother in the stands yelled "cheater" at Beggs while complaining about "how beefed up" he is.

But most everyone seems to agree the situation isn't Beggs' fault; he says he'd rather wrestle against boys. But last year, school superintendents voted to use the gender listed on birth certificates for student athletes. And Beggs' testosterone use is permitted because its a "valid medical use" under athletic league rules, Sports Day reports. Earlier this week, an attorney filed a lawsuit against the league to keep Beggs from wrestling against girls, which he says is dangerous and unfair for the other wrestlers, according to Fox4. A transgender advocate agrees, saying it's the league's problem for not letting the 17-year-old wrestle against boys. The attorney, who calls Beggs a "great kid," says the lawsuit isn't "fueled by hate." (Read more transgender stories.)

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