Mack Beggs, a transgender male, won his second straight state title in his girls wrestling weight class. Beggs, of Euless Trinity High School outside Dallas, was 36-0 for his season, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. First off, well done!
A few years ago, Beggs began transitioning from female to male.
It was his steroid therapy treatments while wrestling girls that stirred a fierce debate about competitive fairness and transgender rights last season.
Beggs, however, shrugged off the criticism, saying, "I don't care, I gave my all in that match".
"It sure as hell didn't stop me from doing what I wanted to do in the past, and it won't stop me from what I want to do in the future".
Beggs had tried to compete in the boys division but was knocked back by the State, which now says that athletes can only compete in the gender determined by their birth certificate.
His mom, Angela McNew, said that Beggs isn't trying taking advantage of the girls he is forced to wrestle simply to have an easier path to a state title. The girls he wrestles with, they are tough.
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Many parents have been outraged to see their daughters wrestling someone who, effectively, has the strength of a young man.
Video posted online showed a mix of cheers and boos from the crowd following Beggs' win. Though the UIL has said publicly that it has never received an official request from Beggs or his school asking to wrestle boys. However, he completes in the girl's division because Texas public high schools require athletes to go by the sex on their birth certificate.
"But what can I tell people?" It was done to help schools determine competition, according to the UIL's deputy director Jamie Harrison. "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".
Kayla Fitts, one of Beggs' opponents during the weekend tournament, told the News she didn't think wrestling Beggs was fair. No matter who you put in front of me, I feel like a champion no matter what.
Beggs is now entertaining a scholarship offer at an out-of-state school.
Beggs successfully won the state championship for the second straight year on Saturday, but when he was declared the victor, he was met with a hail of boos from numerous spectators in attendance.