Friday, 21 September, 2018

Transgender Wrestler Booed During Final in Texas

Mack Beggs of Euless Trinity defeated Chelsea Sanchez of Morton Ranch to defend his Class 6A girls 110-pound title during the UIL State Wrestling Championships Transgender wrestler Mack Beggs is booed after second straight state title win | Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Carol Daniels | 01 March, 2018, 09:04

To the shock of few, a transgender wrestler has won the Texas girls' Class 6A 110-pound division title for the second consecutive year. He is set to compete again Saturday in hopes of winning another title and finishing another season undefeated. Footage from the scene shows boos ringing out shortly after the final whistle blows.

The crux of the conflict-in addition to the stigma and bigotry that transgender people face throughout the world, and often specifically in athletics―is that Beggs has now twice won wrestling championships competing against high school girls, despite identifying as male and reportedly taking a low dose of testosterone to facilitate his transition. Beggs beat Sanchez for the title last year but told the Dallas Morning News that this year felt different.

Speaking to Dallas Morning News, Beggs explained "That (the criticism) didn't stop me from competing. No matter who you put in front of me, I am a champion". This year I wanted to prove a point that anyone can do anything.

According to Texas' state-level high school athletics organization, athletes must compete as the sex listed on their birth certificates.

Beggs entered the state tournament with a 32-0 record, beating three female wrestlers on his way to the championship. "Even though I was put in this position, even though I didn't want to be put in this position, even though I wanted to wrestle the guys, I still had to wrestle the girls".

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Many parents have been outraged to see their daughters wrestling someone who, effectively, has the strength of a young man.

Fans had mix reactions, and a loud chorus of boos could be heard when Beggs was named the state champion.

"McNew did not allow media interviews with Beggs prior to the state meet", TheBlaze's Teri Webster reported. One mother told reporters that she was concerned about Beggs' steroid use. An opposing coach and her teammates had insisted she wrestle Beggs, but she refused, McNew said.

In the past, Beggs has publicly said he would love to wrestle boys-and would do so, if not for the state athletic policy. University Interscholastic League (UIL) deputy director Jamie Harrison said the League is willing to consider making an exception to competition rules if asked, but UIL has not received a request from the Beggs, according to Fox4 News.

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