Transgender wrestler Mack Beggs wins second Texas state girls’ championship


Mack Beggs is a state champion for a second straight time. (Jason Fochtman / Houston Chronicle via AP)

Mack Beggs won a Texas girls state wrestling championship for the second year in a row with a victory that, once again, brought a mixture of cheers and boos because Beggs is a transgender athlete.

Beggs, an 18-year-old senior at Trinity High in Euless, began the transition from girl to boy a few years ago and has been taking low-level testosterone injections but is competing in the girls competition because of a decision by the University Interscholastic League after an uproar and a lawsuit last winter. Because the testosterone comes from a physician, the UIL does not regard it as a banned substance.

Although Beggs, whose given name is Mackenzie, has stated a preference for competing in the boys’ division, the UIL requires athletes to compete against the gender that is listed on their birth certificate. Beggs has gone 36-0 this year, wrestling in the 110-pound class.

When he won the state title Saturday, the boos were overtaken by cheers, not that he lets the reception he receives affect him. “I’ve trained too hard for haters to put me down,” he told the Star-Telegram after regional competition. “I’ve worked too hard for that. I work day in and day out. I’ve been through too much [expletive] for anyone to put me down.”

His second state title now in hand, he told the Dallas Morning News that he had received a scholarship offer from a non-Division I school that he did not name.

“Boys wrestling is hard. It’s really, really hard,” he told the Morning News, “but I’ll do it. If it means wrestling with the guys, I’ll do it. It doesn’t invalidate how I wrestle and how my technique is. If I get beat, I get beat.”

Beggs told the Morning News that “top” surgery will be performed soon, with “bottom” surgery later.

And if he continues to hear slurs, he says he will be undaunted.

“People don’t realize that what happened during state, that was really, honestly, nothing,” Beggs said. “That didn’t stop me from competing. That didn’t stop me from being who I was.

“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.”

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