Transgender Wrestler Mack Beggs Wins Girls State Wrestling Title for the Second Time

February 26, 2018 | 2 Comments » | Topics: Story

Mack Beggs, an 18-year-old transgender wrestler transitioning from female to male, won his second Texas state title Saturday. 

The senior from Euless Trinity High School outside Dallas-Fort Worth, won the girls Class 6A state title at 110 pounds with a 11-2 decision over Chelsea Sanchez of Katy Morton Ranch High School at the state championships at Berry Center in Cypress, a suburb of Houston.

Last year, Beggs defeated Sanchez, 12-2, in the 110-pound title match in Class 6A competition.

As Beggs was presented with his second gold medal, he was greeted with a mix of cheers and boos.

After the match, Beggs was asked how his second state championship felt in comparison to the first.

“It definitely felt different,” Beggs told the Dallas Morning News Saturday night. “I felt a lot more humble. This year I wanted to prove a point that anyone can do anything. 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. 

“But what can I tell people? I can tell the state Legislature to change the policy, but I can’t tell them to change it right now. 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.”

Beggs has compiled a perfect record over the past two seasons. He was 36-0 this season, and 56-0 during the 2016-17 school year. 

Perfect record aside, over the past two years, Beggs’ family has said Mack would rather be wrestling boys.

Texas is one of six states with separate competitions for girls and boys. Texas’ University-Interscholastic League (UIL) — the independent body that governs collegiate and high school athletics in the Lone Star State — had implemented a rule in 2016, requiring transgender individuals to wrestle against the gender listed on their birth certificates.

He was born female, as Mackenzie, but he identifies as male even though he has yet to have gender reassignment surgeries. The Dallas Morning News reported that Mack Beggs recently consulted with a Texas plastic surgeon and hopes to soon have “top surgery,” which involves breast tissue removal and male chest contouring.

Beggs has taken doctor-prescribed, low-dose testosterone injections (currently 36 milligrams per week) since October of his freshman year. His gender transition and hormone therapy, however, did not come to public light until last January.

State law and UIL rules prohibit steroid use by high school athletes. However, Beggs’ testosterone injections are permissible, thanks to the UIL rule’s “safe harbor” provision, which allows steroids that are “dispensed, prescribed, delivered and administered by a medical practitioner for a valid medical purpose.”

The UIL’s birth certificate rule is in sharp contrast to that of the NCAA, which in 2011 set transgender policy as requiring a trans male athlete who is receiving testosterone treatment, such as Beggs, to compete on a men’s team, while prohibiting the athlete from competing on a women’s team. Prior to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the International Olympic Committee issued updated transgender guidelines allowing athletes who transition from female to male to compete in the male category without restriction.