April 26, 2017

Transgender wrestler competes for state high school championship

27 February 2017, 12:53 | Simon Arnold

Mack Beggs won the Texas Class 6A Region II 110-pound girls wrestling title Saturday. More

Mack Beggs won the Texas Class 6A Region II 110-pound girls wrestling title Saturday

Despite this Beggs was booed by people who thought he had an unfair advantage when taking on girls because he was taking drugs that increased his testosterone.

As Beggs has undergone testosterone therapy while transitioning from girl to boy, he compiled a 56-0 record this season.

As the controversy off the mat grows, wrestler Annamarie Crixell who went into the tournament with the prospect of facing Beggs said she welcomes him. "We are proud of our athlete for winning second place at the regional meet and look forward to her future success as she competes at the state meet this coming weekend".

The University Interscholastic League, which governs school sports in Texas, said that the state's education code allows the use of a banned drug such as steroids if it "is prescribed by a medical practitioner for a valid medical goal". "That is a choice", said Patti Overstreet. "It's never going to be equal".

UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison, who refused to address Beggs directly, told the Associated Press that the tournament was fair, despite concerns about the wrestler.

'Nothing that has happened at this year's wrestling championships has the UIL reconsidering its rules because quite frankly we don't believe that any issues being reported on are really a product of UIL rules, ' he said. His performance this wrestling season is leading many to question Texas' rules about high school transgender athletes. "It's in the ether everywhere", he said on condition of anonymity.

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Despite the fact that Mack's preference would be to play on his school's boys' team, he was in good spirits about his win.

Texas' policy and Trump's rollback of trans protections, Taylor said, does trans students like Beggs a huge disservice in shutting them out from the joys of athletics. The attorney, who calls Beggs a "great kid", says the lawsuit isn't "fueled by hate". The parent of a different wrestler actually filed suit challenging Beggs's eligibility on grounds that her extra strength from the testosterone could pose a physical risk to her opponents in matches.

The state tournament is Friday February 24 and Saturday February 25 in Cypress, Texas.

The University Interscholastic League permits athletes to compete if they receive steroids if they do so under the supervision of a doctor for a legitimate medical goal. "It's because she's taking [a testosterone] enhancement".

Earlier this week, President Trump announced that his administration will be reversing President Obama's controversial bathroom bill executive order.

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