TEXAS: High school wrestler Mack Beggs walked out of the Texas sports complex with a smile on his face and a gold medal dangling from his neck. He had just won the University Interscholastic League (UIL) state girls’ championship, making him the league’s first transgender boy to win a state wrestling title.
Beggs, a junior at Trinity High School in Euless, Texas, was born female and currently is transitioning to male. Despite the fact that he identifies as a boy, the league allows him to wrestle only against girls.
Despite his best efforts to share the victory, he’s all that people want to talk about.
“It is what I am,” he told reporters. “I feel good about it. I feel happier. I feel content with myself.”
Beggs began to publicly identify as male five years ago, but didn’t start medical treatment to physically transition until October 2015, according to his mother Angela McNew.
The change hasn’t been easy, but Beggs says he’s been treated “well and kind” at his school. “The staff, the teachers, the administration are all very supportive,” he said.
According to the UIL, which oversees public high school athletics, wrestlers can only compete against their own gender, which is “determined based on a student’s birth certificate.” Despite having the word “University” in its name, the UIL is only for high school competitors.
Birth certificates issued in Texas currently include a personâ€™s sex — but do not include a gender marker. â€“ Samaa/Agencies
Story first published: 4th March 2017