Mack Beggs went from a little known Texas trangender wrestler to a national celebrity overnight. It isn’t what he wanted, but it happened.
When Beggs captured the Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) Class 6A girls 110-pound championship, he ignited an enormous debate about the fairness of a girl transitioning to a boy wrestling against female colleagues competing without the aid of testosterone.
Despite Beggs wanting to compete as a male, UIL regulations bar anyone from competing in a gender that doesn’t match their birth certificate. For his part, Beggs and his grandmother have continued to provide testosterone testing results to ensure that Beggs is legally within the range required to compete in the girls category.
That didn’t deter MMA commentator and stand-up comedian Joe Rogan from weighing in against Beggs on Twitter, quote vociferously at that, though he did support Beggs’ quiet crusade to compete against boys in the future.
For their part, some of the girls who were vanquished by Beggs defended his right to compete against girls, again pushing most of the culpability for the situation on UIL’s regulations.
“I really feel that it’s unfair that everybody is so against Mack because we are still just wrestlers. I’ve wrestled him before,” Arlington Sam Houston wrestler Destiny Dominguez, a past competitor of Beggs, told the Dallas Morning News. “It’s nothing strength-wise. As a wrestler, it’s not how strong you are, it’s your mentality, how you wrestle. It doesn’t matter who you wrestle, it’s how. I think with Mack, it’s an inspiration for everybody. Despite how many people are against you, to be out here and for him to win is such a great things. It’ll open up maybe for more kids to feel confident for doing sports.”
Lisa Latham, the mother of a wrestler defeated by Beggs in the tournament, also offered support for Beggs to the Morning News in light of his plight.
“Mack wants to wrestle boys and he’ll never be recognized as a boy because of the birth certificate in the state of Texas. And female wrestlers don’t have a chance. …The UIL needs to get up with the times.”
In fact, the near-universal show of support for Beggs to compete as a boy could even force the UIL to change it’s standards; according to the Amarillo Globe-News, Amarillo Tascosa wrestling coach Joe Stafford expressed confidence that UIL would fix the situation in the future.
“I don’t feel like it’s my position to make those calls,” Stafford told the Globe-News. “I’ve read the rules and the UIL is in the process of figuring out the right thing to do. It’s not something that’s going to be solved overnight. It’s going to take a lot of people working together to come to a reasonable solution. … I have no doubt it will get solved. It’s just going to take some time. This is all still very new.”