Texas transgender teen Mack Beggs advances to state wrestling semifinals

Texas transgender teen Mack Beggs won a regional girls wrestling title when a would-be finalist forfeited rather than wrestle against him (Photo: Twitter screen shot)

Texas transgender teen Mack Beggs advances to state wrestling semifinals

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Texas transgender teen Mack Beggs advances to state wrestling semifinals

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Mack Beggs wants to win a state title and wants to wrestle boys.   The transgender wrestler from Euless Trinity High School will likely only accomplish one of those feats this weekend.

Beggs, 17, won two matches on Friday at the state wrestling finals in Cypress, a suburb in northwest Houston.

His story attracted attention last weekend when two female wrestlers forfeited in the regional finals, protesting that Beggs has a competitive advantage by receiving testosterone treatments as part of his transition to female to male.

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 purpose.

The UIL permitted Beggs to compete, but would not allow him to wrestle the gender he identifies with after a rule was passed in early 2016 specifying athletes could only participate as the gender listed on their birth certificate.

On Friday, Jamey Harrison with the UIL says the rule came about after it received “an increasing volume of calls” from school administrators asking about gender determination.

Texas superintendents approved the rule 586-32, according to reporting from our media partners at the Star-Telegram.

“We’re following what our legislative council wants us to follow and certainly the overwhelming majority of our school membership wants us to follow,” Harrison said.

Parents watching the state finals at the Berry Center in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD shared a decidedly different sentiment.

EARLIER: Transgender teen wins regional wrestling title amid firestorm of opposition

Lisa Latham watched her daughter compete against Beggs in the first match of the day.

“This is not a win win situation,” Latham said.  “It’s not fair for either one of them. It’s not fair.”

Taylor Latham, a senior from Clear Springs High School in League City, lost the match 18-7, a lopsided result.

“It’s not fair for Mack because Mack is not getting true competition and true experience for what it is to wrestle his level. I’m frustrated that times are changing and UIL is still in the dark ages.”

The rule dictating competition based on birth certificate gender came about in late 2015 and was approved in early 2016.  Jamey Harrison with UIL says it started receiving calls from school districts asking about gender determination.

“We’re following what our legislative council wants us to follow and certainly the overwhelming majority of our school membership wants us to follow,” Harrison said.

Beggs will face Grand Prairie’s Kailyn Clay on Saturday morning. The two met last weekend in the regionals with Beggs winning by pinfall.

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