Mack Beggs never intended to be the center of sportsmanship debates and scorn. He just wanted to wrestle, and Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) governing body determined he couldn’t do so against boys.
That left the transgender teen — Beggs was born as a girl named Mackenzie Beggs but now identifies as male Mack — to continue wrestling against female competition despite taking very small weekly doses of testosterone. That has continued now, during Beggs’ senior season, when he has continued to dominate despite being forced into a competitive division he’d rather not take part in.
“Yes, of course. That’s what I’ve always wanted,” Beggs told the Dallas Morning News about wrestling against boys.
“Boys wrestling is hard. It’s really, really hard. But I’ll do it. If it means wrestling with the guys, I’ll do it. It doesn’t invalidate how I wrestle and how my technique is. If I get beat, I get beat.”
That attitude has apparently gained Beggs admirers far beyond the Texas female wrestling circuit. Beggs told the Morning-News one non-Division I college wrestling program has recruited him to compete for the team at 138 pounds. That will require Beggs to add weight, and additional testosterone in a predetermined, safe measure.
It’s clear that the scholarship isn’t a stunt, either. The unidentified coach who has recruited Beggs has pitched the program to the the family in part on the back of the medical campus that is adjacent to the campus, with the coach committing to personally escort Beggs to the hospital for treatments.
That all paints the picture of a promising future for a teen who has been the very definition of caught in the middle throughout his high school career. For now, Beggs is entering the final weeks of his high school career with an equal mix of eager anticipation and apprehension about future competition that could land him a second-straight state girls wrestling title.
“I don’t think people understand,” Beggs’ mother Angela McNew told the Morning News. “Everybody is just looking at transgender people right now and saying, ‘You want it like this.’ I don’t think people truly understand the decisions they have to make.
“Just to want to be female or male.”