Tascosa girl wrestler advances in state tourney, will face transgender opponent
- Author: Julie Sanders Feb 25, 2017,
Feb 25, 2017, 3:26
Earning a 10-7 decision over League City Clear Spring's Taylor Latham in the 110-pound division, Beggs remained undefeated on the season and advanced to Friday afternoon's quarterfinals against Mya Engert of Amarillo Tascosa.
Mack Beggs, a transgender teenager from Euless, defeated his female opponent in the first round of match on Friday.
A year ago, superintendents and athletic directors voted overwhelmingly to require Texas public school officials to use a birth certificate to determine an athlete's gender, with transgender advocates warning that such requirements would violate the UIL's constitution and federal Title IX laws.
Beggs is facing intense media coverage this weekend.
Beggs has not lost yet this season and is in the state championships. Thus, the rules have forced Mack to stay and wrestle in the girls' category.
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 objective".
Beggs is nearly two years into a female-to-male transition.
However, his efforts have changed direction after learning that Beggs petitioned the UIL for permission to compete in boys' wrestling, but was denied. "These kids don't care who you put in front of them to wrestle". Though Beggs had never faced his regional finals opponent before, he had previously wrestled other members of her team, according to Nancy Beggs. The other parents feel allowing him to compete is unfair and unsafe.
"The more I learn about this, the more I realize that she's just trying to live her life and her family is, too", Baudhuin said of Beggs.
In a Facebook post the day after the qualifying match, Beggs said he was "disgusted" by the discrimination that was coming not from his peers, but rather from parents and coaches. "But given that she's taking what's obviously a performance enhancing drug, she should not be allowed to compete against girls'". It says other states like California and Florida have more inclusive rules. "But to answer your question specifically: Do we believe that any accomplishment by an individual or the overall event in itself is somehow tainted or painted in a negative light because a student may choose to forfeit?"