EULESS — The ongoing debate over transgender policies has moved from the bathroom to the wrestling mat.
17-year-old Mack Beggs, a wrestler for Trinity High School, won his regional competition on Friday, placing him in this weekend’s state championship — in the girls division.
Beggs is almost two years into a female-to-male transition. Because he’s listed as female on his birth certificate, the UIL rulebook won’t let Mack wrestle boys. So, he’s been competing – and winning – against girls all season.
Parents of his opponents, naturally, think it’s unfair that someone who’s been taking testosterone for over a year is allowed to wrestle their girls, even if it’s doctor-prescribed and therefore allowed under the rules.
Earlier this month, parents filed a lawsuit demanding the UIL place Mack in the boys’ division, despite his birth certificate.
The lawyer behind the suit says Mack’s a “great kid” and isn’t trying to cheat, and that it’s too late to change this year’s results. But he says the rules for next season should be more fair to everyone, including Beggs, who currently can’t wrestle the boys because of his birth certificate, and may soon not be allowed to wrestle the girls because of his transition meds.
Finnigan Jones, a transgender man himself and a trans rights advocate, agrees that this situation highlights the need for more inclusive rules.
“This is the UIL’s problem to fix,” Jones said. “You’re gonna start having lawsuits because we do have transgender kids in schools who compete in sports.”
It sounds like it’ll soon be up to the States to work out policies on both sports and the bathroom debate. Word out of Washington is that the White House will be rolling back Obama-era guidelines for dealing with transgender students.
“We don’t want special treatment,” said Jones. “I think if we actually sit down and look at the rules, and come up with some mid-point solutions, we can make it a safe environment, and an educational environment for everyone.”
If not, Mack Beggs may not be the only one wrestling with this sticky situation.