Mack Beggs has had quite an athletic career. The girl’s state champion wrestler has won the title over the past couple years but what makes Mack’s story different? He’s male. Mack is a part of the next generation of the LGBTQ+ community that is already leaving their mark. You see, Mack is a transgender male living in Texas where according to the roles set forth by the University Interscholastic Association, Mack must compete in the gender division as listed on his birth certificate, which is female. Despite his use of testosterone as a part of his transition as well as repeated requests by Mack, coaches, athletes, parents and others to compete in the male division, Mack must continue to compete in the female division.
As you can imagine, this has created quite the stir, and exposed the high level of hypocrisy that exists among the discussion of transgender sports. Even before Mack won his first state championship in 2017 there was a lot of discussion regarding his eligibility to compete, with many people not even realizing he was transgender, arguing that he should compete in the male division since, by all appearances, he’s a boy. Especially from parents, spectators, coaches and even fellow athletes who thought it unfair that a boy like Mack should be competing against girls. On top of that, with the testosterone supplements Mack is taking for his transition, continued to strengthen their argument that Mack shouldn’t compete in the girl’s division.
Mack agrees with this too, with a strong desire to compete in the male division against wrestlers of his own abilities, but due to a technicality in the rules he had no choice but to compete in the female division where he has continued to succeed in competition. The people who advocate for the kind of anti-trans legislature that is prohibiting Mack from competing as a male are the same people now arguing that Mack has an unfair advantage because he’s competing in the female division, despite Mack following all the rules.
Even after a failed attempt by the Texas State Legislature to limit Mack Beggs’ eligibility to compete and substantial and often cruel and highly inappropriate feedback from anti-trans people. Mack continued to pursue his passion for wrestling where he went on to defend his state title in 2018. Despite all the negativity that is surrounding this young, high school aged athlete, he is continuing to move forward to live and compete as himself.
We have yet to learn whether Mack will pursue a wrestling scholarship in college, but if he does we can be rest assured that Mack will be in better hands with the National Collegiate Athletic Association which has much more trans-friendly policies than the University Interscholastic Association. Mack is already classified in the male division as a result of his testosterone supplements and should he choose to pursue a collegiate wrestling career, he will do so as a male. With plan to pursue Top Surgery after high school, his future is yet to be determined. But he has the potential to continue achieving great things for himself, sports, and the transgender community.
By Dirk Smith