Biological girl who wants to be a boy wins TX state girls' wrestling title
A girl who goes by the name Mack Beggs because she wants to be a male won the Texas state girls' wrestling title in the 110-pound class.
On the surface, this would appear perfectly normal. And in a way, it is, given that a girl won a girls' title. But as Paul Harvey used to say, "and now for the rest of the story." The transgender community is up in arms because the state of Texas won't let Beggs compete as a boy. And many female wrestlers also think Beggs should have competed as a boy because she's taking male hormones, including testosterone.
Testosterone is considered a performance-enhancing drug (PED) in all sports. But in Texas, if a girl is attempting to make herself appear more like a male ("transitioning") and a doctor prescribes the hormone, it is perfectly legal – even if the drug gives the girl additional strength and endurance she wouldn't have had without it.
It's a mess.
In some of his [sic] first media comments since the story was widely reported, Beggs said "I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for my teammates," the Dallas Morning News reported on its website.
"That's honestly what the spotlight should've been on, my teammates," he [sic] added.
Beggs' family has sought to have him [sic] wrestle as a boy [sic], and some of his [sic] opponents have said [sic] he has an unfair advantage among girls because of the testosterone he [sic] is taking as a part of his [sic] transition [sic].
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 purpose".
About a week ago, Beggs won a regional championship after a female wrestler from a Dallas-area high school forfeited the final.
The parent of another girl who wrestles for the same Dallas-area high school had filed a lawsuit trying to block Beggs, saying his [sic] use of testosterone increases his [sic] strength, which could pose a risk to opponents.
Nancy Beggs, Mack Beggs' grandmother and guardian, told the Dallas Morning News after the forfeit in the regional championship match: "Today was not about their students winning. Today was about bias, hatred and ignorance".
According to transathlete.com, which provides information for transgender athletes, Texas is one of seven US states with policies it sees as discriminatory against transgender athletes.
Lou Weaver, who runs transgender programs for the LGBT rights group Equality Texas, said Beggs is abiding by current state rules, which need to be updated, "so that guys [sic] like Mack can wrestle with their peers, which would be on the boys' team."
The obvious question is how good a female wrestler Beggs would be without the testosterone. I don't think there's any doubt that she would have been an above average wrestler but probably not a state champ.
Taking testosterone by itself does not build sufficient strength and endurance to become a champion athlete. The athlete needs to work hard to get to that next level of competition. But there is also no doubt that the testosterone gave her an advantage that other girls did not have. So in the end, this is a question of fairness, having little to do with the transgender issue except as it makes it legal for Beggs to take the male hormone.
We are going to be hearing more and more stories about transgender athletes competing where they shouldn't, or enjoying an unfair advantage over their opponents. Eventually, even "tolerant" parents and school districts will revolt, given the obvious fairness issue involved. The issue can be ignored for only so long before an outcry occurs calling for a change.