Mack Beggs is a person in a very strange position. The 18-year-old wrestler from Euless Trinity High School is in the middle of transitioning from a woman to a man, but still competes in wrestling competitions with females.
Over the weekend Beggs won his second Texas girls' Class 6A 110-pound division title in two years defeating Chelsea Sanchez for the second time in the final in Dallas. As he defeated Sanchez, boos rang out from the crowd. The reason for these boos has a lot to do with the low dose of testosterone that Beggs is taking as part of his steroid therapy treatment, which many feel give him an unfair advantage over his female counterparts.
Beggs had tried to compete in the boys division but was knocked back by the State, which currently says that athletes can only compete in the gender determined by their birth certificate. Beggs has petitioned to have the laws changed in order to allow him to compete in his chosen gender:
[Texas policymakers] should change the laws and then watch me wrestle the boys. Because I’m a guy. It just makes more sense.
Speaking after the win against Sanchez, Beggs argued that the fact that he is transitioning to a man did not have an effect on his performance:
No matter who you put across the mat, it don't matter. It just comes down to technique, who has the most heart. I put too much blood, sweat and tears. I've put too much BS into this journey. In my heart I feel I am a champion. No matter who you put in front of me, I feel like a champion no matter what. Do what you can in the moment. Do what you can to make an impact now.
Last year Beggs was the subject of a lawsuit surrounding his decision to continue to fight in female competitions, and it seems that the situation he is being placed in is unfair on both him and his competitors.
Begg's mother echoed her son's sentiments when speaking on his supposed advantage:
People think Mack has been beating up on girls … The girls he wrestles with, they are tough. It has more to do with skill and discipline than strength.
Regardless on what Beggs or his mother thinks, it's hard to look past the testosterone as a form of doping and in his case it seems reasonable to let Beggs compete in male events. The problem however is that if Beggs is allowed to fight men, then does a male transitioning to a female have permission to fight in women's competitions, and how would that be received?