Transgender Teen Mack Beggs Wins Texas Girls Wrestling Title for Second Year in a Row

Mack Beggs Screenshot
Mack Beggs, 18, points to his chest after defeating Chelsea Sanchez during the Texas girls 6A wrestling championship in the 110-pound weight class on February 24. Brad Townsend Twitter

For two years straight, transgender boy Mack Beggs has won the Texas girls 6A wrestling championship in the 110-pound weight class.

Beggs, an 18-year-old from Euless Trinity High, was met with a wave of cheers and boos at the end of his final match against Chelsea Sanchez of Katy Morton Ranch on Saturday. In response, he tapped his chest and faced the crowd.

The high school senior has been in this situation before. Beggs beat Sanchez for the title last year but told the Dallas Morning News that this year felt different.

"I felt a lot more humble, he said. "This year I wanted to prove a point that anyone can do anything. Even though I was put in this position, even though I didn't want to be put in this position, even though I wanted to wrestle the guys, I still had to wrestle the girls."

Beggs, whose birth name is Mackenzie, is taking a 36 milligram dose of testosterone as he transitions from female to male, the Associated Press reported. He hopes to undergo gender reassignment surgeries soon.

Under Texas law, athletes are required to compete against other athletes who have the same gender on their birth certificates. His steroid therapy treatment while wrestling against girls set off a debate about transgender rights and competitive fairness last year.

In 2017, Beggs was 56-0, a record that included multiple forfeits by female wrestlers who viewed it as unfair or unsafe to compete against him. According to the Los Angeles Times, a lawsuit also sought to stop Beggs from wrestling girls, but that was dismissed by a county judge.

This season, Beggs has gone 36-0 with just one forfeit and no lawsuits. But there are still competitors who are against him wrestling. Cypress Ranch High senior Kayla Fitts, who was 52-0 this season until she faced Beggs in the state semifinals, told the Dallas Morning News that allowing Beggs to compete was unfair.

"I understand if you want to transition your gender," she said. "I understand that totally. But there's a time and a place."

"You can do that after high school," she continued. "Or if you want to do it, you can quit the sport. Because I don't think it's fair at all that you're taking testosterone. That's steroids. I know it's not a lot. But still."

Although steroid use by high school athletes is prohibited, Beggs's testosterone injections are allowed. State law views his injections as being "dispensed, prescribed, delivered and administered by a medical practitioner for a valid medical purpose."

Beggs does not view his testosterone injections as an unfair advantage. "They're saying, 'steroids.' They're saying, 'Oh, they're beating up on girls,'" he said.

"It just comes down to technique and who has the most heart. I put too much blood, sweat and tears, I put too much B.S. into this journey that I wanted to come out on top.

"In my heart, I am a champion. No matter who you put in front of me, I am a champion."