Texas Forces Trans Boy to Wrestle with Girls, Is Surprised When He Wins the Whole Thing

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A 17-year-old boy in Texas just won the Texas state girls’ wrestling championships after a completely undefeated season. Maybe this will help Texas reconsider forcing trans boys to compete on girls’ teams.

According to NPR, 17-year-old Mack Beggs came out as transgender and started identifying as a boy five years ago, and started medical treatment with testosterone about a year and a half ago. He’s an avid wrestler and athlete, and he wanted to compete in the boys’ wrestling league, but Texas rules require students to compete on the teams that align with the sex listed on their birth certificates. So if Beggs wanted to wrestle at all, he’d have to wrestle on the girls’ team.

So he wrestled against the girls and won his 110-pound weight class undefeated to take the gold at the state championship.

That has displeased some people. One parent even filed a lawsuit against the league insisting that Beggs should have wrestled with the boys. But this is awful for Beggs, because that’s just what he wanted to do.

This must be really tough for Beggs. He says his parents, school, and teammates have been supportive. Still, there have been boos and shouts during his competitions. He hasn’t challenged the Texas rule, because he says he worries that would just cost him any opportunity to play sports at all.

“I would rather have a chance to compete than not compete at all,” Beggs said to CNN.

Had Beggs been older and competing as a college athlete, NCAA rules would have put him in the men’s league. Unfortunately, it does not look like this will be changing any rules in Texas any time soon. Texas school officials say 95 percent of Texas school superintendents voted for the rule as it is–with student athletes separated by sex, as determined by birth certificate–

“Ninety-five percent of the school superintendents in Texas voted for the rule as it was proposed, which was to use birth certificates,” Jamey Harrison, deputy director of Texas University Interscholastic League, told the Associated Press. “So any rule can be reconsidered, but … given the overwhelming support for that rule, I don’t expect it to change anytime soon.”

After his victory this weekend, Beggs thanked his teammates and said he wouldn’t have been there without them.