Mack Beggs, a 17-year-old wrestler who is transitioning from female to male and undergoing testosterone treatments, has won the Texas state girls wrestling tournament.
Beggs, a junior from Euless Trinity, completed an undefeated season, after the opponent in the finals forfeited due to the girl's parents protest. Beggs reached the finals by beating Chelsea Sanchez 12-2 in the 110-pound weight class to improve to 56-0, but many believe the testosterone Beggs is taking created an unfair advantage.
"I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for my teammates. That's honestly what the spotlight should be on, is my teammates," Beggs said, according to The Associated Press. "The hard work that I put in the practice room with them beside me, we trained every single day, every single day, and that's what the spotlight should be been on, not me. Hard work pays off."
Beggs' family wanted the wrestler to compete in the boys category. The University Interscholastic League, which oversees athletics in Texas public schools, requires students to wrestle against the gender listed on their birth certificates, according to ESPN.
Beggs was allowed to compete despite the testosterone treatment because Beggs had a "valid medical use."
UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison was quoted as saying, "Nothing that has happened at this year's wrestling championships has the UIL reconsidering its rules, because quite frankly, we don't believe that any issues being reported on are really a product of UIL rules."
One father filed a lawsuit, asking Beggs to either be moved to the boys division or not be allowed to compete in the champsionship tournament.
Michael Brown, who hosts the nationally syndicated daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire, called the whole thing "absolute nonsense."
"While my heart goes out to young 'Mack' and I truly want to see her find wholeness without sex-change surgery and a lifetime of hormones, I reject the notion that her struggles should now be imposed on the other female athletes," Brown wrote in an op-ed for The Christian Post.
"Beggs is taking performance enhancing drugs, and in a physically-taxing sport like wrestling, the differences are all the more tangible. That's why the lawsuit brought by the parents' of another female wrestler urged the governing body to suspend Beggs 'because of the use of the steroid. The suit claims that allowing the wrestler to compete while using testosterone exposes other athletes to 'imminent threat of bodily harm.'"
Beggs would not be allowed to compete in a college-level or Olympic or professional match while on steroids, Brown noted.
The school has been abuzz with students and parents alike divided on Beggs who cruised to a state championship. Beggs began transitioning to a boy two years ago.
This comes at a time when Texas lawmakers are considering a bill that would require transgender people to use the bathroom of their biological sex.
President Donald Trump is also rolling back the Obama administration policy that allows students in public schools to use the bathroom of their choice, based on their self-determined gender identity.
A Rasmussen Reports national survey released last week found that most Americans still agree that the bathroom policy is not the responsibility of the federal government. While 38 percent of American adults favor allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms of the opposite biological sex, 49 percent are still opposed.