States continue to wrestle with gender equality issues

Mack Beggs looks, acts and is built like a boy, but state rules require him to compete against girls in state wrestling championships.

By Vicente Vitela, Staff Writer

Transgender equality has long been at the epicenter of social issues, especially in sports, and in the recent case of Mack Beggs, one would wonder if we are making the right decisions.

Mack Beggs is a high-school wrestler who will go down in Texas history as the first boy to win a girls’ state wrestling championship. Texas is one of seven states in the United States that requires boys and girls to compete according to their sex at birth without regard to their gender identity.

“Honestly, I didn’t even care about the boos. This is what I worked for. It finally paid off.” Mack Beggs told CNN after winning the title.

Beggs is a 17-year-old junior from Euless Trinity High School and is at the center of media attention due to his win in the girls’ state wrestling championships. Born a girl, but identifying as a boy, Beggs was forced to wrestle girls. Before the tournament, questions surfaced about whether it was fair for Beggs to compete against girls even though she is built like a boy.
Beggs, who began identifying as a male five years ago, started the medical process to transition from female to male two years ago. The process requires her to take testosterone, which why some say he has an unfair advantage over girl competitors.
“If you’re going to transition to a male then, you should continue to take the roles of a male and compete as a male,” said Jordan Gutierrez, according to CNN.

Beggs was required to wrestle in the girls’ division or not at all. Due to this rule, the University Interscholastic League, which oversees all public high school athletics, requires that wrestlers can only compete against people of the same gender, as indicated on their birth certificate.

People are outraged because 95 percent of the school superintendents in Texas voted to uphold the rule.

Parents are also protesting Beggs’ victory because they said he had an unfair strength advantage and that her championship should be revoked.

When school leaders or states are making these kinds of decisions that affect a large group, it makes me wonder if we are stuck with antiquated gender roles. We have made leaps and bounds since then, and athletes should be allowed to compete with the gender that they identify with.

There shouldn’t be any punishment. Sports should focus on the athleticism and strength of an individual, not their gender.

One comment

  1. Well, Mack Beggs was born a female. And even if she identifies as a male and takes male hormones, on her birth certificate it says she’s a female, so she should be able to keep her awards and people should leave her alone.

    Yes, she identifies as a male, but her natural gender is female and the UIL prohibits her from competing against male wrestlers in her weight and age bracket. So what is she to do?

    I wish her the best and like the author of this article said at the close of this piece, focus on the athleticism of Beggs NOT her gender.

Your thoughts?