BJJ: Transgender Athletes – No Way to Win

Today I read about Mack Beggs, a 17-year-old transgender boy, who recently won the Texas state girls’ wrestling title.

The family of Mack Beggs has said he would rather be wrestling boys, but state policy calls for students to wrestle against the gender listed on their birth certificates. So Beggs, a junior from Euless Trinity, beat Chelsea Sanchez 12-2 in the 110-pound weight class to improve to 56-0 and earn the championship.

First, a huge congratulations to Mack. This kid spent a lot of time and energy practicing, perfecting his craft, and working hard toward his goals. He is a winner. That’s not something that is handed to you, it is earned, and it is a wonderfully big deal.

What was so rough about this is how much controversy this is stirring up. Mack is clearly an athlete. Mack is receiving testosterone treatments, but “Beggs’s school district determined his testosterone was “well below the allowed level.” He wanted to compete against other boys, but the University Interscholastic League required he compete against other girls because they have a birth certificate policy, which “declare a student’s birth certificate is to be used when determining gender.”

I hate that this gifted athlete has his wins emotionally taken away from him. He is accused of cheating because he receives testosterone. Other female athletes have forfeited rather than wrestle him. Remember, this boy WANTED to wrestle other boys. The policy did not allow for it.

It is hard not to draw similarities to Fallon Fox, who is a trans woman MMA fighter. Fox competes against women, and her wins are criticized because “She has a man’s body” along with the muscle density, frame, etc, despite being on hormone therapy.

My heart goes out to these athletes. I don’t think there are any easy answers here. It really just sucks that any win they have comes under extreme scrutiny.

Jiu Jiu’s Questions: I invite thoughtful, polite comments here. Any trans-phobic, insensitive comments will be deleted, so just don’t go there. What thoughts or insights would you add here? What supportive comments do you have for trans athletes?