EULESS, Texas - Just hours after taking the girl’s 6A wrestling state title, transgender Euless Trinity High School junior Mack Beggs told reporters the focus of the spotlight should have been on every wrestler, not him.
Still hanging in the balance is a lawsuit against UIL, which aims to stop Beggs from competing against girls next year. But for now, he's taking in the win and realizes he'll be fighting for transgender rights.
Beggs has been taking steroids to transition from a girl to a boy. The steroids are prescribed by a doctor, so he's allowed to compete. But UIL rule says he must compete as the gender on his birth certificate.
A lawsuit tried to stop him from competing against girls but failed.
"Just being able to advocate for my sport and advocate for the LGBT community — two things I love is just wild,” he said.
At only 17 years old, Beggs has already made history, becoming a national advocate for transgender rights.
"My goal was always just to make it to state. I never thought that I would actually win it,” he said. “I worked hard for it, and I don't think that's what people understand. It's not what I put in my body because I'm barely getting anything."
Beggs has felt ‘different’ for as long as he can remember. In middle school, he started identifying as a boy. Then came the hormone blockers and testosterone. He sees changes in his body slowly. But he says the amount of testosterone he's taking is so small that doctors tell him he can't gain much muscle mass yet.
“I worked every single day, every morning, every afternoon, every evening,” he said. “It had nothing to do with strength. I'm not that strong."
Beggs says he did hear the booing when he got the gold but says the girl he beat in the final bout, Chelsea Sanchez, could not have been more supportive.
Beggs says Sanchez told her mother, “If they try to take him out of wrestling, I'm going to turn in my medal."
Beggs says he wants to wrestle boys. He wants the UIL to recognize him as a boy.
"Change the rules because I'm not going to be the only one,” he said.
Beggs is the first transgender student-athlete to come out and win state. He hopes he can create change.
"I'm glad I was the first to be able to experience this and carry that burden because not a lot of people can be able to handle that,” he said.
The young wrestler has not made a formal request to the UIL to wrestle boys. He says because the birth certificate rule was established last year, he figured that request would not get anywhere.