Finding A Place For Everyone

I work hard to keep my image (a curmudgeon who does not suffer fools easily, oh, and get off my lawn) intact. An orderly life, where right and wrong never share a latte, clearly defined parameters, no ambiguities, drawer for every item, and the rule of laws reigns supreme. Justice prevails, the good guy always finishes first, and we all call our moms once a week…..if only.

This is not another “zero tolerance” rant, although it is really stupid, but more often than not good old fashion common sense, applying the spirit of the law over the letter, allows for a more compassionate society ( I know, another word stolen co-opted by the left).

Meet Mack Beggs, Texas State champ, who happens to wrestle girls. Apologies for posting the entire WSJ article, but I found it the most fleshed out and you need a subscription to see the whole thing;

DALLAS—Mack Beggs, a star wrestler at Trinity High School near Fort Worth, has a new victory under his belt. On Saturday, he became the first transgender boy to win the girls state title in Texas.

Mack, who was born a female and is transitioning to a male through hormone therapy, is at the center of a controversy here over a Texas rule that requires high-school students to compete as the gender listed on their birth certificate.

The dispute comes as the 17-year-old capped off an undefeated season this year, in which he beat the 56 opponents he faced, each of them girls. And it has emerged just days after the Trump administration rescinded President Barack Obama’s guidelines that said schools should let transgender students use the bathrooms and facilities of their choice.

Texas has become a flashpoint for such issues. State lawmakers are considering a bill that would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public institutions, including public school districts, based on their biological sex. The proposal has spurred a firestorm of debate on both sides.

Mack’s mother, Angela Beggs, said, “Mack would like to compete against boys. He’s practiced very hard to get to this point.”

Despite Mack’s wishes though, the Texas rule, which went into effect in August, dictates he must compete as a girl.

It was passed by the University Interscholastic League, Texas’ governing authority for public-school sports. According to the group, 95% of league-member school superintendents voted in favor of the birth-certificate rule.

The family reached out to the league asking that Mack be allowed to wrestle with boys and were told the rule prevented him from doing so, Mack’s parents said. As a result, Mack hasn’t wrestled against boys in any official matches.

“It is not a clean, easy thing to deal with by any means,” said Cody Moree, a superintendent in Apple Springs Independent School District in East Texas. Mr. Moree voted for the rule but said he understood both sides of the issue.

“I would understand if this student was wrestling in the boys division and there were objections there as well,” he said.

Mack’s parents said their son has been taking hormone therapy since October 2015 to help him transition and stressed that he would much prefer to wrestle against other boys.

The fact that he is mandated to compete against girls has caused frustration among some parents and other female wrestlers.

League spokeswoman Kate Hector said two girls forfeited in Mack’s 110-pound weight class last week during a regional tournament rather than wrestle against him.

Pratik Khandelwal, whose daughter has wrestled Mack, said he is concerned about future wrestling matches between the two. “It’s not a matter of being transgender, it’s more of a fact that he’s taking testosterone…that could have an influence on the girls that he’s wrestling,” he said.

Jim Baudhuin, a father and attorney, unsuccessfully sought an injunction before the district and regional meets to prevent Mack from wrestling, according to the Associated Press. Mr. Baudhuin blames the league and its year-ago vote that passed the birth-certificates rule. He said he plans to pursue a lawsuit after the season is over because he envisions the same scenario next season, the AP said.

The league wouldn’t comment on the suit. The Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District, where Trinity High School is located, said in a statement that the district would continue to follow league guidelines.

Chris Mosier, an advocate for transgender athletes who has competed on the U.S. Men’s Duathlon and Triathlon teams as a transgender man, said 40 states have some sort of policy on transgender high-school athletes. Some 16 allow high-school students to compete as the gender with which they identify, and 17 examine cases on an individual basis.

The remaining states, including Texas, require students to compete as the gender listed on their birth certificate or, in some instances, undergo hormone therapy or surgery.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of something like this happening. Mack is following the rules exactly as the rules are stated,” Mr. Mosier said. “Mack is a boy and should be competing against boys.”

In Texas’ case, the league noted in a statement that individuals can petition the court to amend their birth certificate, and the league would accept the change.

Mack’s stepfather Damon McNew said Mack was hurt by the fact that some girls didn’t want to wrestle against him. But he said his school, and the wrestling team, had been supportive of his situation.

At the Texas state championships this weekend, which took place in the Houston area, Mack won all four of his matches to take his weight class.

“He doesn’t want any competitive advantage,” Mr. McNew said. “All he wants to do is wrestle.”

A lot to unpack, here.

Totally separate from Obama’s transgender bathroom law (yeah, I know, “guidance’, still a massive overreach), it’s underpinnings can’t be ignored. Where ,”Men are men, and sheep are scared” Texas, men don’t go into women restrooms and they don’t compete against girls, and vice versa. The sex on the birth certificate dictates where you pee and who you wrestle.

Except that Mack is stuck in the middle, being forced to compete against girls, and no one is happy about it.

You would think that cooler heads would prevail here, accept the fact that Mack, by virtue of his male hormone therapy, is now essentially a boy and should compete as such.

The whole steroid debacle, chemically enhanced advantage over an opponent, has similarities here. Clearly his female opponents want no part of him since he has the strength of a male, where is the equity in that?

Allowing those “not alike” to compete is not foreign to sports. Junior tennis players can always “play up”, play at a higher age bracket, but never down. Same with wrestlers and boxers, you can always play up, compete at a higher weight class. The same analogy can be used here, allowing girls who are transitioning to boys and who are taking hormone therapy should be allowed to wrestle boys, but not girls. I admit that the reverse can be tricky , allowing boys into girls to compete against girls, but this can be resolved by the simple physical, if she looks like Arnold in his prime, maybe another year of hormone therapy is in order.

I get that you can’t please everyone, and parents’s living vicariously through their kid’s sports endeavors are the worst, but Mack beating every girl in the state satisfies nobody. The article mentions a simple fix of amending the birth certificate. If this is a simple procedure and Mack’s parents are reluctant, this speak volumes as to a competitive edge he keeps telling us he doesn’t want.

Comments are closed.

  1. Iconoclast

    I know I’m gonna get a lot of flack for this, but screw it…….

    You would think that cooler heads would prevail here, accept the fact that Mack, by virtue of his male hormone therapy, is now essentially a boy and should compete as such.

    Well, no, she is essentially a doped-up girl and should be disqualified. As long as each and every one of the millions of cells that make up her body contain XX chromosomes, she’s a gal.  Period.  Stuffing her full of T doesn’t change that, and neither would sewing a penis on her.

    Flame away…….

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  2. InsipiD

    Well, no, she is essentially a doped-up girl and should be disqualified. 

    Yeah, that’s what I’ve been thinking since I first heard about this.  I would’ve thought that doping rules and drug tests would’ve meant this shouldn’t happen.  Loading up with hormones could give an advantage that could be excused by claiming transgender.  If the levels are high enough, it might not be fair to compete against males, either.

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  3. grady

    I don’t think there is a good answer here unless you follow Rich’s idea of “playing up”.  She shouldn’t compete as a girl since she is doping.  There is no fair playing field when the other girls cannot use testosterone as a supplement.  As far as competing against the guys is concerned, there is a valid argument against the doping there as well.  Wrestling uses weight classes to even out the playing field.  From what I hear from wrestlers, the best female 110 pounder is still at a disadvantage against mediocre male 110 pounders.  But a juiced up female?  Not exactly a level playing field there either, but is it enough?  Is it fair?

    If the integrity of league athletics has determined that testosterone is illegal as a supplement, then this transgender individual should not be treated differently than any other athlete.  Apologies, but she is not eligible.

    Another example of society trying to appease 0.1% (0.01%, 0.001% ?) of the population and not caring about the 99+% of others.

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