Transgender male high school wrestler wins Texas girls title amid controversy

Mack Beggs right shakes hands with Morton Ranch's Chelsea Sanchez before competing in the girls Class 6A 110-pound title bout during the UIL state wrestling championships Saturday

The girls he wrestles with, they are tough.

In the video below, Beggs, who entered the state tournament with a 32-0 record, is seen rolling out of a pinfall to avoid defeat in a title match with Chelsea Sanchez, who Beggs beat past year. His steroid therapy treatment while wrestling against girls set off a debate about transgender rights and competitive fairness past year.

Under Texas law, athletes are required to compete against other athletes who have the same gender on their birth certificates. I can tell the state legislature to change the policy, but I can't tell them to change it right now.

"He has so much respect for all the girls he wrestles", Beggs' mother, Angela McNew told the AP.

Because Texas still has traditional standards for high school sports, Beggs was denied permission to compete in the boys' wresting division, as public schools in the Lone Star State abide by athletic league rules, which state that every athlete must compete on a team that reflects his or her biological gender - as described on his or her birth certificate.

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"People think Mack has been beating up on girls ..."

A transgender high school wrestler in Texas once again won a state title over the weekend and once again his victory brought a mix of cheers and jeers. "It has more to do with skill and discipline than strength".

Beggs has taken the criticism in stride, saying that wrestling "all comes down to technique and who has the most heart", he told WFAA, according to USA Today.

"It definitely felt different", Beggs said after his second state title win, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The solitude allowed him to concentrate on the task ahead and perhaps shield him from attacks on social media and occasional insults from the stands - or even other wrestling mats - during meets.

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"I understand if you want to transition your gender", said Cypress Ranch wrestler Kayla Fitts, who went 52-0 this season before falling to Beggs in the semifinals.

The opposing coach and teammates had insisted the girl wrestle Beggs, but she refused, McNew said.

In the past, Beggs has publicly said he would love to wrestle boys-and would do so, if not for the state athletic policy.

Although steroid use by high school athletes is prohibited, Beggs's testosterone injections are allowed.

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