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Mack Beggs, left, a transgender wrestler from Euless Trinity High School, stands with his coach Travis Clark during a quarterfinal match against Mya Engert, of Amarillo Tascosa, during the State Wrestling Tournament, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in Cypress, Texas. Beggs was born a girl and is transitioning to male but wrestles in the girls division. ( Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Mack Beggs won a state girls' wrestling title. He's transgender and identifies as male.


Mack Beggs is the new Texas state girls' wrestling champion in the 110-pound weight class.

Beggs, a 17-year-old junior, wishes he was in a different division. He's transgender and identifies as male. He never lost a match on the way to winning the title on Saturday. But Texas rules call for students to wrestle against the gender on their birth certificate, not the gender they identify as. 

The University Interscholastic League (UIL), which oversees Texas school athletics, enacted that policy Aug. 1. 

Mack Beggs won a state girls' wrestling title. He's transgender and identifies as male.

WATCH | Here's Beggs  wrestling en route to his state championship.

Quite frankly, we don't believe that any issues being reported on are really a product of UIL rules.
Jamey Harrison, UIL deputy director

UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison said no one had requested to change divisions at the competition and that the outcome was fair. 

"Ninety-five percent of the school superintendents in Texas voted for the rule as it was proposed...I don't expect it to change anytime soon," Harrison said.

The more I learn about this, the more I realize that she's just trying to live her life and her family is, too.
Jim Baudhuin

Attorney Jim Baudhuin, the parent of a wrestler who has not faced Beggs, tried and failed to get injunctions before both the district and regional meets to prevent Beggs from competing while he transitions because he is taking testosterone. 

Some observers thought Beggs was cheating.

But defenders insisted the situation was out of his control.

Female wrestlers don't have a chance...The UIL needs to get with the times.
Lisa Latham

Parents of female wrestlers, like Lisa Latham, want Beggs to be transferred. Beggs defeated her daughter Taylor Latham en route to his title. 

Should Mack Beggs be allowed to wrestle boys?

The controversy over Beggs marks another chapter in political debates about the transgender community, particularly in school settings. President Trump rolled back Obama-era guidance about transgender students and bathrooms last week. Caitlyn Jenner,  a transgender Republican, called those rules a "disaster."

Texas is considering a bill similar to North Carolina's "HB-2," which requires transgender people to use bathrooms that match their biological sex. The controversial bill led the NBA to move the All-Star Game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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