Mack Beggs, a 17-year-old high school wrestler, was recently forced to compete in the girls’ division. Beggs was born female, but has been transitioning to male with the help of testosterone supplements that would otherwise keep Beggs from competing in high school athletics.
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Beggs did not want to compete against the girls, but the rules stated that he had to.
To say that this has caused controversy is a bit of an understatement. Those who oppose anything having to do with the transgender movement hold this up as ludicrous. Those who support transgender teens also see this as ludicrous, but for completely different reasons.
Dale Hansen, a traditionally conservative Texas sportscaster is weighing in, and he makes a good case in defense of Beggs.
“I’m not always comfortable when a man tells me he’s gay. I don’t always understand his world, but I do understand that he is part of mine,” Hansen said about college football star Michael Sam when he came out a few years ago. “I am saying the same thing now about Mack Beggs: transitioning is a struggle I cannot imagine, it is a journey I cannot make, and it is life too many cannot live.”
Hansen is expressing what many feel–that these children who are making these difficult choices are ending up as pawns in a political and ideological game, and often to their own detriment.
Had Beggs wanted to wrestle in the girl’s division, and then used his increased size and strength to beat them handily, then this case would be much different. It is far more confusing, though, precisely becasue Beggs wanted to compete against the boys, as he does in practice when he trains with his team.
“He needs our support,” Hansen said. “He does not need a group of old men in Austin telling him who to wrestle because of a genetic mix-up at birth.”
“You don’t have to understand — I don’t understand,” Hansen said. “But Mack Beggs is not the problem so many people make him out to be. He’s a child simply looking for his place in the world, and a chance to compete in the world.”