SB Nation Outsports reached to the far end of the bench of a college men’s wrestling team to make its case against 23 state legislatures working to preserve the integrity of women’s sports.
Outsports quoted Mack Beggs, as a “collegiate wrestler,” and interviewed her on a podcast, billing her as a “male” and credible spokesperson for transgender inclusion in sports. There’s just one problem with that. Beggs has never wrestled as a collegian.
As a prep in Euless, Texas, Beggs (in photo) had previously self-identified as a boy and sought to wrestle on the boys’ team. State policy required her to wrestle as a girl, and she won state championships in each of her last two years of high school. Opponents felt cheated because Beggs was taking testosterone treatments in attempting to transition to male.
Beggs later underwent sex change surgery and enrolled at Life University, in Atlanta, which accepted her as a member of the men’s wrestling team. In an interview last week on Outsports' podcast, The Trans Sporter Room, (6:20) Beggs, a junior majoring in psychology, says: “Things, things are going really great. I’m in a really great place right now. … The manifestation and self-growth from the last year-and-a-half has made me grow as a better wrestler, and now I’m kickin’ butt in the mat room. Not where I wanna be caliber-wise. I’m not placing, I’m not necessarily getting those quality wins that I used to. I’m still holding my own.”
Outsports should have vetted Beggs’ college wrestling “career” better because the Life University sports information director confirmed that Beggs has never wrestled in a single match for the college team ranked second nationally in the the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. She’s a token trans athlete who hasn’t held her own against any men’s wrestlers because, outside of practice, she isn't competing in varsity wrestling.
Meanwhile, Outsports writer Karleigh Webb wrote that, in the Outsports podcast Beggs discussed how she’s using her voice in the fight for transgender rights in sports. “I don’t want any other kid to go through what I went through,” Beggs said. “Trans kids need this chance to be who they are, so that’s I why I’m here.”
Webb, Beggs and Tori Gleason, a trans healthcare professional in Goodland, Kansas, complained about legislation in 23 states “that would legalize discrimination toward transgender people.”
A defiant Beggs referred to a Dr. Seuss book, telling “transphobic” lawmakers, “We’re here! We’re here! Exactly like in Horton Hears A Who! We’ve always been here. So, we just have to keep on having these conversations. We need to start going up to these politicians and these legislators, and say, ‘Hey! We have been here since the dawn of time.’ We are now not scared to say something. We are here and we are ready to fight.” She’s just not ready to wrestle college men yet.
Webb says the fight is aimed at “bills organized effort by anti-LGBTQ extremist groups.” The 23 bills, along with one passed into law last year in Idaho, “has led to a groundswell of grassroots organizing among transgender people and allies nationwide.”
Those opposed to special rules for transgender boys are outraged, and three girls in Connecticut launched a lawsuit to prevent it from being allowed. However, Gleason drummed up outrage because states want to verify that actual girls are competing in girls' sports:
“It almost sounds like the 1940s with sex verification in the Olympic Games. Do you want a provider examining your daughter’s genitals to make sure she’s female enough? Is this where we are at with this?”
Webb said Beggs fumed that “People don’t know what a trans female is or what a trans male is. For instance, the pictures with me in a (high school) wrestling match? People thought I was a trans female in that photo. They thought I was biologically born a male transitioning to be female. I literally had to type a whole essay on it. After people read it, they are enlightened by it because they [say] ‘I had no idea all these regulations are in place.’”
Bench-warmer Beggs can thank herself for creating the confusion.