The statistics are disturbing.
“According to surveys, 4.6 percent of the overall U.S. population has self-reported a suicide attempt, with that number climbing to between 10 and 20 percent for lesbian, gay or bisexual respondents. By comparison, 41 percent of trans or gender non-conforming people surveyed have attempted suicide.”
Despite this sobering information, the US Government at every level seems to turn a blind eye when it comes to the needs of trans and gender non-conforming Americans. Only days ago did President Trump repeal law that protected trans youth by allowing them to use the bathroom they were most comfortable with, making an already vulnerable student more susceptible to bullying, violence and danger altogether.
Despite all odds one transgender youth is pushing back. Mack Beggs, a Texas high school athlete who is undergoing his transition from being assigned female at birth- has won his 110-pound weight class in the girl’s state wrestling championship on Saturday.
As reported on Raw Story:
Beggs, 17, and many of his opponents want him to wrestle against boys, but the transgender boy wrestled in the Texas championship for girls because of state sport regulations, which require athletes to compete according to birth gender.
The wrestler, a junior at Trinity High School in the Dallas suburb of Euless, had a 52-0 record ahead of the weekend tournament and was favored to win the 110-pound weight class in the championship.
On Saturday, he beat Chelsea Sanchez 12-2 to earn the championship.
In some of his first media comments since the story was widely reported, Beggs said “I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for my teammates,” the Dallas Morning News reported on its website.
“That’s honestly what the spotlight should’ve been on, my teammates,” he added.
Beggs’ family has sought to have him wrestle as a boy, and some of his opponents have said he has an unfair advantage among girls because of the testosterone he is taking as a part of his transition.
Those upset at his win only have the school rules and state regulation. If they really wanted things to be fair on all fronts- they should join the fight to allow Beggs to fight with other boys. What they should not do is punish a child for matters out of their control.
The University Interscholastic League, which governs school sports in Texas, said that the state’s education code allows the use of a banned drug such as steroids if it “is prescribed by a medical practitioner for a valid medical purpose.”
About a week ago, Beggs won a regional championship after a female wrestler from a Dallas-area high school forfeited the final.
The parent of another girl who wrestles for the same Dallas-area high school had filed a lawsuit trying to block Beggs, saying his use of testosterone increases his strength, which could pose a risk to opponents.
Nancy Beggs, Mack Beggs’ grandmother and guardian, told the Dallas Morning News after the forfeit in the regional championship match: “Today was not about their students winning. Today was about bias, hatred and ignorance.”
According to transathlete.com, which provides information for transgender athletes, Texas is one of seven U.S. states with policies it sees as discriminatory against transgender athletes.
Lou Weaver, who runs transgender programs for the LGBT rights group Equality Texas, said Beggs is abiding by current state rules, which need to be updated, “so that guys like Mack can wrestle with their peers, which would be on the boys’ team.”
What do you make of the school and State’s decision to make Beggs fight according to his assigned birth gender? Do you think laws such as those imposed here make for safer and fair sportsmanship- what are the repercussions of decisions like these on trans and gender non-conforming youth? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
(Article By Tasha Sharifa)