Transgender Athlete Mack Beggs Talks Activism, Struggles and Triumphs

ESPN documents his journey in the new short, "Mack Wrestles"

Mack Beggs is a two-time Texas state high school wrestling champion — but, he said, that distinction comes with an asterisk. Beggs won both championships in the female division, despite the fact he identifies as a male. That’s because Texas law requires athletes to compete as the gender on their birth certificate. Beggs, born Mackenzie, said he wanted to compete against other boys.

“I rather would have won something in the guys division than rather winning something in the female division, because that's not who I identify as,” Beggs told Muscle & Fitness.

Beggs’ transition, and the controversy behind his rise in the Texas high school wrestling scene, is the focus of an upcoming ESPN 30 for 30 short, Mack Wrestles, premiering on Sept. 22 on ESPN.

Mack’s rise to fame started in high school, when the father of a female wrestler he defeated filed a lawsuit against him. “He found out that I was transitioning and I was taking testosterone,” Beggs said. Beggs won the case, but the suit exposed his story to international headlines. “It turned into a activism fight for athletes and trans athletes,” he said.

In our latest M&F Presents video, Beggs tells Muscle & Fitness about the stages of transitioning and the controversy that followed. Mack also spoke on social media activism, inspiring others, fitness, and his upcoming ESPN 30 for 30 doc short, Mack Wrestles. 

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