"I don't cheat," a transgender boy who won a girls wrestling state title in Texas said.
DALLAS (AP) — A transgender boy who won a girls wrestling state title in Texas says he would compete against boys if allowed and is taking lower doses of testosterone to try to be fair to his opponents.
Mack Beggs said in an interview that aired Sunday on ESPN that he competes against girls only because the state's governing body for public high school sports requires him to wrestle under the gender listed on his birth certificate.
Asked if he was taking the amount of testosterone he wanted while transitioning to male, Beggs said he was "holding back because of wrestling."
"I want to do it fairly," he said. "I don't want to cheat. That's not something I do. I don't cheat."
The 17-year-old Beggs won the 110-pound girls title as a junior at Euless Trinity High School in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He could face a legal challenge during his senior wrestling season.
University Interscholastic League rules allow Beggs to compete while taking testosterone, but school superintendents and athletic directors voted overwhelmingly last year on the gender requirement.
"We asked them is it OK if this transgender, this trans male were to take testosterone while transitioning and that's what we got, 'They can take it, but they can only compete on what's on their birth certificate,'" Beggs said. "That's when we were like, 'Well, then, there goes us asking if I can compete on the males.'"
Jim Baudhuin, an attorney and Dallas-area wrestling parent, has filed a lawsuit seeking to keep Beggs from competing against girls. The lawsuit mostly takes aim at the UIL for allowing Beggs to face girls while on testosterone.
After the lawsuit was filed, two girls forfeited their matches against Beggs at the regional tournament leading into the state meet. All four opponents wrestled Beggs at state, but some parents complained that it wasn't fair. There were some boos in the crowd after Beggs won the state title.
Beggs said the girls who forfeited at regionals were forced into that decision by their parents.
"It's not like I'm doing this because I want to, like, call myself a boy and just dominate all these girls," Beggs said. "What do I get out of that? I don't get anything out of that. I was put in this position. Change the laws and then watch me wrestle boys."
Beggs said wrestling became an outlet for him as he struggled with gender identity.
"I want to wrestle," he said. "Doesn't matter who you put in front of me, you come in front of me, want to wrestle, all right, let's wrestle. Let's go. That's all I want to do."