Every now and then, Texas does something so unrelentingly stupid that even we get embarrassed.
Such is the case at this weekend’s state high school wrestling tournament, where under state rules a 17-year-old Trinity High School junior boy on testosterone therapy is trying to finish undefeated — against girls.
Mack Beggs wrestles girls because we make him.
Beggs was born a girl. Under the policies written by the state’s high almighty school superintendents, that makes him a girl forevermore in high school sports, regardless what his testosterone level is or how brawny he grows.
Two regional opponents forfeited rather than wrestle him. He has a 52-0 record in the 110-pound weight class going into a potential four matches Friday in Cypress near Houston.
Under college rules, he’d be wrestling other men. But Texas is a different kind of place.
“Gender shall be determined based on a student’s birth certificate,” the rule reads as set by superintendents governing through the Austin-based University Interscholastic League.
When the rule was discussed in 2015, a Southeast Texas superintendent gave the purpose as “fair and equitable competition.”
Beggs might win or lose, but so far nothing about his matches seems fair or equitable.
(Once again, he’s allowed therapy through the all-powerful wisdom of the Texas Legislature: Only parents have say-so over a child’s prescriptions.)
I question whether the UIL carefully thought this through.
Hurst-Euless-Bedford school board President Ellen Jones
Beggs and the coaches have declined comment, turning attention to the Trojans team.
But H-E-B school board President Ellen Jones gave a personal opinion: “I question whether the UIL carefully thought this through.”
Transgender discussions are so polarized, and “people have dug in their heels so hard, they can’t listen to either side of the argument,” she said.
Beggs is not H-E-B’s first transgender student or competitor, she said: “It’s just new to the general public.”
Beggs, 52-0 as a junior, is four matches away from winning the state girls’ wrestling championship.
“What it comes down to is, you have to look at each individual,” she said.
“My heart goes out to the young people caught in the middle of this political pingpong when they’re just trying to go on with high school life.”
I hesitate to even bring this up.
But Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and some in the Texas Senate also want boys like Beggs legally barred from public men’s locker rooms or bathrooms.
I guess they think the current rule is working out really well.