Perhaps you’ve come across the story of the transgender wrestler who won the Texas title for girls’ wrestling. If you haven’t, the opening summary of Dan Frosch’s Wall Street Journal article may need some clarification:
Mack Beggs, a star wrestler at Trinity High School near Fort Worth, has a new victory under his belt. On Saturday, he became the first transgender boy to win the girls state title in Texas.
Turning to biology for clarity makes things simpler: Mack is a girl taking hormones (at the pre-majority age of 17) to become more like a boy. Previous articles I’ve read were honest enough to note that boy-making hormones are essentially performance-enhancing drugs for a female wrestler. Hence, the dilemma.
Many folks in the Northeast like to mock Southerners, assuming they’re as closed-minded about their views as New England progressives are about their own, but one must sympathize with the league:
“It is not a clean, easy thing to deal with by any means,” said Cody Moree, a superintendent in Apple Springs Independent School District in East Texas. Mr. Moree voted for the rule but said he understood both sides of the issue.
“I would understand if this student was wrestling in the boys division and there were objections there as well,” he said.
Putting the dilemma that way — and it is a dilemma — gets at a consideration that people around here tend to simply dismiss: Other children have feelings, too, and they have a right not to have the weight of government come down on them to “correct” their wrongthink.
Even in the boys’ league, Mack would be taking performance-enhancing drugs, potentially wrestling against biological boys who are (for hormonal or other reasons) not as strong. As much as self-righteous, right-thinking people might be prepared to condemn those boys for their insecurities and bigotry, losses to a biological girl could be hurtful. (They’d probably be at the lower weight classes, after all.) Why should their feelings be dismissed?
Maybe we need to reconsider setting children on the path to biological transformation so early.