This Texas Sportscaster Defends A Transgender Teen Wrestler In Heartfelt Video

Dale Hansen has done it again.

Dale Hansen just went to bat for a trans wrestler he's never met.

The Texas sportscaster took to Facebook this week to defend Mack Beggs, a 17-year-old trans wrestler being forced to compete against girls despite identifying as a boy. Hansen, who has previously defended the first openly gay NFL player Michael Sam and slammed a group of high school students holding racist sports signs, spoke honestly and openly about his position. 

"I'm not always comfortable when a man tells me he's gay. I don't always understand his world, but I do understand that he is part of mine," Hansen, of station WFAA, said, referring to his previous monolog on Sam. "I am saying the same thing now about Mack Beggs: transitioning is a struggle I cannot imagine, it is a journey I cannot make, and it is life too many cannot live."

While Hansen admits that deciding when a boy becomes a girl, or when a girl becomes a boy, or who trans people should compete in games against is "well above" his pay grade, he is clear someone has to find a better answer than what we're being given now. His defense of what he might not understand, and his encouragement for compassion and effort in understanding, is a great example for Americans who feel confused, disgusted or conflicted about the estimated 1.4 million trans people in the United States.

Beggs, a junior in high school, has been taking testosterone during his transition, a steroid that gives him a clear advantage in a strength competition like wrestling and surely helped him on his way to winning a girls' state wrestling tournament on Saturday. But Beggs wanted to wrestle the boys. 


"He needs our support," Hansen said. "He does not need a group of old men in Austin [Texas' state capital] telling him who to wrestle because of a genetic mix-up at birth." 

In an interview with Mic, Beggs said that he was never asked about which division he should wrestle in. As a result, many of the girls he was slated to compete against forfeited, and he didn't get to compete against the boys he wanted to wrestle. Texas' guidelines will likely stay in place for his senior year, meaning he'll have to spend another year wrestling against girls. 

While some of Beggs' language in the video might be offensive to trans people, his effort in understanding and his compassionate plea has earned him widespread praise online and from LGBT advocates.

"You don't have to understand — I don't understand," Hansen said. "But Mack Beggs is not the problem so many people make him out to be. He's a child simply looking for his place in the world, and a chance to compete in the world." 

You can watch his impassioned two-minute post below:


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