The 26-minute documentary, tilted Mack Wrestles, aired on ESPN and ABC on Sunday afternoon.
Prior to airing on TV this past weekend, Mack Wrestles -- directed by Taylor Hess and Erin Sanger -- was shown earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and at the SXSW (South By Southwest) film festival in Austin, Texas.
Here's the description of Mack Wrestles from the 2019 SXSW film festival website: "The sport is brutal enough. There are the demands for strength and speed and stamina, the hours bathed in sweat, the knowledge that your opponent wants to wipe the mat with you. Those were the very reasons, though, that Mack Beggs loved wrestling -- it gave him a sense of purpose and a sense of self. Mack Wrestles takes the audience behind the scenes as this gifted athlete from Euless, Texas, struggles against the outside forces that stigmatize transgender athletes. Despite all the turmoil, this poignant film makes one thing perfectly clear: If life were a wrestling match, the referee would be raising Mack's arm at the end."
"What drew me to Mack's story was the humanity of it," wrote Katie Barnes of ESPN. "He's just a kid from Texas who loves to wrestle. He's also transgender. After coming out to his family, he socially transitioned his freshman year of high school and began hormone replacement therapy the fall of his sophomore year. The policy in Texas determines sex for the purposes of sports by birth certificate. Since Mack was assigned female at birth, he had to compete in the girls' category. He has since changed his birth certificate."
"Mack Wrestles co-director Taylor Hess was also captivated by Mack's human story. 'I played high school sports,' Hess says. 'I wasn't a state champion like Mack, but I relate to sports being a way that we express ourselves when we're young. It's a way we can find ourselves and bond with people our own age.'"
Beggs is now a sophomore at Life University in Atlanta, where he is on the men's wrestling team. He was unable to compete as a freshman as he was recovering from top surgery in his transformation from female to male.