Heaven Fitch became the first female to win a North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSA) Wrestling Individual State Championship on Saturday, February 20, 2020. To see her win is a celebration of the spirit of the underdog.
Heaven Fitch would have been robbed of that championship had any of the 13 anti-trans Sports Bills being considered across the country been enacted in North Carolina at that moment. The Republicans who are handed these boilerplate bills crafted by hate groups have a tight rope to walk when they fine-tune them.
They can’t specifically exclude transgender girls so it has to be a wider swath of humanity. Most of the anti-trans sports bills limit the participation of all student-athletes, boys, and girls alike to the sex that is indicated on their original birth certificates.
Heaven Fitch would not have had her glorious victory had she lived in MONTANA, MISSISSIPPI, GEORGIA, SOUTH DAKOTA, TENNESSEE, ARIZONA, MISSOURI, NORTH DAKOTA, CONNECTICUT, UTAH, NEW HAMPSHIRE, or OKLAHOMA if the republican Governors signed any one of these bills into law.
Texas skirted the law and as a result forced Mack Beggs, a transgender boy into wrestling high school girls. I watched with joy when Mack Beggs won both of his Texas State championships, it was a delight to see. And I cried for the cisgender girls who were so cruelly robbed of their victories and the chance to go to university by Governor Gregg Abbott and his Republican majority.
As much as I love watching Heaven’s Victory I wish that Mack Beggs had been cheered as she was.
1️⃣st Female Wrestler to WIN an Individual Wrestling State Championship
— NCHSAA (@NCHSAA) February 23, 2020
My coach on our final day of High school as a final test paired each of us up against the opponent of his choice. My wrestling opponent was a muscled friend built almost exactly like Mack Beggs. Ordinarily, I didn’t stand a chance against him and he knew it. I was but a skinny girl, but I knew in my heart I had to give my very best shot.
When I slipped out of his grasp something like Heaven did, but nowhere nearly as gracefully, the referee called the match on points for me.
I understand how she felt at that moment. It was like my first A+ in English in my senior year. later in my life when I began running marathons I knew if set my mind to it, I had a chance of finishing and possibly if I trained hard enough to place in the top three. I have never won a marathon, but that does not matter to me. I love the challenge and being amongst those beautiful souls who know they have a chance, just like me.
I implore these republican politicians not to destroy the spirit and hopes and dreams of cisgender and trans athletes nationally. Let us compete and be all that we can be.