A brave brother and sister have swapped genders after they revealed to their parents they were transgender.
Aly McGarrity was always a tomboy who’d rather be playing sport outside with the boys, while her older brother Russie preferred playing dress up with little girls.
Russie’s mother, spoke of the difficulties that Russ had growing up. At high school, he was bullied but refused to conform and adopted an androgynous look. He told his parents. “I would rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.”
Mrs McGarrity, says she always knew her children were a little different. But that she and her husband, became worried about their son who was slowly spiralling into depression. Mrs McGarrity said his school struggled to understand Russ’s struggle and threatened to expel him after he ran into the girl’s toilets.
“I did not choose this for myself,” he told her. “I wish there was a way that I could not be this way.”
While the family were worried about Russie’s struggle, his sister was also struggling with her own identity.
Aly had always been a bit of a tomboy but she knew there was more to it. After researching what it is to be transgender on the internet, she said she realised that she had been born the wrong sex and she knew she wanted to be a boy. And it was Aly who took the brave step to come out to her parents first.
Just a few days before her 15th birthday, she broke the news to her brother that she was transgender.
She then bravely told her mum:
I’ve figured out what’s going on with me… I know that I’m transgender. I’ve always wanted to be a boy. I never told you this, but when I was little, I would go to sleep and wish that I’d wake up a boy. Every time we did the wishbone at Thanksgiving and I won, I would wish that I was a boy.’
Only a month later, Russ confessed that he was transgender as well and both siblings, decided to go ahead with gender reassignment surgery.
Today Russie, 20, is known as Rai, while Aly, 17, goes by the name Gavin. Their parents said nothing has changed as far as how much they love their children.
Mrs McGarrity said: “People ask me what I’ve lost, but I don’t feel that I’ve lost anything. I have my son and daughter the way they should be.”
Gavin said that it had been his parents’ unwavering support and unconditional love that had allowed him and his sister to become the people they wanted to be.
“Even in the years when (mum) didn’t know what was going on, before I came out, I knew that all she cared about, at the end of the day, was me and Rai being happy,” he said.
Russ’s father always wanted a boy and girl and said: “As it so happened, we did have one of each, just in a different order than we originally thought.”