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Brother and Sister Swap Genders

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The Short of It

Both a brother and a sister realize they are transgender and decide to swap their genders to live more authentic lives.

The Lowdown

Ohio mom Beth McGarrity says her kids acted differently from an early age. Even as a 5-year-old, her son Russie showed signs of wanting to live life as a girl, and his younger sister by three years, Aly, preferred traditionally male activities, like playing football.

By high school, Russie was being bullied for his androgynous look. After getting caught by a school administrator for exiting the female restroom, Russie explained how he felt, saying, "I did not choose this for myself. I wish there was a way that I could not be this way. I would rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."

Even though it was obvious that Russie was struggling for years, it was actually Aly, who her parents thought was just a tomboy, who came out as transgender first at age 15 after finding information about what she was experiencing online. She told her family, "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."

One month later, Russie also confessed he believed he was transgender and wanted to live as the opposite sex. The 20- and 17-year-old now go by the names Rai and Gavin and are much happier leading more authentic lives.

The Upshot

Rai and Gavin always had their parents support, which likely made their transitions much easier.

"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," Beth told Good Housekeeping.

The kids' father, Russ, remembers when he and Beth were starting their family that they hoped for a boy and a girl: "As it so happened, we did have one of each—just in a different order than we originally thought."

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