NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, December 7, 2015, 3:29 PM
Gavin McGarrity (L) and Raiden Quinn McGarrity (R) are brother and sisters who are both transgender. Gavin was formerly known as Aly and Raiden was formerly known as Russie.
An Ohio family is getting a son and a daughter — just not in the way they thought.
Beth McGarrity and husband Russ McGarrity Sr. learned their daughter Alyson — now Gavin or “G” — was transgender in 2011.
Then, just a month later, their son Russ “Russie” Jr. — now Raiden or “Rai” — told his parents he always felt he was a girl.
With the support of their parents, both teens have decided to undergo transformative surgeries. Raiden will have a breast augmentation and facial feminization surgery, and Gavin is set to undergo a mastectomy, according to Good Housekeeping.
“People ask me what I’ve lost,” Beth told the magazine, “but I don’t feel that I’ve lost anything. I have my son and daughter the way they should be.”
For years, Raiden, now 20, was bullied in school for her androgynous style and Beth told the magazine that school officials didn’t grasp the severity of what Rai was going through.
The school even threatened expulsion when they discovered Raiden had used the girl’s bathroom, Beth said, and she could see her then-son slipping into a downward spiral of depression.
“I did not choose this for myself,” Rai told her parents following the incident. “I wish there was a way that I could not be this way.”
The parents said they knew Raiden was a little different, but did not know the extent of it.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Gavin, known for his affinity for sports and tomboyish ways, regularly kept to himself and suffered in silence.
Researching transgender issues online solidified his yearning to become a boy, which he subsequently divulged to Rai just before his 15th birthday.
Shortly thereafter, he confessed to his parents that as a kid, he used to go to sleep and wish he would wake up a boy.
Then, just a month later, Raiden told her parents that she too was transgender.
Raiden McGarrity (L) and Gavin McGarrity (R) as children. Both felt like they were not born the right sex.
“I would rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not,” she told her parents.
Raiden agreed to see doctors and counselors at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Transgender Program and the family learned that what both their children were going through was by no means an anomaly.
They discovered that it is not uncommon for multiple family members to be transgender and that the daily distress their children experienced was typical.
The family also learned that gender identity issues are not chosen, learned or a product of parenting, according to Good Housekeeping.
Both parents responded to their children’s disclosures with love and support.
“Even in the years when (mom) 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,” Gavin told Good Housekeeping.
But not everyone reacted so favorably.
The parents of one of Gavin’s longtime friends prohibited their daughter from hanging out with him because of “religious reasons.”
Still, both McGarrity children began hormone therapy and will each undergo surgery by next summer.
Beth told the magazine that if she had known what she knows now, she would have pursued hormone therapy for her kids a lot sooner.
“Having them transition before puberty would have prevented G from having to go through the top (chest) surgery he’s going to have to do next summer, and Rai wouldn’t have had to do the facial feminization and the breast augmentation surgery that she will be doing soon,” the mother said.
Today, Raiden has her own YouTube channel that boasts 60,000 subscribers and has racked up over 6.5 million views from people tuning in to hear her sporadically-witty commentary on the transgender experience, according to Good Housekeeping.
Raiden’s mom has even made appearances on her daughter’s popular channel and continues to support both children.