The McGarrity's son is now their daughter and their daughter is now their son.

“I have my son and daughter the way they should be.”

Beth McGarrity and her husband Russ were taken aback the first time they noticed people’s reactions to their two young children.

Fifteen years ago Alyson and Russie were aged just two and five and were playing at a suburban BBQ.

The outgoing mum from Cincinnati in the US noticed something slightly different about her children to the others there.  It was only when guests questioned her about why her five-year-old son was upstairs playing dress-ups while her two-year-old daughter was outside with the boys playing soccer that the puzzle began to come together.

She says at the time she wished she had answered: “Because he’s having fun. Who cares?” but she held her tongue.

These days as the proud mother of two transgender teenagers, she doesn’t hold back, letting the world know how much she loves the kids the way they are.

Gaven when he was Aly and Raiden when she was Russie.

Beth has told of how as the years passed it was her son who Beth and her husband focused on, wondering how the world would perceive him.

“Was he gay?” Beth told Good Housekeeping “or perhaps a straight male who loved the female look?”

Beth and her husband said they felt reluctant and ill-equipped to define it for him. “I knew what being transgender was,” Beth says “but it really wasn’t as big of a topic of discussion as it is now.”

Beth says she never worried about Aly.

Beth says she was worried. Her son was showing signs of depression and had been bullied at school for his androgynous look, and after an occasion at school when he used the female bathroom she says she feared he was at breaking point.

“I did not choose this for myself,” he told her crying. “I wish there was a way that I could not be this way”


Despite his struggle he was strong.

“I would rather be hated for who I am,” he told them, “than loved for who I am not.”

Raiden as a younger teenager.

The family determined to support him were then blindsided when it was their daughter who was the one who approached them one day with something to tell them.

Aly was a fun-loving, sports mad 14-year-old. Her family had never given her gender identity a second thought.

But just a few days before her 15th birthday, she went to her brother with some news that she had realised she was transgender.

Gaven was Aly before his transformation.

Together the siblings, united by their common bond, went to their parents.

“I’ve figured out what’s going on with me,” Aly told her parents with her brother at her side.

Good Housekeeping recounts the conversation:

“It’s going to be really hard,” Aly said to her mother. “I’ve had a lot of stuff going on in my head and haven’t wanted to tell you, because I knew you were dealing with a lot with Russ. But since we’re so close, and you can always tell when something’s bothering me, I know I have to tell you now. Moot, I’ve figured out what’s going on with me. I know that I’m transgender.

“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.”

Gaven told his mother first.

Less than a month later the family were more prepared when Russie confessed that he too was transgender. Both siblings, after receiving counselling, decided to go ahead with gender reassignment surgery.


Today the brave teenagers, now 20-year old Rai and 17-year old Gaven have spoken out proudly alongside their mother hoping to help other teenagers going through the same thing.

Raiden is now a popular blogger.

In Australia it is estimated that 18,000 Australian students currently identify as transgender. Transgender people frequently face bullying and discrimination which puts them at a greater risk of mental health problems and in the worst cases, suicide.

After struggling for years brother and sister Raiden and Gaven are proud of what they have achieved. Raiden is even a popular YouTube vlogger with 60,00 subscribers.

Raiden’s  explains his transformation process. 

Video via Raiden Quinn

Their proud parents told Cosmopolitan Magazine “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 said.

Beth with her two kids, Rai and Gavin.

The teenagers’ father, Russ said that he and Beth had hoped for a boy and a girl when starting a family, and to this day his dreams had still come true.

“As it so happened, we did have one of each — just in a different order than we originally thought.”

For more information on being Transgender in Australia visit: Ausgender Australia.