Tuesday 24 April 2018

Two Cork sisters - who were born brothers - prepare to undergo reassignment surgery together

Jamie O'Herlihy (23) works as a bartender in Dublin. Photo: Facebook
Jamie O'Herlihy (23) works as a bartender in Dublin. Photo: Facebook
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Two Irish sisters who were born brothers came out as transgender at the same time – and are preparing to undergo reassignment surgery.

Bartender and dancer Jamie (23) and hairdressing student Chloe O’Herlihy (20) are now supporting each other in their journeys to become fully transitioned women.

The O’Herlihy sisters both came out as transgender last summer, and will begin taking oestrogen before they are each deemed ready for surgery.

Jamie explained that he came out as gay when he was 14, while Chloe came out when she was 13. Jamie also said that by coincidence he’d wanted a sister when he was a little boy, and when his mother was pregnant he picked the name Chloe. This is now the name that Chloe has also chosen for herself.

Jamie said: “Last summer I did a lot of thinking about where I want my life to go… I’m transgender. I’m a woman on the inside, unfortunately my outside doesn’t match.”

“I’ve been going through a really hard time trying to accept it and come to terms with it but I’ve been so unhappy for so long, and now that I’ve finally come out I feel so good.”

“It’s going to be a slow, long process.”

“Now it’s just Jamie,” she said.

“Obviously I’m going through it like, anxiety and depression and everything that goes along with it,” she added, recommending that anyone who is going through a similar time should talk to the BelongTo organisation.

Chloe said the two sisters are a massive support to each other.

“We talk a lot about our transition and it is great to have each other. If I’m out and I get a funny look or comment and I’m feeling anxious I can call Jamie.”

“Jamie has always been the more confident one but her anxiety is through the roof because leaving the house as a woman is new and it is hard.”

“When we start taking our oestrogen it could affect us both at different rates so we’ll be ready for surgery at different times. But we will definitely go together.”

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