Two sisters who grew up as brothers in Ireland have shared their story, saying that they are "the same people, but happier."
Jamie, 23, and Chloe O'Herlihy, 20, grew up living as boys in Ireland, where from a young age they both played with dolls and put T-shirts on their heads to pretend they had long hair. Now, the two of them are both out as transgender and are living as sisters, reports the Daily Mail.
"We had always been in it together from the start but we just didn’t realize. I don’t feel either of us has influenced the other, we were born this way," Jamie, who works as a bartender in Dublin, told the Daily Mail.
"But I do think it’s amazing that we’re on this journey together. Chloe is my greatest supporter and doing it together has helped us both," she added.
"It’s weird that we were both going through exactly the same thing and having the same thoughts about being transgender but just not talking to each other," said Chloe, who is currently in school to become a hairdresser.
Before the sisters discovered their gender identities, they had both come out as gay while living as males. Jamie came out at 14, and Chloe, then known as Daniel, came out two years later, at the age of 13.
The sisters both struggled with depression and anxiety before they began living as women. Studies have shown that transgender individuals face dramatically higher rates of depression and suicide than their cisgender, or non-trans, peers. Around 41 percent of transgender people in the U.S. have attempted suicide, more than 25 times the rate for the general population, according to Live Science.
The sisters say they first discussed their gender identities in August 2015, at their family's home in Cork, Ireland.
"I looked at Chloe and just thought, 'You look so feminine and gorgeous,'" said Jamie. "I asked, 'Do you think you’re transgender?' She said: 'Yes, I might be,' and I said: 'I think I am too.'"
"It was very emotional for both of us. We sat and talked for hours and since then we’ve supported each other," she said.
The siblings have said their mother, Sarah, 47, has been supportive since each of them revealed their gender identity. "I don’t think she feels she’s lost her sons," said Chloe. "We’re still the same people, just happier."