" I guess for me, my freedom to live as I please was a higher priority than it is for some. " That may be it in a nutshell, Miss Understood. Sometimes the desire may be growing and latent and its a matter of timing. I remember what a quiet, shy kid I was until in 8th grade, the boy behind me in class would not leave me alone. He was always whispering funny things to me and singing songs to me really low until he finally won me over and in a big way. Suddenly I was transformed, which really scared my parents and the nuns in that Catholic School. That boy and I suddenly started wearing more and more feminine atire, and doing our own thing, and admitted to each other how we both wished that we could be real women and go fuck Jimi Hendrix (our Love God). I know I'm really giving away my age here. We were married in a small ceremony behind the church one day during recess. We had a flower girl, and a very small group attending (all girls). My point is how that strong character was the catalyst of change for me.
Suddenly there was way too much passion for living our own way, than to care about the older boys terrorizing us afterschool, or having to run away from them etc. or all of the things we heard people yell at us for the way we were dressing. That was back in the Hippie days (1969) but still, as androgynous as those days were (for awhile) we were still crossing the line. The following year I was expelled from Boys Catholic High school for a number of reasons, including getting caught by the Principle (Brother Steven Martin) after changing into my sisters clothes in the boys room. I just couldn't stand to walk the streets in that horendous white-shirt and tie school uniform.
I couldn't stand not to be me, from those early days in my life. But I have to say that I wouldn't have done it without my best friend and love a that time. Tragically, he was killed by a drunk driver who went through a red light, a few years later, and I was on my own again. I grew up not far from NYC, near Elizabeth NJ, and there was absolutely no support there. Ironically, it could have been 1000 miles from NYC rather than 30. for the mentality there, and I returned to my shell and closet once again. For me the 70s were a very depressing time. If there had been some form of TG community support then, I wouldn't have lived dormant until the 90s. I have often wondered in recent years why I lacked te courage to just go to the city and live my life. I guess I had to learn to be more confident, and looking back, I have always gained strength and confidence when there was support from another sympathetic person.
I guess I believe that support by example is the most compelling form of learning that leads to personal transformation.