Look, I'm pretty sure we all have known, in one way or another about who we really are inside from a very young age... about the same age that we realize that boys and girls are different, and we are on the wrong side of the different. I grew up with older sisters, so the difference was fairly obvious to me by about age three.
Now, if I knew about the wrongness at age three, Why, you may ask, did it take me till I was 36-37 years old to admit who I was and try to move forward?... well simple answer... I was at least 25 before I knew I wasn't alone in this desire/need/compulsion. Growing up, I didn't have access to information that didn't come out of medical books or porn stores.What I had plenty of was shame.
T* people were looked upon with ridicule and/or horror, as deviants and freaks. It took me till I was twenty something to discover anything even resembling acceptance...up till then... I had been caught twice cross dressed by my parents, who shamed me and whisked me off to the shrinks... the only shrink who even asked me if I wanted to be a boy or a girl, did so with my parents present...making my decision impossible... shame won out.
After that... I buried my true self deep...so deep that I would have serious depressive episodes and even fugue states where time passed that I had no memory of. It is no small wonder to me that I survived at all... I became a societal drone...work sleep eat... the occasional guilty trips to a cross dressing service followed by angst and guilt again.
In the late 80's early 90's, a miracle appeared to me... something that a lot of people now take for granted, but it was a life line to me... the internet. I finally discovered I wasn't alone, that I wasn't a freak. I still had years of shame to throw away, but it was a light...
In 2002, I finally admitted to myself that I was a woman. 35 years after I realized it the first time.