Now for the meat of my story, so I can know that it is in the open, at least somewhere. When I was very young, pre-kindergarten age, I was always playing with the girls in my neighborhood instead of the boys, just doing things that girls do at that age; playing with shoes, nails, hair, etc. etc. Come schooling days I started playing more with boys, running around outside, climbing trees, digging, all of that. Going through elementary, I only had a few friends, all of whom I had known for a long time, about half of them were girls, despite the idea of cooties for different genders and such. This continued on through middle-school where things started to change. I don't just mean the normal hormonal changes then, but most of my friends were moving away/changing schools, growing apart we were. At this time my parents were also having trouble, and that ended with divorce. In 8th grade and into 9th, I was lonely, depressed, and had occasional thoughts of suicide. I also acquired a heavy WoW addiction, which lead my grades to plummet. It was at the end of my freshman year in a very anti-gay high school that I first really discovered a part of me that was more feminine. I started caring a bit more about my appearance, and started wondering what life would have been like I was born a woman. Those thoughts faded and went away for about half a year, at which point I was switching schools, to the one I am enrolled in now. It is a much smaller school, and much more accepting of differences in people, for the most part. Almost as soon as I was in a less generally hostile environment, said thoughts returned and have stayed fairly constant for the past year.
My situation now, two semesters away from college, is living with my mother, who until this point I have not said anything about. She is a former professor at the local University, 6 years retired now. We manage to get along for the most part, but are such different people that we haven't really done anything, even something as simple as a movie, in 4 years. She is liberal enough in most things, not racist or outwardly homophobic, but is rather disconnected from the struggles that LGBTIQQ face, and never comments one way or the other. None of her friends are openly LGBT, but I have slight suspicions of one of them being closest. I think she would accept me for who I am, but not really understand it or what is needed, or the challenges of just being me. The problem I am worried about is rejection and refusal to help pay for my college. Since she started saving for my education long before I was born, as things currently stand I shouldn't have much of a problem with funding unless I go out of state. All in all, despite living with her for all my life, we aren't close and I have no idea how she would react.
My father and I have never been really close, as we have little in common. He's a business owner and well respected in our little city for his commitment to the environment, and a more than decent enough guy on his own. He spent the last few years getting back on his feet, as, before he an my mother divorced, his depression took a big turn for the worse and he lost a fairly large investment and some land that he had had for many years. I think he could accept and understand this eventually, but I'm not sure how he would take it at first.
I'm not at all close to the rest of my family, and think most of them would take it fairly well, with the possible exception of an uncle&aunt. Those two are really the only religious people among my relations, and they are anti-gay, conservative, outspoken christians.
The town I'm living in really is about as neutral as you can get for a city of 120,000+ people. About equal portions of the town are pro- and anti-LGBT with the majority being neutral. Despite this being practically a border town, there are relatively few problems with true gangs, but the church is a fairly strong presence in the lives of the majority. We have never held a pride parade, but there is no surface opposition. My school is likewise, with several people being openly anti-gay and an equal number being openly gay, the rest being fairly neutral.
My problem now is that I don't really have anyone to talk with about this around me right now. I was talking to a therapist friend of the family a few months ago, but didn't go near any of these issues for a couple reasons. He is a really old friend of the family, and since I was 16 at the time, was worried he might find cause to break patient confidentiality, as I had no idea how he would take this sort of thing. I haven't had any really close friends since middle school, and that looks unlikely to change for the time being.
A few weeks ago, I was ready to put off talking to someone seriously about this until I knew I could provide for my future, but now I feel it is more urgent and have no where to turn, or so it seems. I'm no longer really depressed, and feel I could survive another year or two before doing anything if I need to, but I don't want to wait that long if there is some way I can start transitioning without revealing too much anyone close to me yet. Right now I just want to share my story with people who have had similar experiences, even in the slightest.