The life history of each transgendered person is unique, molded by their upbringing and their social and financial environments. Typically the early stages of life are happy. Like any other child they develop an understanding of the difference between genders by about the age of 4 years. This is the time when transgendered people begin to realize that they are somehow "different" or have a "problem". The gender they believe to be does not match with the "rules" as applied to their bodies. Transgendered children are told that expressing their transgendered feelings is wrong, silly or even shameful. From here they follow one of two main scenarios.
In the first scenario, rather than succumb to the pressure to conform, many transgendered children repeatedly insist that their gender is what they believe it to be. They remain steadfast in their belief even in the face of ridicule from peers and adults. Puberty is particularly a time of anguish as their bodies show signs of changing in unwanted ways. Medical help is typically sought to delay unwanted physical developments until the person reaches adulthood and can begin the process of transitioning.
In the second scenario, the child tries to conform to the wishes and demands of parents and other adults and gain the acceptance of peers. To do this the child must suppress the transgendered feelings. This leaves the child with confusion and shame. Coping with these internal conflicts often leads to depression. Some manage by denying the existence of the transgendered feelings. Many try to lead stereotypical lifestyles and even marry and have children. Some believe that this will somehow "cure" them. But by their mid 40's and 50's this deep seated conflict erupts in a major personal crises. In order to put things right many attempt to address their transgendered nature openly. They are then faced with the dilemma that the route to their inner peace causes disruption to friends and especially family. Often family, friends and work colleagues are taken by surprise by the revelations.
The decision to transition is never easy. It is associated with emotional pain and confusion and intense feelings of isolation. It is only with the help of sympathetic family, friends and work colleagues that the transition can be successful.