I'm biased but it's hard to imagine many tougher journeys through life than changing ones gender.
If you are lucky enough to know for sure you were born into the wrong body and you are fortunate to be born into a loving accepting family-then you have society to face.
If you aren't, at the least- you have the genders ripping and tearing you apart internally. At the worst you become a tragic suicide statistic.
A few alternatives of course are therapy or due diligence. My definition of transgender due diligence is exploring the world the best you can. In other words you are stuck patching together bits and pieces of a life in your planned gender. I liken it to to playing golf, the more you play the better you are. In my own case I normally averaged perhaps one day a week to get out in the public and test the feminine waters it was tough to learn the girl basics.
Plus, like many of you I understand completely the dynamics of tearing loved ones, friends and jobs and possibly losing them all. I am not one of those in the transgender community who rate you on time served or operations you have had or how you look.
I have heard from more than a couple trans folks who have taken me to task for being an intruder of sorts into the so called higher echelon ranks of those who are fortunate to live a quality life in my chosen gender. But more importantly I hear from more of you asking how I served my due diligence to arrive here.
For any number of reasons, I buried my true feelings deep into my own mental closet believing cross dressing was enough. On occasion I think by the time my life is over, it will be shortened by the extra gender stress I suffered. But, it's way too late to cry over lost dresses.
So if we survive the Mayan debacle, a stray asteroid or even a giant solar flare- think about your due diligence in the new year. Consider your biggest warning could be not jumping from the frying pan into the fire.Don't get burnt and run out and buy a store bought vagina before you have any chance to socialize yourself as a woman and start taking it out on the world.
What happened to the days when you had to live a year or so as a woman before a clinic would accept you for surgery? What a concept! How many have found that even a store bought vagina does not guarantee acceptance in society- or that you would even like it?
Just remember the "DD" experience (not that one!) Do the best you can to serve your due diligence as a girl and plan your life from there. Doing your best is all anyone can ask.