Here's a question...what exactly do you think validates you as a woman. Transgender or not.
For me, finally, I came to the conclusion, my validation came from my mind. It took me, many years of "error and trial" to get there.
Of course I started in the mirror. Most certainly, the bewitching person looking back at me just had to be a woman, not just a witch. The mirror grew old quickly and I wanted validation from other sources. My dog didn't care, so people had to be next on the list.
People were hard to find. I lived in a rural setting, with very little access to makeup and other wardrobe essentials including a wig. Finally, I had to bide my time, go to college, serve in the Army and earned the chance to dress as a woman for the first of several Halloween parties.
Comments from the parties were mostly positive and I thought yes, I was being validated as a woman when I heard the comment I would make a better looking girl than a guy. While the comment provided positive reinforcement, in the long term it just proved to be more frustrating than validating.
As I came to the point where I was going out as a cross dresser a couple times a week, again, validations were mixed. Some days were blissful. Followed by ones of out and out hell. How could I ever think I could exist as a woman with people snickering at me.
I didn't quit though and kept going back to the drawing board. It took a while, but finally I came to the conclusion not to dress for men, but for women and life suddenly became easier. I began to have my girl card validated by other women.
From there, I could start to connect other dots and understand my true validation as a transgender woman was inside me all the time. I was born into it. Forget the time I was cornered by an admirer, or the compliments, or the snickers, or the out and out rejections. Being trans was my out and out birth-rite and I was going to seize it before not doing it nearly killed me.
In so many words, when I stamped my own girl card, I was validated and the world followed.