There is a joke that has been going around the transgender community for awhile that goes like this:
What's the difference between a crossdresser and a transsexual?
The joke implies that when someone realizes that he or she is a crossdresser, it takes three years to realize that he or she is a transsexual.
There is some truth to that joke; I have witnessed many folks come out as crossdressers, only to come out as transsexuals three or so years later.
But, sometimes it takes longer.
After crossdressing for over four decades, I recently came to the realization that I am a woman.
I am not a woman trapped in a man's body, I am really a woman. I think as a woman, I emote as a woman, I act as a woman, I speak as a woman, and whenever the opportunity arises, I present as a woman. To most of my acquaintances I am the most womanly male they know and that's because I really am a woman.
True, my container is male (more or less), but its contents are 100% female.
I am very adverse to fooling around with my container. Many things can go wrong and so far, my container has held up pretty well, so why mess with it. As a result, I have no interest in taking hormones or having surgery to modify my container so that it matches its contents.
I am very happy being a woman and very glad that I am not a "man." I might be happier if I could present as a woman all of the time, but I have made choices in my life that make that impossible. So I live part-time as a male and part-time as a female, but no matter how I live, I am a woman all the time.